Yom Kippor is a very serious day but the minute it's over the mood instantly changes and it's time to begin preparing for Sukkot . The morning after Yom Kippor J and Z went out to our building's court yard and built our Sukkah. Over the next few days the girls and I finished up the decorations, New Year's Garlands from Purl Bee (made with regular thread since I could get the clear thread to cooperate) and Paper Ornaments from Creative Jewish Mom and the cooking.
This year two days of Sukkot and then one day of Shabbat equaled a three day Yom Tov (holiday). A three day Yom Tov means that with the exception of being able to cook on the first 2 days of Sukkot there are 3 days in a row where you are observing the laws of Shabbat. In most ways it is an incredible experience. Not being "connected" to the rest of the world gives you and your kids a much needed break from blackberries, computers and TV but you need to make sure that almost everything is in place before sundown on the first evening of the holiday. For those of us involved in taking care of the home this means a lot of shopping, cooking and logistical planning. For those who are working it means leaving everything in order and hoping that everything will go smoothly with out you.
Since we are lucky enough to have our own sukkah in Manhattan that means we do a lot of entertaining. We invite our friends who don't have enough space in their court yard or who have an uncooperative landlord or co-op board. That meant preparing and serving six meals. Thankfully I had my babysitter come and help me with the cooking and the kids on the two days before the holiday because I would not have been able to do it on my own.
The meals turned out great and we all had a lot of fun. The grown ups and their friends especially enjoyed "dwelling" in the Sukkah while the kids and their friends played in the courtyard or upstairs in the apartment. It's nice to be at a point in our lives where we no longer have to chase after little kids.
When Sukkot ends on Wednesday we will be celebrating 2 more holidays Shmini Atzeret on Thursday and Simchat Torah on Friday. Then the holiday season will be over until the spring when we celebrate Pesach (Passover)!