Bright and Shiny
Most briss celebrations are basically the same. Friends and relatives come over, they watch the ceremony, and then they eat brunch -- bagels, lox, tomatoes, cream cheese, cucumbers, sandwiches with potato salad and biscuits, or cake etc. Everyone visits for a while, sometimes people bring gifts for the baby, and then everyone goes home.
My nephew's briss was a bit different. My sister and brother-in-law served the traditional food, but they made the get-together more lively, not only for the guests, but for their son, Joshua.
My sister Kathy and my brother-in-law, Robert, decorated the living room and dining room with tiny stars and moons strung on fishing line they had bought at a craft shop. They hung these strands from the ceiling. Kathy cut giant, smiling suns out of yellow construction paper and taped them to the walls. Kathy also purchased several flower, sun and star stained-glass sun catchers to hang in the windows from an on-line gift shop. She even made all of the kippot herself, out of yellow satin! She even sewed shiny silver sequins on some of them.
A mobile that played "Good day, Sunshine" hung over the circumcision area. Joshua was so mesmerised by it, I don't think he even noticed the ceremony.
Sixties songs about the sun, happiness, and love played in the background during brunch. Everyone sang along to the Beatles 'Good Day Sunshine'. The food was served on matching sun and moon paper, plates, cups and napkins. The tomatoes and cucumbers had been cut in the shape of stars and suns. Orange juice and lemonade were served to further enhance the sunny theme. It may seem like overkill, but I couldn't NOT smile. Everywhere I looked, I saw a grinning sun or the shiny strands of stars and moons. It was so happy. So what it I was a little corny…it was fun. Everyone was enjoying themselves.
Kathy and Robert brought out a photo album that they would fill with pictures taken that day. They had a box of strange looking pens. Each had a big yellow happy face on the top and bendable arms on each side. They were really original. "Joshua's Coming into Manhood," followed by the date was printed in black letters on each and there was one for every guest to take home after signing Joshua's photo album.
A briss is a happy day for everyone, but the simple addition of some visual reminders seemed to make the day that much more joyous and so much more memorable.
Later in the week I received a sun-shaped thank you note in the post. Inside was a little picture of Joshua and I put it up on my fridge.