Saturday, December 10, 2011

Why I Don't Mind Saying HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

I've seen it quite a bit lately: "returning to the traditional greeting of "Merry Christmas" instead of the politically correct "Happy Holidays". Or "Because I am CHRISTian, I'm going to have a merry CHRISTmas." REALLY PEOPLE? The HOLIDAY SEASON starts At Thanksgiving and ends after the first week of January. And if we are to love one another as God loves us, wouldn't that include those who believe differently than ourselves?

I am Christian. YES, Mormon's aka LDS/Latter Day Saints are Christians.


But I also love the story of Hanukkah. I bet most people don't know what Hanukkah is and why it's celebrated. Hanukkah means "DEDICATION." It serves as a reminder of how Jewish resistance claimed back their temple from Syrian-Greeks who declared the observance of Judaism an offense punishable by death. They forced the Jewish to eat pork and bow down and worship their Greek Gods or be put to death. After much death Jewish resistance began in the village and eventually The Jewish people were victorious. They reclaimed their temple and rededicated it to the God we all worship today.

The name Hanukkah reminds us that this holiday commemorates the re-dedication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem following the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greeks.

Jewish troops were determined to purify the Temple by burning ritual oil in the Temple’s menorah for eight days. But there was only one day's worth of oil. They lit up anyway and the miracle is the oil lasted Eight full days.

It is celebrated with a Festival of lights or the Lighting of the Menorah.
Some of their Traditions are quite fun. One tradition I can truly bet into is the tradition of eating fried foods:

Latkes, are pancakes made out of potatoes and onions, which are fried in oil.



Or Fried Donuts dusted in powdered Sugar.


I would not think to discount, discredit or disrespect this Holiday. To do so would defile the sacredness of their beliefs and also the beliefs of Jesus Christ, who was a Jew as well.

Kwanzaa was not meant to be an ALTERNATIVE to Christmas as first believed. Kwanzaa is a Celebration of Family, Community, and Culture. Therefore it is not a religious holiday, but more of a cultural recognition.
There are 7 Principle to African Heritage which are really quite beautiful once you understand them.


Umoja meaning UNITY: To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.

Kujichagulia meaning SELF-DETERMINATION: To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves stand up

.
Ujima meaning COLLECTIVE WORK AND RESPONSIBILITY: To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems, and to solve them together.

Ujamaa meaning FAMILY: The belief in family and general communal understanding.

Nia meaning PURPOSE: To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

Kuumba meaning CREATIVITY: To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

Imani meaning FAITH: To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
Part of the Kwanzaa celebration entails the displaying of the symbols:
A mat, 1 ear of corn for each child, the kinara that holds the 7 candles that represent the seven principles, fruits, nuts and vegetables that nourished the people of Africa, a unity cup shared by those who are celebrating and gifts.



The gifts should be traditionally cultural, hand made and educational. Given typically January 1st. The celebratory Colors of this Holiday are green, black and red. Green is for the fertile land of Africa; black is for the color of the people; and red is the for the blood that is shed in the struggle for freedom.


The foods enjoyed at the Kuramu are Sweet potatoes, collard greens, various nuts. Wild Turkey or chicken.


Why on earth would I not appreciate or respect anyone, regardless of culture, color or race who wants to focus on and represent the 7 principles of African Heritage?

You don't have to be Black to implement some of these things into your own lives. Just like Celebrating the Miracle of one days worth of oil burning for 8 days.

I find it funny that more people find offense in the Saying of "HAPPY HOLIDAY" than they do with the commercialism. What would the holidays really be like if we spent even half of the time we Shop for learning about the life of Jesus and not just his birth? What if we took one Christmas every two or three years, didn't purchase gifts for our families, and spent the holidays volunteering at shelter feeding the hungry and homeless, or donating the hundreds of dollars we spend on each other to a worthy community cause? What if, instead of buying gift for the family, we spent the year learning what Jesus is all about and then practiced it with our families. In the long run that's really the gifts Jesus asks of us. I've heard parents say..."Well I have to give them something under the tree!" I say WHY? Because they'll be disappointed if not? Because they'll cry and not have anything to show their friends? SO WHAT? It's ONE Christmas out of dozens they will most likely have. Use that time to teach them about real gifts of the world: Food, Shelter, Clothing. Sharing with others who won't have anything. I promise you it will only take a couple of these Christmas's for them to GET IT. And it will cut down generations of overspending for the holidays just to give and get tangible gift that will only be taken for granted, forgotten about, lost, broken, or to have more accessories that need to be purchased.
There's a Reason My Favorite Christmas Carol is "WHAT CHILD IS THIS?"


IF someone were to ask you about baby Jesus, "WHAT CHILD IS THIS?" How would you answer them?
Before you go around Saying... "I'm a Christian. I believe in Christ, so I'm just gonna say "MERRY CHRISTMAS." Spend some time learning about the Life of Christ. Saying Merry Christmas is not what makes you Christian. The way we act and treat each other is what will inevitably reveal us at Christians. I really don't think GOD or JESUS CHRIST care if we it or Happy Holidays. I do think it matters if we claim to be something we have no idea how to be it.
Really think about what you want your families to get out of this time of year. Then spend next year teaching and living it so they will be prepared to be Christlike next holiday season.
I'm not saying there's anything wrong with Saying Merry Christmas. Or Happy Hanukkah. OR Happy Kwanzaa or any of the other greetings we hear this time of year. Just know when I Say HAPPY HOLIDAYS, I'm speaking of all that is Good and Holy this time of year regardless of religion, culture etc.

From My Home To Yours.. HAPPY HOLY-DAYS!


4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amen!

John Peter said...

Have you read the Bible?

ShaBANG said...

Yes.

Have You?

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