*Republished from the November / December 2017 issue of The Kayseean
By Alexander Choyce
Christmas, a holiday that is celebrated all around the world by different people of different cultures, can be expressed in many ways. It amazes me that just one holiday can bring families together laughing, singing, and exchanging gifts.
A typical American Christmas for most is usually associated with decorating a Christmas tree, snow, listening to Christmas music, giving gifts, and leaving cookies for Santa Claus. It amazes me the distinction in which different cultures celebrate this jolly time of year.
Hanukkah is a holiday celebrated by the Jewish community. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and day starting on the 25th of the Kislev (according to the Hebrew calendar), which may occur at any time from late November to late December. During this time of year, one lights a menorah each night for thirteen days, sings special songs, eats with their family and plays with the dreidel (a spinning top).
Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration held in the United States and in other nations of West Africa. It starts on December 26 and culminates with a feast and gift-giving on January 1. Instead of lighting a Christmas tree, seven candles are lit on each Candelabra night. Each of these candles represent the seven principles of Kwanzaa.
Although each of these holidays are different they all share a common theme it is a time of happiness and spending time with family. It does not matter if one lights a Christmas tree, a Candelabra, or a plays with a dreidel- Christmas is a holiday that brings families together with one common theme: to make memories with those we love the most.