On the first night of Hanukkah, my mother gave to me: a 40-inch flat-screen TV.
“What?! That’s too expensive – how could you blow the first night on something so big! I said I was going to buy it myself, and I only got you some gloves! I can’t believe you spent the money – ”
On the second night of Hanukkah, my mother got from me: a hot stone massage certificate, for one free.
“Those things are rip-offs – you can’t get more from hot stones than they already can do with their hands, my masseur friend told me, you shouldn’t have wasted the money, here you take it – ”
On the third night of Hanukkah, my mother gave to me: a set of brand-new kitchen cutlery.
“I don’t need these.”
“You can always use new ones.”
“Mine are new!”
“These are back-ups: what if you have company and you need more? And don’t tell me that you’d use plastic – I raised you better.”
On the fourth night of Hanukkah, my mother got from me: a set of brand-new kitchen cutlery.
“These are the ones I just gave you, aren’t they.”
“Of course not! I figured you also may need back-ups, just in case.”
“All right, but I have no room, so I’ll leave these in your house until I need them.”
On the fifth night of Hanukkah, my mother gave to me: a nice sweater, warm and fuzzy.
“This is great! I needed a new one!”
“Don’t be insincere; I know you hate them, but I’m running out of ideas for you kids.”
“No, no, I like it, I’ll wear it right now, I mean it! Don’t give me that look, Mom.”
“I know you’re doing it because you think it’ll make me happy, so I won’t stop you.”
“Good, `cause I’m freezing. You really need to turn up the heat.”
“This is your house!”
On the sixth night of Hanukkah, my mother got from me: a home-cooked meal made traditionally.
“Everything is a bit…”
“I didn’t want to put it that harshly, but yes.”
“Want me to order pizza?”
On the seventh night of Hanukkah, my mother gave to me: my inheritance, super-early.
“And you get all my jewelry, but your brother gets the train set.”
“Why are we talking about this now?!”
“I’m out of gift ideas, so I’m letting you know all the gifts you’ll receive in the future. The very distant future.”
“It’s no trouble.”
On the eight night of Hanukkah, my mother and I got each other: nothing.
“It was fun when you were kids, but now it’s a struggle.”
“I know! This is so much better. More wine?”
“You have to ask?”
“I love you, Mom.”
“I love you, too, dear.”