Like a lot of American families my nuclear unit is multicultural. My grandfather came from Spain to Puerto Rico and married my grandmother. Rumors are he was disinherited from a wealthy family in northern Spain. My grandmother’s mom was a full blooded Taino Indian. This is all on my mother’s side. On my dad’s side of the family is a long but murky heritage of living in Vieques which is an island just 8 miles off the coast of Puerto Rico. It is considered a municipality of Puerto Rico. Just in case you did not know, Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States, which makes us citizens of the United States. On my wife’s side their is an abundance of Eastern European jewish blood.
What all this boils down to at this time of year is that my family celebrates Hanukkah and Christmas and The Epiphany, better known to me as I was growing up as, “El Dia De Los Reyes”, or, “Three Kings Day”. All I need now is for one of my kids to marry someone of the Muslim Faith and we could also celebrate Ramadan (Okay it is not the same time of year, but you get the point). Well, Saturday at sundown was the beginning of Hanukkah. Not only did we have 2 menorahs ready to light (each kid insists on lighting their own menorah) but we also just bought our Christmas Tree. I wonder how common a site this is around the U.S. (I am sure it is very common in New York)! Every year I explain to friends and acquaintances how our family’s Holiday Season extends beyond just the 12 days of Christmas and starts (usually) in early December and ends on the Epiphany on January 6. This year as I am mumbling a jewish prayer and staring at our Christmas Tree I was struck by divine inspiration (come on, if it does not happen at this time of year when does it happen?) and was gifted with a name for this extended Holiday – Hanumaspihany!
My kids loved the name instantly and so a tradition is born, Hanumaspihany. Of course just like Christmas has it’s symbols (Tree, jolly old elf, etc) and Hanukkah (candles, gelt) I think Hanumaspihany needs some symbolic character. Admittedly Hanumaspiphany is quirky and idiosyncratic, so it needs some quirky spokes character and this morning as I was walking to the train I found him (or her?), a pink stork in a Santa hat. Just look at the photo above. Need I say more?
Have a happy and wonderful Hanumaspiphany!