Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Celebrating Differences

Over the years, we have had children with so many cultural backgrounds.  It has helped us to grow as people.  We enjoy learning the celebrations of many different ethnicities.

Tonight begins Chanukah.  My children love the lighting of the candles and the treats that come with the celebration of the lights.  We have decided that this Thursday will be the night we make doughnuts or sufganiyot.   This is their most favorite part of our traditional celebration.  They are delicious, and we only make them once a year.  We do not always make Challah bread during Chanukah, but this year the holiday season will allow us to do that as well.  Lexy is especially thankful when we make Challah and was excited when I texted that this will be happening this holidays season.

Tomorrow is the beginning of winter solstice. Many cultures celebrate the coming of the the light. Our family will participate in a dusk to dawn bonfire with food and friends.  The storytelling season is in full swing, so there will be many stories to absorb by the fire.  This is a part of our American Indian culture.

Lexy especially enjoys Kwanza and the seven principles.  Each day is dedicated to a specific principal.  They are Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith).   Much can be learned from the celebration of Kwanza, which like most holidays, ends in a feast.

Sometimes, I think my kids want to celebrate all of the holidays for the feasting.  I guess why not?  They have had so little food to enjoy in their lifetimes.  Learning to celebrate with food is a lasting love for them.  Sure, they still hoard some of the treats. Its okay.  We learned long ago that it was not the end of the world to lock up the treats, so they were there for everyone to enjoy.

Christmas is a huge blow out with lots of goodies and presents.  We rarely buy much except at Christmas.  No big back to school shopping.  No huge birthdays.  But at Christmas, there are many presents under the tree.  Candlelight church services are attended.

Blending our family traditions with others and celebrating culture is one of the blessings of foster care and adoption.  May your family enjoy their celebration this holiday season.

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