Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Jr. Tales: Door Prizes

Rachel Stein

Maybe she could finally get the matching necklace-and-earring set all the girls were wearing! At least that, if she couldn’t have a big birthday bash

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

 Mishpacha image


T emima’s pout looked like an upside-down U, stretching almost all the way to the ground. But no one seemed to notice because of the hustle and bustle that filled the house. Tatty was pouring oil and preparing wicks for the menorah, Mommy was frying scrumptious smelling latkes in the kitchen, and Shevi and Avrami were belting out Chanukah tunes and whirling in circles faster than spinning dreidels. So Temima stomped off to her room and sank into her soft bed, ready to have a good long sulk.

Why did she have to have a birthday the first night of Chanukah? Did anyone even remember, did anyone care? A single tear rolled down her cheek.

A while back, Temima had asked Mommy about having a birthday party. She had just come home from her friend Leah’s party, glowing with excitement.

“They had a storyteller and games and then we made jewelry,” Temima said breathlessly. “It was so much fun! Then we made our own pizzas and ice cream sundaes! Please, Mommy, please, can we do that, too?”

Temima’s gazed hopefully up at Mommy, blue eyes glittering.

“It does sound really special,” Mommy agreed. “But we don’t do that in our family, zeeskeit.” Temima’s smile faded as she listened. “We can have a special birthday dinner, if you want. But we save parties for big events, like when you become bas mitzvah.”

Temima nodded, but she didn’t really understand. What was little about turning ten? After all, she’d be in the double digits for most of her life. Waving good-bye to single numbers seemed like a pretty important step to her.

“Is there something special you want for your birthday?” Tatty asked a few days ago.

Temima brightened. Maybe she could finally get the matching necklace-and-earring set all the girls were wearing! At least that, if she couldn’t have a big birthday bash. But when she told Tatty about it, a shadow clouded his eyes.

“I’m sorry, Temima’le,” he explained, “but that kind of jewelry is too expensive. Even though you’re worth it! Maybe think about something else that you want, something smaller, okay?”

Temima blinked back tears at the memory. It just wasn’t fair. No birthday party, no jewelry — so what was the point of turning ten anyway?

“Temima, time for Chanukah licht!” Shevi’s and Avrami’s voices drifted up the stairs.

Maybe I shouldn’t come, Temima thought. No one really cares about me anyway. The answer to everything I wanted for my birthday was no, and now everyone seems to have forgotten all about it!

Related Stories

Happy Birthday to You!

B. Deer

The lights are out. The guests are hiding. The birthday girl walks in. Lights go on. Guests jump up ...

Hide & Seek: Chapter 3

Bracha Rosman

Mrs. Renard exhaled sharply though her nose. “Don’t lie to me, girl. Where did you hide the eggs?”


Esther Michelson

Chimes sounded as Simi hesitantly opened the door to the world of Trendsetters. She was immediately ...

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"