In our family, specifically to Heather and myself, we inadvertently started our own Christmas tradition 24 years ago. Technically it is English Toffee but it has become more commonly known as “Merckens Toffee”, “when are Jonathan & Heather bringing that stuff over?”, or “Merckens Crack” (I have to admit it is a little addictive).
Originally, many years ago, it was a gift Heather received from a student in one of her first years of teaching. A sweet little boy brought in toffee as a gift and it had the recipe attached. We, in turn, decided to make it for my family’s Christmas gathering. Not having much money at the time, we handed it out in lieu of presents. Little did we know that the Toffee would take on a life of its own and we’d be required to bring it every year. We now have a very extensive list of who is and who is not on the Toffee List (this list rivals Santa’s nice and naughty list).
This past week we wanted to do something extra special for Rachel’s very kind, and very patient, Cello instructor. Since we are in full-fledged Toffee season: we’ll give him toffee! Also, this past week was the beginning of Hannukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. Rachel’s instructor is Jewish which led to Heather yelling at me from the other room “Is the Toffee Kosher?”
Such a simple question led me down a rabbit’s hole of research: what does Kosher actually mean? Why does the Jewish faith need things to be Kosher? How is this different from other religions?
During my quest to search the meaning of Kosher food and whether the toffee qualifies, Heather threw another question at me regarding Christmas and COVID restrictions. Before I could even comprehend what she was asking, she then continued with, “I wonder how other religions are handling COVID restrictions?” I am not going to share with you what I found on this topic. Frankly it is too boring. What I did come across that I found worthy to share: did you know there are 14 religious celebrations in December alone? Don’t believe me? You can see them in this article (note: it is an article from 2018, the dates are a little off): https://www.deseret.com/2018/11/27/20577947/these-are-the-14-religious-holidays-believers-celebrate-in-december#think-december-is-all-about-hanukkah-and-christmas-think-again-there-are-actually-14-major-religious-holidays-in-the-beginning-of-winter
That is all I have for you this week. I hope you and your loved ones are able to find something to celebrate this December. As I look at the clock, I see it is time for me to get back to another batch of Toffee. And yes, it is Kosher by the way.
Please remember that we are “here” and available for you. If you have any questions or concerns, financial or otherwise, please do not hesitate to call or email. If you have friends, family, or neighbors you feel would benefit from a conversation with me, I’m more than happy to have a call or jump on a Zoom meeting with them.
As always, I hope that you are doing well, and staying safe & healthy!