I love Chanukah for what it is (yet another "They tried to kill us. They failed. Let's eat!) And it's certainly less stressful than what many of you are going through right now. But I am also relieved that it's almost over, because it's such a social time.
Other than conventions and other fannish gatherings, I find most social situations to be draining rather than energizing, and even fannish activities take their toll. Knitting helps, but it's not always enough. And three weeks ago was Thanksgiving (family. The worst.) and then Darkover, and the following week was a housefilk, and then came Chanukah.
That meant dinner at the in-laws on Wednesday, synagogue party on Saturday night (kids, play (kid produced, written and directed, plus three grown-ups to play Greek soldiers and die)) and magician for the kids) and family Chanukah party on Sunday. And we'd mistaken the time and then the cab got stuck in traffic, so we arrived past the kid-unwrapping-presents stage. We had to distribute our gifts one-by-one. We did arrive in time for food and candle-lighting. To our relief, while the kids lit most of the menorah, one candle was lit by our 23 year old nephew, who is visiting from Israel. Otherwise, it would have been a problem - at least one candle besides the shammas must be lit by an adult.) And I had that cold, so we took a cab (fortunately one that took credit cards) home.
And then we spent Monday night with my brother-in-law and his family.
Knowing this, I turned down two different Shabbat invitations from two families we like a lot, and it was the right thing to do. Also, one invited us for this Shabbat dinner, which we did accept.
But, we had a nice dinner last night, and the holiday is ending on a nice, peaceful note (other than bad news for a favorite writer and for a friend.)