All Articles Tagged "holiday"
Ten months after her son was killed, Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother, says she’s ready for justice to be served in 2013. She spoke with ESSENCE.com about her first holiday season without Trayvon, her thoughts on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, and her hopes for 2013:
This year has been bittersweet. The bitter part is that I lost my baby boy. The sweet part has been the show of support that we have received from our community and from the world. We are thankful.
This is our first holiday season without Trayvon, and I have to admit, I’m having a difficult time. I’m an emotional rollercoaster. Trayvon loved the holidays, especially Christmas and Thanksgiving. He always looked forward to those holidays. But while I am sad I’m reminded that I have another son that I’m trying to help get through not having his younger brother around.
Sybrina continues to ve a very strong woman. You can read the rest of the touching message over at ESSENCE.
Don’t you love that quiet lull the office falls into between Christmas and New Year’s Day? With clients and coworkers traveling for the holidays, the workplace can feel like an adult version of Home Alone. But, there are better things to do with your downtime than playing Facebook games or building towers out of office supplies with your cubicle mates. This is the perfect time of year to gain perspective on 2012, and get focused for the New Year. Follow these steps to make sure your mind is right for 2013.
December is a time of year that brings great joy and stress and credit card bills. But it is also a the time of year when a certain type of article pops up on blogs and websites, one that always kind of frustrates me because it seems unnecessary – the ambivalent Kwanzaa article, evidenced here, and here. Typically a lapsed Kwanzaan will reflect on not participating anymore, or someone brings up the fact that it’s just not relevant anymore. For a long time I had a similarly sideways attitude towards the holiday, ‘its made up!’ ‘its corny!’ ‘why do I have to do all this learning when I could be opening real presents?’ being the biggest complaints I had. Really though, Kwanzaa isn’t that terrible.
Kwanzaa doesn’t have ancient clout behind it like Christmas or Hanukkah. It’s not wry or funny like Festivus. According to History.com: “Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor and chairman of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach, created Kwanzaa in 1966. After the Watts riots in Los Angeles, Dr. Karenga searched for ways to bring African-Americans together as a community.” That’s kind of intense. As much as people complain about what we do or don’t do as African Americans, after a period that was no doubt painful for his community, a professor struck out and tried to make a difference. Whether or not Karenga was ethnographically sound or successful has yet to be determined, but at least he tried. Who else do you know that is trying to initiate a cultural movement to solve a community’s ills?
To be fair, I was not a fan of Kwanzaa from ages 12-26. Why? Because my mother insisted we celebrate. I love her dearly, but she’s kind of a hippy. Kwanzaa time brings up memories of ill-fitting dashikis and kente cloth wraps, straw mats, African fashion shows at church, and harvest festivals for me. My mother dragged me and my siblings to all of those events, most likely because she wanted us to grow up with a sense of who we were as African descended people. Granted, her knowledge of what that meant was limited, but living in central Virginia meant that learning more would mean being extremely proactive in seeking out whatever information you could find. So I appreciated her dedication to informing our experiences outside of those that we knew of (working and middle class country black folks).
I don’t think the made-up-ness of the holiday makes people feel any better about it, but a lot of things we do are made up. Traditions and cultures begin when people start them, and there’s nothing wrong with trying to start something positive that uplifts people. The principles Umoja (Unity) Kugijaculia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kumbaa (Creativity) and Imani (Faith) are all wonderful tenets to aspire to and live by. Also, they are lots of fun to say – ‘Kugijaculia’ has a way of rolling off the tongue.
I get it. Kwanzaa is a legit history-lesson-wrapped up into a holiday, and let’s keep it real, history lessons and values are not something that are easily digested in a culture that relies on consumer spending to keep the economy afloat. But the fact that Festivus, which was made up by an imaginary character on Seinfeld, can get so much love is funny to me when Kwanzaa was a pioneer of the ‘anti-materialistic’ holiday movement. You learn lessons and connect with your community. You give gifts of books (which clearly I am biased about, lol). You learn Swahili. These things are not awful. They actually make for pretty cool family memories if you’re down for that sort of thing. So why won’t people let Kwanzaa be great?
T. Hall is a intellignorant writer based in northern Virginia. She tries not to take herself too seriously, and blogs about original fiction, books and life at DopeReads.com.
