When my husband started planning a holiday for the end of October, I wasn't too sure. We were going to Eilat so there was no worry about the weather and the off-season meant the price was right. Also, my husband and his work colleagues had managed to organise that we would be a large group as we had intended. It just seemed that the end of October was an awkward date, in the middle of nowhere.
Over the last couple of weeks, I have realised that the end of October is the perfect date, giving us a few days away to recover after the craziness of the holidays.
At first, I thought it was just me, feeling the pressure of working outside the home, particularly as I was working extra hours to compensate for the holidays and to cover for my colleague who was ill. I was also recovering from a nasty bout with the flu but unlike my colleague, I didn't have the option of retiring to bed until I felt better.
Now it seems that everyone has found this holiday season particularly difficult. The problem is the timing of all the holidays - they all fell mid-week.
Personally, I hate it when the holidays fall on a Saturday - I feel cheated - all that extra preparation and no extra day off work. Strictly according to the law employers are supposed to give an additional day for every holiday on a Saturday but my husband is unable to take full advantage of the holiday time he already had=s so that doesn't help much.
Holidays that fall on a Friday or Sunday are good as they extend the weekend. Holidays on Thursday or Monday can be fabulous if there is a 'bridge', ie the employer decided that bringing the workers in for only a half day on Friday or Sunday is not worthwhile, resulting in a 3 day weekend!
For those of you wondering what the heck I mean by half days - In Judaism a day starts at sunset. On holidays and Shabbat after a quick trip to the synagogue, we return home to a festive meal. Because work, lighting of fire and therefore cooking is forbidden on Shabbat or religious holidays the home and the meal must be prepared before hand thus requiring that on Shabbat or holiday eve there is only a half day of work . Or rather paid work - cooking and cleaning the house seems like more than enough work to me!
But this year was neither the disappointment of a holiday on Shabbat or the joy of a 3-day weekend. This year the holidays were mid-week giving us just enough time to fit in a few days of work on either side. It became a treadmill of work, cook, holiday, work, cook, Shabbat, work cook, holiday, work, cook, Shabbat. Exhausting.
For the last few years the factory where my husband works has giving us a weekend in Tel Aviv as a 'birhtday present.'
We would ensure that we were booked for the same weekend as his friends and I soon had made great friendships with the wives.
This year they chose to oofer us a contribution towards any holiday we chose. Some poeple went their own way but a large group of us decided we wanted to be together. Someone organised a deal with a family hotel and everyone booked.
We will be about 30 couples plus children.
So tomorrow, no today, we are leaving the house at 5am to drive to Eilat.