‘Tis the Season

Tis the Season

Corrina Marquez, Reporter

Thanksgiving is over and the Holidays are near! It’s time to string out some lights, buy some hot chocolate, and watch movies. The American winter holidays are Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa.

Hanukkah, also known as the festival of lights, starts on December 10th and ends on the evening of December 18th. Hanukkah is Hebrew for “rededication”. It celebrates the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian Army. This is significant because the Maccabees were trying to keep their faith and eventually won a hard-fought battle against a powerful enemy. Hanukkah is acknowledged by people of the Jewish faith. Hanukkah is recognized by lighting the menorah, playing the dreidel game, cooking and baking food, and exchanging gifts.

Christmas is on December 25th. It traditionally celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ but is now a secular holiday, observed by Christians and non-Christians alike. Christmas traditions usually consist of things like an advent calendar, decorating a Christmas tree, eating candy canes, drinking eggnog, gift-giving, and leaving milk and cookies out for Santa.

Kwanzaa is a commemoration of African heritage, first harvests, unity, and culture. It is observed from December 26th through January 1st. Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday, but a cultural one. It was created by Black Nationalist, Maulana Karenga. It was formed as a way to empower and unite African- Americans. On the last day of Kwanzaa, to minimize commercialism, the gifts are often homemade. If not, they are culturally themed. This holiday is celebrated by storytelling, drumming, poetry reading, and a big traditional feast: Karamu Ya Imani.

Even if you aren’t Christian, or Jewish, or African-American, you can still find meaning in the holidays. After all, they aren’t about receiving expensive things, eating your weight in candy and sweets, or even singing Christmas carols and watching movies. The holidays are about finding peace with everyone, but mostly yourself. 

Finding something special in yourself, your life, and the people that love you, will make the season magical and remind you of childlike innocence and the feeling of awe that we all have deep down. You may be feeling stressed out, alone, scared, or anxious for this year to finally be over, but let’s end it on a good note. “This is Christmas. The season of Perpetual hope” (Home Alone, the movie). You are beautiful, loved, and special in this world, and the love you give will make it that much more special. Happy Holidays and remember to use Santa-tizer!