Dear Single Sistas,
I’m writing this letter to my Single Sistas who may be feeling down in the dumps during this Christmas season because they don’t have a mate to exchange gifts with or spend quality holiday time with. This letter also goes out to those who may feel extremely lonely during this season because they are fresh out of a relationship and this is your first time without a significant other. I’m writing this letter to encourage you to celebrate this holiday season in your season of singleness, and see and embrace the beauty that it is. I know many of you may be saying or thinking that you enjoy the holiday season with friends and family, but it would be nice to have a special man in your life to exchange a kiss or two under the mistletoe with, or exchange a kiss at midnight with at the beginning of a New Year. While I agree with you, I want to encourage you to find different ways to enjoy the holiday season while you’re single. One of the things you can do this season is volunteer at a shelter, or soup kitchen. Not only will this gesture help someone else, but it will make you see how blessed you are for the things you have and make you forget about not having a mate (at least for the moment).
Another thing you can do is spend the extra money you would have spent on a gift for your mate on yourself! Treat yourself to something extremely special and out of the ordinary and place it under your tree addressed to you from you! You can also spend that extra money on a weekend getaway for yourself, or start a new savings account to ring in the New Year. Another thing you can do during your single holiday is spend time reflecting on what the holiday season really means. So many people get caught up in the commercialization of the holidays that they have the tendency to forget what they are truly designed to be about…Thankfulness. One more thing you can do during this holiday season of singleness is actually just enjoy the fact that you are single! While spending time with friends and family is a wonderful thing, it’s also a wonderful thing to have quiet time for self-reflection.
Look back and reflect on your accomplishments, the good times you had this year, and focus on new beginnings and how you will be the best single woman you can be until the time comes for your season of singleness to end. I know it’s hard when you see and hear of friends getting engaged on Christmas or at midnight on New Year’s Eve, and you find yourself waning the same thing. I also know it’s hard to see the lavish gifts from a friend’s significant other too, but I encourage you to stay positive and grateful for all you have because your time will come when the time is right. Don’t be down this holiday season. Lift your heads and hearts because your/our season of singleness is a gift that’s not only given once a year, but all year round if you allow it to be the gift that it is, because the truth of the matter is, I’d rather be a single woman happy and enjoying my holiday without a relationship, rather than being a woman in a relationship, yet still single and more alone than you think during every season of the year. So I say to all of you, enjoy this and every holiday season in your season of singleness because there may come a time in your life when you wish you had done so. Enjoy being single, and appreciate it for what it is.
Sincerely, Your Single Sistah,
LizLiz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin.
About This Episode
Looking for ideas when decorating your home for the holidays this season? The Home Savvy team has you covered!
Find out how the Home Depot is your one stop shop for the holidays this season, and answer our Question of the Week for your chance to win a $100 gift card to the Home Depot!
- Martha Stewart Living 7.5 ft. LED Pre-Lit Frasier Fir Artificial Christmas Tree / SKU #525059
- Martha Stewart Living Winterberry Collection of Red, Gold, Brown, and Pearl Ornaments (100-Set) / Internet # 203458253
- Home Accents Holiday 12 in. Red African American Fabric Angel Tree Topper / Internet #202836738
- Home Decorators Collection 52 in. Red Deluxe Velvet Christmas Tree Skirt / Internet #203696231
- Home Decorators Collection 19 in. H Red Quilted and Beaded Satin Stocking / Internet # 203695017
- Home Accents Holiday Embossed Hanging Bells Ornament / Store SKU # 797817
Transform The Interior Of Your Home For The Holidays With These Chic Tips!
For The Family Room, Home Depot Offers A Wide Variety Of Pre-Lit Christmas Trees. The Martha Stewart Living 7.5 FT Pre- Lit Frasier LED Artificial Christmas Tree is a Superb Option, As There Are No Cords Or Strings To Contend With.
Home Depot Offers A Wide Assortment Of Specialty Ornaments For The Tree Topper.
The Home Depot Offers The Martha Stewart Living Christmas Collections, Each With It’s Special Style Of Table Top Décor, Reeves, Ornaments & More. Simply Match Up The Icons On The Packaging To Take The Guess Work Out Of Decorating.
Your Staircase Banister Is A Great Place To Show Your Holiday Spirit & Be Creative! Garlands Are Very Easy To Install. Simply Place Garland Along Banister & Wrap The Wire Around It.
Supporting Areas Such As The Windows & Mantels Allow Your Personality To Shine By Adding All Kinds Of Fun Ornaments!
