The end of the year can feel hectic no matter what you holidays you celebrate. The pace just seems a bit faster and there is always the feeling of “how is it December already?” Add to that getting ready for all the parties, feasts, cookies, presents, etc.! We hope you take some time to relax and enjoy the beauty of the season!
December is a month that is chock full of religious holidays! Let’s start with Christmas! Christmas is a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Here in the United States, we celebrate with decorated trees and cookies, the exchange of gifts and of course, Santa Claus. Traditions differ around the world, for example in Australia, you might go camping or to the beach as it is summer there or your children might leave mice pies and brandy for Father Christmas instead of cookies and milk.
Most of us have probably also heard of Hanukkah, or Chanukah, a Jewish celebration commemorating the re-dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem following the Maccabean Revolt and the miracle that took place. There was only enough oil to keep the menorah’s candles burning for one day, but miraculously the flames burned for eight nights. Today, celebrations revolve around the lighting of the menorah where another candle is added on each of the eight nights. Gifts are exchanged and traditional foods are fried in oil.
A more recent holiday is Kwanzaa which is a week-long celebration honoring African heritage in African-American culture. It was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor of Africana Studies. Activities such as feasts, dancing, poetry and music are organized around Seven Principles: Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith.
Whatever you celebrate, we hope that you enjoy the last month of the year. We would love to know more about what your family traditions are during this festive time so drop us a note on the Bridgewater Facebook page. And if you need gift ideas, stop in and see us!