Do You or Don't You?

I was going to post one of those corny little survey things here, but I figured why not just come out and ask:

1. Does your family celebrate Kwanzaa?

2. If so, how much (or how little) of the holiday do you participate in?

3. If you choose not to, why not?

Comments will be included in the upcoming series,

"Kwanzaa 101: For Folks Who Can't Spell Kujichagulia But Think It's Probably Time They Learn How "

Thank you!


Nerd Girl said...

Whoo-hoo! I'm first. Okay, now that I'm finished with that . . .

1. My family (father, mother, siblings) has celebrated Kwanzaa for as long as I can remember. As long as Smoochy and I have been married, we are usually in CA for the holidays, but on the few occasions we've been here, I'll do a celebration here at the house.

2. We - light the candles on the kinara, explain each day's principle and how we can apply it to our daily lives, set out the table setting (kinara, unity cup, mat and ears of corn) and exchange gifts (books) on the 1st. One of the year's that we were here at home, we had folks over for a feast on the 1st as well. I may do it again this year . . . Oh, and when we are in CA, we go to the Kwanzaa festival/parade in Lemiert(sp) Park.

As a kid I really hated it - I thought it made us too different and "weird", now I relish it and look forward to passing the tradition down to Lovegirl and any other children we may have.


Anonymous said...

My family celebrated Kwanzaa for years, and then we stopped. In all the holiday bustle it was hard for me to keep it going for the whole seven days, and I was the official Kwanzaa facilitator for us. When we did celebrate we had magical moments, and pretty mudane ones. It was always what we made it. Frankly, nobody here seems to miss it, which may be a sad commentary on us.

I think whatever you do it should kind of organically arise out of who you are. I beat the Kwanzaa drum for years when no one else I knew did. If I decided to do it again, I'd dust off my kinara once again, and have at it.

I think it's more important to be authentic. Do what you love. That makes the best traditions.

Happy Holidays!

Keith said...

I am very much looking forward to the Kwanzaa series. My wife and I want to celebrate it this year for the first time now that my boy is 3. Now I know who to go to for advice (you!).

Aly Cat 121 said...

1. yes (since the days when Maulana Karanga used to be Ron) LOL
2. the entire 7 days complete with decor, including family gatherings with food, family, friends, wine, pouring libations, saying prays, etc. etc.
3. N/A, see #2

Christopher Chambers said...

1. not really
2. see #1
3. It seemed like a contrived holiday, something remedial and "feel good" from the radical/Black Power 60s (Lord I sound like the right wing phoneys, Toms and faith-based grant $ pimping preachers on Shay's blog), and now it seems co-opted, misinterpreted and trivialized by white people/corporate America/the "media". Indeed, I have neighbors--educated whitefolks who are government managers, fellow writers, professionals, etc. who think it's something like Christmas or Ramadan or thousands of years old. They ask us if we put up decorations and if the baby will celebrate both like kids in mixed religious households!

Don't hate me. Perhaps I'm sounding like a codger because I'm over 40. My sister is much more into it and my brother plain rejects it. My mom, when she was alive, considered it a joke (and she knew a mess of Panthers et al when I was a little boy). I'm already saturated by Christmas; I don't I'd be able to handle another holiday.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

I never met anyone celebrating Kwamzaa until I moved to the West Coast. Is this holiday more popular out here? I did read up on it and like what it stands for, but it's not something I grew up with.

I'm 40 and my parents are from the Caribbean. I don't celebrate Kwanzaa and don't plan to. After all none of my African friends do. Come to think of it I don't have a single friend who celebrates it (and they live all over, East coast, The South, the Islands, and the UK) Maybe it's a generation thing as well?

Some younger people I know send me Kwanzaa cards but none of the over 35s.

It bad enough Christmas is so commercialized and now corporate America is latching on to Kwanzaa. To me Christmas is about family traditions. I will spending Christmas again in the Islands. I don't think I have even seen a Kwanzaa card there.