The kids were adorable; the performance was beautiful; and the mothers surreptitiously shed a few tears.
But nevertheless, in many respects, the recent gan Chanukah party was rather disappointing.
I mean, consider the following flagrant breaches of gan Chanukah party protocol:
1) In stark contrast to last year’s paean to pyromania, this year’s party was surprisingly free of fire hazards. The requisite purple lights and their electrical cords were well out of the kids’ reach, and the gannenets lit the chanukiyah themselves. Moreover, they used tea lights rather than glass jars filled with olive oil, and they blew out the flames a minute or two later. (More on this chanukiyah below.)
2) Although the gannenets dutifully obeyed the edict from on high that gan must be dismissed early on the day of the Chanukah party, the kids were sent home at the relatively civilized hour of 12:00 – rather than at the more typical but highly inconvenient 11:00.
3) The party actually started more or less on time and ended a mere 1¼ hours after it started.
4) Many of the classic elements were missing, including the Giant Dreidel Piñata, the Building a Chanukiyah Out of Wooden Blocks, and the Joint Parent-Child Arts & Crafts Project.
5) Very few of the kids are eldest children. Thus, there was only one (1) pushy mother blocking everyone else as she attempted to video her precious offspring from every. single. angle.
And yet, in spite of these egregious lapses, the Gan Party of 5770 does have one claim to fame.
In years to come, it will surely be remembered as the only Chanukah celebration to feature a… tinsel-festooned chanukiyah: