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Kwanzaa and family time

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One of the lesser known winter celebrations is the celebration of Kwanzaa. The seven days of Kwanzaa will be celebrated from December 26-January 1 this year. This winter holiday was begun as a celebration that African American families honor in their homes, but the holiday is one that all families can embrace because the concepts that are part of this holiday apply to all families. The theme for 2013 is Celebrating and Living Kwanzaa-Sowing and Harvesting Seeds of Good.

The celebration of Kwanzaa is a celebration of family, community, and culture. Every family has its own culture and the principals of this family holiday can be incorporated into every family. The seven principals of this family celebration are self-determination, work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. Children can relate to these principals by being introduced with developmentally appropriate activities that parents can create for them during these seven days. The principal of responsibility comes into a child's life when the are given jobs to do around the house. The principal of cooperative economics is of particular interest in these economic times when parents are balancing the family budget. You can introduce this concept on one of the seven days by including children in a developmentally appropriate family discussion of your family's budget and introducing your child to an allowance system for themselves if they have never had an allowance. The principal of creativity can be incorporated into your family's celebration of this holiday by making crafts during a family night gathering.

The symbols and colors of this family winter holiday will intrigue children to learn more about Kwanzaa. The colors of Kwanzaa are red, green, and black. Symbols of Kwanzaa include candles, crops of fresh food, mats for a foundation in your home, com (children) a unity cup, and gifts. Gifts are also a part of this winter celebration, and the gifts are mainly for the children. Gifts for children must include a book because education is an included family value that is encouraged, and one of the heritage symbols.

The community of Sarasota has several merchants that you may find intriguing decorations for your celebration of Kwanzaa.

*Tropical Interiors Florist, Inc., located at 1303 53rd Ave. West in the Bradenton area of Sarasota, can create a beautiful floral arrangement with the colors red, green, and black for your celebration.

*The African Store at 374 St.Armand Circle in Sarasota has intriguing objects to add a cultural celebration of Kwanzaa.

*Party City with several locations in the Sarasota area has party kits with plates, napkins, invitations, and table decorations for your Kwanzaa party on the final night on the final night of this winter holiday.

Why not add this family winter holiday to your seasonal celebration this year for some quality family time and discussions of the seven principals of Kwanzaa. This may bring your family closer after incorporating the principals into your family life.

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