Guest Editorial: A Spiritual Marriage of Xmas and Kwanzaa


We’ve arrived at that stage of the year where it is the best of times and/or the worst of times, depending on who you are and your position in life. This is a special period in almost every culture. In America among Christians, Christmas is basically a celebration of Christ’s Mass; it is also primarily a celebration of the birth of Jesus.

This time of year can be one of the most joyful. Christmas decorations alone are enough to lift the spirits of many people. It is also a time of giving. People, some who don’t give a second thought to charitable activities during the rest of the year, might actually be seen volunteering at food pantries or performing other altruistic deeds.

For those inclined to give gifts to loved ones, it provides an opportunity for us to actually think about each other during the process of selecting and purchasing gifts we think are appropriate.

There is a commercial side, however, to the season.

It takes money, and sometimes lots of it, to get the most out of the Christmas season. Buying gifts, decorating homes, and hosting guests can be somewhat hard on the pocketbook, especially among those who don’t have a lot of money to spare.

But to them it would be beneficial to remember that materialism is not the reason for the season…the sentiment of love and humanity is the hallmark of Christmas. What a person lacks in money can be manifested through good deeds and brotherly love. In this regard, this is a magical time.

Speaking of magical, there has been a controversial discussion about the lack of honesty parents demonstrate when they encourage their children to believe in Santa Claus. Some parents, in fact, have decided to forego that part of the Christmas experience and have told their children there is no Santa Claus!

The question is this: is there a benefit connected with what has traditionally been thought of as a harmless deception? Is it dishonest to allow our children to indulge in make-believe?

The answer to this is yes; there is something about the magic of childhood that can have repercussions in adulthood. It’s possible that children influenced by a sense of the miraculous might have a more optimistic outlook in life that might actually manifest in the will to accomplish great things as adults.

This may seem far-fetched at first glance, but in actuality, our success in life has to have a liberal sprinkling of optimism, of the possibility that we can demonstrate great accomplishments in striving for our goals. The magic of childhood has no bounds, especially as the utilization of the imagination plays an important part.

As adults, this imagination can broaden our horizons and allow us the luxury to expect the impossible. It is what can make one person believe he or she can conquer space or populate the planets. It can make a budding artist chart new and fantastic courses in the pursuit of a global career. It is what can help us all manifest our dreams. In essence, the practice we gain during childhood forays into the world of make-believe has benefits that can follow us throughout life!

With that said, it would be prudent to discuss a few additional things that can enhance our lives.

Kwanzaa, the celebration of the Nguzo Saba, (the Seven Principles), is an African American holiday observed starting the day after Christmas and continuing through January 1. The Seven Principles are: Umoja, Unity; Kujichagulia, Self-Determination; Ujima, Collective Work and Responsibility; Ujamaa, Cooperative Economics; Nia, Purpose; Kuumba, Creativity; and Imani, Faith.

As we embark upon this special time of the year, it would be prudent to consider how beneficial the merging of the Seven Principles with the spirit of Christmas can be. In actuality, they fit together nicely. If we utilize them in the spirit of the season, it might help us realize our dreams. A Luta Continua.

Reprinted from the Chicago Crusader.

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