At a shabbat dinner, a couple of Chanukahs ago, someone related that one of her coworkers asked her what occured on the ninth day of Chanukah. Everyone at the table chuckled. I initially did too, but then I realized that there was a deep and important lesson to learn here.
When we gaze at the Chanukah lights for eight days, we recognize that miracles can happen, that God is in control. We spread light into our own lives and into the world. But what happens when the holiday is over? Do we still believe in miracles? Do we continue to spread light?
The real message of Chanukah is to see the miracles around us and to spread light not just for eight days, but to continue doing so everyday of our lives.
This message can be applied to all the holidays, and all special events. For example, our wedding day and the following week of sheva brachot are exciting, but the real challenge is to make everyday of our marriage equally exciting.
May we be blessed with the ability to make the ninth day as special as the first.