In my previous life, there were certain signs that December was coming up. These signs included drastic weather changes, certain music that was playing in a ubiquitous fashion anywhere I went, cheerful holiday wishes (ignoring the fact that not every single person walking down the street was celebrating the same holiday as they were) and, of course, the PARKING BAN that would go into effect on December 1st in Chicago. This parking ban ultimately led to the annual ritual of bringing out old, beat up lawn furniture to prepare it for use in the street when it would snow.
For the uninitiated in Chicago-ese, let me clarify the last two statements: In order to ease snow clearing, should it become necessary, the city of Chicago instituted a parking ban on hundreds of miles of main arterial streets for the overnight hours, in case it would snow and removal would be necessary. Even if it did not snow, one was prohibited from parking on these streets overnight. (This ban went into effect today and will remain until April 2010). And, another time-honored tradition: Once there was a snowstorm, and you finished shoveling out your parking place, the way you saved that spot was to put old furniture, chairs, etc to mark your territory.
And I have seen none of these signs...and yet, I turned the page on the calendar today to find DECEMBER staring at me...December without the carols, December without the snow, December without the sales, December without the....well, you get the idea.
INSTEAD: It is Kislev...the month of Chanuka...and you see it and feel it everywhere! In stores, on the streets, on the buses, in posters...everywhere you turn there are signs that Chanuka is approaching. It will be very strange when we light our Chanukia and look out our window to NOT see snow...and we will NOT see our green plastic chairs sitting in a mound of snow waiting to be thrust into service. But, that's ok...I don't think I will miss that.