WANT MORE HOME SAVVY? WATCH THESE EPISODES:
- Episode 1: How to Install a Bathroom Vanity
- Episode 2: How to Install a Bathroom Faucet
- Episode 3: How to Save Money on Your Home Energy Bills
- Episode 4: Home Decor Tips
- Episode 5: How To Decorate For The Holidays
- Episode 1: Creating a Container Garden
- Episode 2: How to Grow Vegetables at Home
- Episode 3: Interior Painting
- Episode 4: Closet Makeover
- Episode 5: Kitchen Backsplash
I remember the last Father’s Day that my dad was alive.
It was three years ago. I had just graduated from college and was visiting my mom in Atlanta for the week. Before I left, I had bought my dad two Father’s Day cards. I love cards and he did too so, every year, I would take a significant amount of time searching for a funny one and a serious one. That year was no different and I found two perfect cards. In the hustle of trying to get out of the house and drive down to Atlanta in time for the Atlanta Greek Picnic, I didn’t get a chance to give my dad the cards. That’s okay, I told myself, I’ll give them to him when I get back. And off I went down South. A few days later, on Father’s Day, I called my dad to wish him a great one and thank him for the emergency money he had wired me the day before. The next day, I thought to myself that I should call him but it was late, so I decided I’d call him tomorrow.
The next morning, he was killed in a murder-suicide.
In the hurricane of emotions and activity that followed, I kept thinking about those Father’s Day cards sitting on my dresser unsigned and never given to him.
As if I were not suffering enough, those cards tortured me. They served as a sobering reminder that tomorrow is not promised and if you have a silly card to give to someone, give it to them — even if it means missing a sorority stroll at a picnic. Of course, I realize they were just cards, but they represented everything I lost on that devastating morning. They represented the words never uttered, a thankful spirit never expressed and the fact that I would never have a father again.
I was a fortunate one, I guess, considering some of the stories I’ve heard about people not even knowing who their father is. Even though my parents divorced when I was ten, my dad was a big part of my life growing up. My mother and I moved to Atlanta while I was in high school, but I ended up moving back to my hometown and into his house during my Senior year. Then, I attended college about 90 minutes away, so I was home all the time. He was there to lecture me about finances, attend school events, financially support me, and keep me sufficiently nervous about my choices in men.
When he died, a friend reminded me that I was a “lucky one” to have had a true father in my life for 23 years, but still I was utterly devastated that he wouldn’t be there for the next 23 and the 23 after that. It’s still sad to think that he isn’t here today to see how I turned out (and am still turning out). It’s especially sad around Father’s Day.
It’s weird, because I swear this country has turned up the festivities on this Hallmark holiday like none other since he passed. I’m sure that’s not the case and it just seems like that because I’m on the other side. Still, I’ve determined that this year I will still celebrate Dad’s Day despite not having a dad. I will be glad for the memories I have and celebrate the dads who are still creating memories with their kids.
Fathers get a bad rap in this country because of the many who have abandoned their kids. That’s not every dad though. Sure the statistics are dismal, but even if 50 percent of kids are living without a dad present, there are still 50 percent who have their dad there in their lives every single day. Then there are other kids who have a stepfather, grandfather, cousin, uncle or brother who have selflessly stepped up to the plate and been a father to a child who otherwise wouldn’t have one. I was already an adult when I lost my dad, but I am still thankful for my stepdad, my father-in-law and my father God in heaven. All whom serve as a daily reminder that I am not “fatherless”. That’s definitely something to celebrate this weekend.
I may even buy someone a card.
Alissa Henry is a freelance writer living in Columbus, OH. Follow her on Twitter @AlissaInPink or check out her blog: This Cannot Be My Life
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Arizona is such a special state. On Monday, Rep. Richard Miranda spoke on the House floor and proposed an idea for a Latino American day in the state. After much debate, fellow representative Cecil Ash stepped up to the mic to let Miranda know he agreed with his idea—but when the tables are turned, he wants to make sure white folks get their own holiday too.
“I’m supportive of this proposition. I just want them to assure me that when we do become in the minority you’ll have a day for us,” he said.
After receiving responses that varied from “crazy idea” to “we need something for whites,” Rep. Ash claimed he was just trying to lighten the mood—although he wasn’t joking about the suggestion.
“Yes, I think it was appropriate. It was appropriate for the mood that was in the House and I think that if and when the Caucasian population becomes a minority, they may want to celebrate the accomplishments and the contributions of the Caucasian population the same way,” he said, adding that the accomplishments of great people should be celebrated no matter their ethnic background.
