Kwanzaa: A Holiday for Mindfulness?
As I reflected on my knowledge of parties, holidays, joyous occasions and how they came to be, I quickly threw aside my desire to scream and rant about the inadequacy of the typical December holidays. Instead, I found myself feeling pumped up as my heart was filled with hope. After 12 years of trial and error with my own children, I was finally able to recognize a trend within our conversations after holiday times came to a close and January 2nd approached:
Good or bad, we had enjoyed being together with no work to do.
Mindful and Intentional
Over the course of 2020 and 2021, it had become very obvious to me that we would all eventually get back to real life and lose the forced “slow-down and stay home” situations the global pandemic imparted.
I love my new introvert tendencies, but my desire to create a more meaningful way of enjoying the holidays is really important. I am tired of empty commercialism and mounting debt. I want to spend time rejoicing in a way that is meaningful and allows space for me to no longer take for granted the experiences, the people, the family, the opportunities, and the community surrounding me.
With this in mind, I cycled through a few holidays and their practices in an attempt to expose my children to something more meaningful. Eventually, I really pushed myself to understand Kwanzaa despite my attitude and belief that it is a “dumb, made-up” holiday.
Aren’t they all dumb?
Honestly, since the pandemic, I had celebrated National Hot Dog Day, Coffee Day, Best Friend Day and National Hang Outside and Meet a Neighbor Day. I participated in Donut Day, Yoga Day, Flashback Friday and Hug a Cat day.
Any reason to celebrate, right?
While it is true that Kwanzaa has its origins in the U.S. in the 1960s by a man whose personal life was called into question years after his release of the holiday tenets, the 7 daily principles should not to be overshadowed by the drama. Nor should it be dismissed by social pressure to trivialize it.