I think Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year for me. Christmas isn’t about the presents, the tree or music . It’s the time to be around loved ones, being able to spend time with your family and friends. It’s taking the time to be with the Lord as He came into the world on Christmas Day.


Other holidays are celebrated around the world such as Hanukkah. it is an eight day celebration to rededicate the temple. A menorah with 9 candles are lit each day, dreidel games are played, fried foods like latkes or deep fried jelly doughnuts are the foods of Jewish tradition .


Kwanza is also celebrated in December, it is a week-long annual celebration to honor African heritage in African-American culture. Kwanzaa has seven core principles (Nguzo Saba).  The colors of Kwanzaa are black, red and green; black for the people, red for their struggle, and green for the future and hope that comes from their struggle. Therefore there is one black candle, three red and three green candles. These are the mishumaa saba (the seven candles) and they represent the seven principles.


Many people have varied traditions such as my Italian side of the family, we eat seven fishes on Christmas Eve. Some people like singing and listening to carols, looking at festive decorations or picking out the perfect tree. Others enjoy making gingerbread houses,  counting down on an advent calendar or wreath, crafting, baking, or exchanging gifts, and watching Christmas movies.  In addition people are busy writing and mailing out holiday cards and decorating their houses.


Whatever your religion or beliefs, sharing memories with your family and friends and giving back to others who might not have what we have are the best and most important . My favorite tradition is having hot chocolate while watching Christmas movies with my mom, decorating the tree with her and making dinner with her. Traditions mean a lot to me. I feel like it brings me closer to my parents. Whichever holiday you celebrate, I wish you a joyous holiday season.


A quick reminder, don’t forget to write thank you notes for those gifts you receive.