Every so often these idiots come along with this suggestion and luckily it never goes further than the group of fools who bring it up. It would be silly to think that when white people become the technical minority in 2042 they still won’t have the top spot in society, but you can’t deny that thinking white people better live it up until then is a nice thought.
Rep. Ash just needs to let it go, white accomplishments are shoved down are throats every day in history books and on the news. Like they always say when this discussion comes up: Every day is a holiday for white people.
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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As many shoppers know, the days leading up to Christmas is reserved for shopping for loved ones, but the day after Christmas is a day to do some personal shopping.
With most people still at home enjoying the holiday season, Reuters and businesses alike expect that this “Mega Monday” will see the third biggest shopping day of the holiday season. The day falls right behind Black Friday and Friday, December 23.
This year Christmas came on the warm side for many across the nation, another reason to be out and about on the day after Christmas. For retailers it also means less of a sale in winter clothing and accessories.
Many people will be cashing in on their store gift cards while others says that it’s worth waking up early to take part in the 60 and 70 percent discount advertisements.
According to ShopperTrak, shoppers may do up to 60 percent more shopping this December 26 than last year’s date.
“It was a stampede at 8 a.m.,” shopper Sarah Klein said to Reuters.
Consumer spending has been up this holiday season, although less than expected. Americans are more optimistic about the economy and a poll by Consumer Reports observes that four in 10 Americans plan to do a bit of shopping over the next few days.
Although people may be out in the malls, not all of them are there to shop and spend money. Despite the allure of additional discounts, this year Americans are also returning purchases in record numbers. CNN Money reports that shoppers have returned about $46.28 billion worth of holiday merchandise.
Christmas is in less than two weeks! We are gathering last minute gift guides in case you haven’t scratched everyone off your list. If you’re still stomped on what to get the makeup maven or beauty beginner in your life, then try a holiday gift set from Sephora. Chris, a Sephora Beauty Guru, helped me compile a list of the best sets that work well for women of color.
Although he notes that when it comes to makeup, excluding foundations of course, it doesn’t matter what race or color you are. “Makeup is makeup. While you might need a really good primer with some eyeshadows, we [African-Americans] can wear anything in the store. It just depends on preference. Some women won’t wear lots of color. They go for more neutrals….and some will wear it all. It’s really all about preference.”
I also surveyed Sephora customers about their thoughts on Chris’s picks. Last minute shoppers, this one’s for you…
It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but for many Christmas turns out to be the most stressful. On Saturday, an ex-NYPD cop snapped under the financial pressures of the holidays after buying his wife a Louis Vuitton handbag for Christmas. When the couple got into a heated argument about money, Clarence Cash, 49, shot and killed his wife.
According to the NY Post, Cash, calmly told officers, “I just shot my wife,” after allegedly firing 10 bullets into Tracey Young, 42, in their Queens Condo. Young was a top tax investigator who specialized in busting tobacco smugglers. Cash detailed the whole act to cops, saying he shot his wife three times in the face, adding, “My wife, she didn’t deserve that.’’
Cash reportedly went completely over the edge when in the midst of their financial argument, he punched Young and she threatened to leave him. Neighbors admitted that they heard the couple arguing, then loud bangs — but no one called the cops, despite suspected gunfire.
After the incident around 10:30 pm, Cash told cops he wandered the city for more than seven hours trying to work up the nerve to commit suicide. Eventually, he turned himself in around 6 am yesterday, handing over two handguns.
Cash, who supposedly appeared remorseful, was charged with first-degree murder and remanded without bail. Because he is an ex-cop, his lawyer asked that he be placed in protective custody at Rikers.
Neighbors said the couple, who was married a few years ago and had no kids, was last seen arriving home in Cash’s black Mercedes at about 9 pm Saturday.
“They seemed fine when they got on the elevator,” one neighbor said.
Building resident Maple Dong, 28, said Young had recently told her Cash “bought a lot of gifts for her for Christmas,” including the handbag.
“She said, ‘I asked for it, and he bought it for me,’ ” Dong said.
But apparently Cash couldn’t really afford it. According to public records, he’d been hit with federal tax liens, multiple civil judgments, and warrants from New York State for failing to pay back taxes dating to at least 1998.
In sad irony, Young’s own mother was murdered by a lover when she was just a child, a neighbor said.
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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