Amidst this challenging and uncertain year, all members of our community have altered the way they celebrated their annual festivals and events, whether that be Eid-al-Fitr, Diwali or more recently Thanksgiving. Now, as we approach the winter solstice it is the time of year for Christmas and Hanukkah celebrations.

These are the moments when we seek to be in the company of our loved ones, both family and friends, to celebrate with the familiarity which is brought by small customs, family or religious rituals, traditional food, and all of the details which bring us joy. That familiarity becomes even more reassuring during times of difficulty or crisis and it takes on an even greater importance for everyone as a source of solace and strength. By recreating memories and traditions we contribute to building new ones, something we all sorely need at this time.

So, this month of December, whether you are lighting the candles of the Menorah each evening during Hanukkah, or the candles of your Advent Wreath each Sunday until Christmas Eve, we hope that everyone will have a memorable and enjoyable time. That despite all the precautions which we need to take in order to do this and celebrate together as we can, that you may fill this last month of 2020 with laughter, happiness, joyful memories, warmth, and peace in order to close on a more positive note.

Merry Christmas and Hanukkah Samaech (Happy Hunakkah) to those celebrating! To everyone else season’s greetings, festive blessings, and all the very best for what we all hope will be a far better 2021.

Please remember to celebrate responsibly by following the latest local and government guidelines

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