Year after year I tell myself that I will celebrate Kwanzaa. Life happens and I don’t quite make it. Well, this year is different. In 2017 I am practicing Kwanzaa. I use the term “practice” because according to the creator of the holiday – Dr. Maulana Karenga – Kwanzaa is designed to help us
“…be engaged as an ancient and living cultural tradition which reflects the best of African thought and practice in its reaffirmation of the dignity of the human person in community and culture, the well-being of family and community, the integrity of the environment and our kinship with it, and the rich resource and meaning of a people’s culture.”
Much like my love for yoga, it is a practice. It is ongoing – a journey and so this year I accept the fact that our celebration will become more and more rich each year. These principles designed to be applied daily beginning December 26 through January 1 each year are beautiful principles that (in my opinion) should be practiced all year round.
I was particularly committed to celebrate this year after learning more and more about Christmas. Knowledge is a beautiful thing, but it can be down right sad the more you know. I understand why some people purposely choose to be ignorant.
I will simply summarize it by saying this – According to the a number of texts (including the Bible), Jesus was not born on December 25th. Now, I have some more reading to do, but this messed me up. The more I dug into it the sadder I became. I still enjoyed time with my family, gift exchanges and the holiday decor, but it just wasn’t the same.
Day 1 – Umoja
Also described as unity, we practiced Umoja by having a family game night last night. I played a board game with our four-year-old and my husband and I played Connect 4 with our fifteen year old. He is a champ at that game and has been beating grown men since the age of six. And uhhh…he’s still the champ. My husband and I beat him one time only.
It felt great to laugh with my guys. We spend so much time in our separate corners of the house that this togetherness made my heart smile. Family is so important and we should be spending more time together laughing and enjoying one another.