As I write this, the holidays hurriedly approach, so I will be brief. I wish each and every one of you joy. I also wish ethnic beauties around the world, peace. For those of you who may be grieved, I wish you comfort. For those of you who find yourselves happy, may it last; for those who aid others, may you do so always, and may the same return to you!
For those who celebrate Christmas, remember, this holy day really is about the greatest gift, and giving. So if you'll do so, give from your heart, those are the gifts that count -- your time, your presence, and your essence. Then if you will attend sunrise or candle light service, or if you'll go to dinner with those who may be more family than friends, do it with a grateful heart. Sure, you may experience the passing sense that you don't have everything you desire, not at this time, but most often, if you ponder it, you just might recall; you do have something thing that really counts.
For those of you who celebrate Hanukkah, the festival of lights, as you gather with family and friends, don't forget to let your light shine, from within. Smile, beam lovingly on those around you, as you share latkes and the stories of old. As you gaze upon the Menorah, see yourself as the shamash the raised beautiful branch that offers light. Then re-dedicate yourself to the life principles as described in the Talmud.
For you who will observe Kwanzaa, beginning December 26th, celebrate! Don't forget that this days-long holiday was instituted to commemorate family, community, and culture. Based on the first fruits celebrations of ancient Africa, remember to focus on our great African-American legacy. As you enjoy lovingly prepared feasts and music, as you greet family and friends, handle the kinara the Kwanzaa candleholder with care, and reaffirm the Nguzo Saba The Seven Principles, thus enabling you to keep them in your heart all year long.
For all of you who will celebrate Noche de Paz, Silent Night, in a traditional or deeply spiritual way, gaze upon the nativity scene and remember the oh so wondrous gift! For those of you who will light candles or attend fireworks near midnight, I have not forgotten you, or those who will enjoy pan dulce, candy-filled Christmas bread. I wish you a Feliz Navidad y un Prospero Aņo Nuevo, a Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!
To all of you whose traditions I did not name, please don't feel slighted ... because I wish you all the same.
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