Encouragement

No place like home . . .

“Oh there’s no place like home for the Holidays . . . . ”

Unless, you want to carry your Christmas celebration to Israel and help the Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah, there is no more brilliant celebration anywhere!  Eight gifts for kids – spread out over eight days in as they light the Menorah. Personally, I think this is far more effective than heaping all the gifts under the tree on kids at once.   Because no matter how much they have, their next question seems to be:  “Is there anything else?”

No place like home for the holidays . . .  unless you want to find a Kwanzaa Celebration honoring the African-American culture.  Once again, those who understand the heart and soul of singing and drumming outshine their white brothers.    Their recitation of the African pledge, or their recap of African History, is stirring!

No place like home for the holidays . . . unless you land in Japan on New Year’s Eve, for Omisoka, the New Year’s Eve celebration.  Japanese families share dinner just before midnight, and when the clock strikes midnight, they visit shrines or temples.  Many of the homes have a cast iron bell which is ceremoniously struck 108 times to relieve or prevent human suffering.  Oh, that it were that simple!

No place like home for the holidays . . . unless you’re in France, where Christmas is known as Noel. Father Christmas Pere Noel, visits each home filling the childrens’ shoes with toys and trinkets.   And the focal point of Christmas is the Nativity Scene, which is just as it should be!

No place like home for the holidays . . .unless you are a traditionalist from Alaska. Children go caroling in the streets carrying a long pole topped by a colored star.   They carry other traditions beyond mainland, caroling with a long pole topped by a colored star. Songs sung in Aleut (the Eskimo voice) include familiar greetings:  “Gristuusaaq suu’uq,” which means “Christ is born.” The closing words, “Mnogaya leta,” means, “God grant you many years.”   Try saying those fast three times!   And bad weather or not, Alaskans’ still know how to party, with cookies, cakes, doughnuts, and good old fashioned fish pie!  At that point you may WISH you were home!

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Celebrate!

Dawn

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