By: J. Chevont’e Alexander
Hang all the mistletoe
I’m gonna get to know you better this Christmas
And as we trim the tree
How much fun it’s gonna be together this Christmas
Fireside is blazing bright
And we’re carolin’ through the night
And this Christmas will be
A very special Christmas for you and me
“This Christmas” – The Temptations
This time of year is always special. Children are making their lists and checking them twice; familiar bells are ringing outside of retail stores; houses and yards are adorned with lights; the Sunday ads are getting thicker with holiday specials; egg nog is a grocery list item; and the holiday spirit is definitely in the air. The holiday season means something different for everyone, and Urban Views Weekly asked its readers, “What does this holiday season mean to you and what are you most looking forward to?”
My family uses the holidays as a time to reset from the demands of day-to-day life. We swap stories, as we reminisce the day away with hugs, memories, and home-cooked goodies, never forgetting just how blessed we are.
A Holiday Tradition that my family and I have always done is to have Christmas brunch and then have gifts distributed by my mother, and only my mother. She and my Father will make a brunch feast and then we will go into the living room to open gifts. I love this time with my family to joke, laugh, and guess what “Santa” brought, but also hope to start traditions of my own one-day with my future children.
Taryn Laster-Whitehead, Washington D.C., Founder, ANNJANELIVING
My husband and I began a new tradition last year. After spending the early part of the day with our mothers, we went to Cine Bistro for dinner and a movie. It was nice having some couple time on such a busy day and we were surprised how many other couples were there.
Sabrina Hamilton Adams
Every year after thanksgiving dinner we put the tree up, and on Christmas morning my son and hubby cook breakfast for everyone. I have 5 grown children and 6 grandchildren; it is never a dull moment at our house.
Erica Higdon, Baltimore, MD
One of our Christmas traditions is that my siblings, their kids and I come together every year to decorate my mom’s tree. She still has ornaments from when we were kids. We listen to all of the soulful Christmas carols and have a great time!
I started a couple of things last year with my daughter that I hope to keep up through the years. The first is making Christmas cookies on Christmas Eve. She had a blast rolling out the dough and cutting out all the shapes. The second is Christmas pajamas. She got to open one gift on Christmas Eve and it would be Christmas pajamas and other goodies like popcorn and hot chocolate to have while we watch a Christmas movie.
Anike Clark McKoy
Our family celebrates with Christmas breakfast. Everyone forms a circle and state for what they are thankful. Afterwards, the adults swap names with adults and children with children for the gift exchange.
Kwanzaa has been celebrated in my family as a time of cultural reaffirmation; traditionally we have celebrated with my family members in New York City. As a little girl, I can remember gathering at my family’s house to celebrate the seven principles known as the Ngzuzo Saba. There would be tons of food, fellowship, dancing and fun. As an adult, we STILL gather and teach the young! We also attend an annual Kwanzaa event at the World Famous Apollo Theater and take all the women in our family, from the youngest to the eldest. With today’s modern technology, and for those that may have moved away, my Auntie, who’s one of the matriarchs of the family, will send out a mass text starting on the first day of Kwanzaa until the last day asking “Habari Gani” (which means What’s the News?), and whether you are 5 or 50 you better be able to recite verbatim what the principle of the day was. Holidays for me are all about family. I come from a lineage of Strong, African women. They believe that the old shall teach the young along with the concept of family first. They also teach principles that allow you to be true to yourself no matter what else is happening around you. I am because they were!
Because we are strong women,
born of strong women,
who are born of strong women,
we celebrate your strength.
Excerpt from “We Speak Your Name” by Pearl Cleage
On behalf of the Urban Views Weekly team and family, we wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!