While the holidays greet us with desserts, vacation days, and gifts, don’t forget to dig up a bit of history to share with the little ones concerning this mirthful time of year. It seems Fort Worth is in a constant party from early October, to the first week in January every holiday season. Partying it up with food, presents, and music are great ways to enrich your life, but have you ever taken a moment to think about how any of these traditions were started? For example, why do we hang Christmas wreaths, use Advent Calendars, or display the Kinara during this time of year?
All children depend on their parents to be their first and most influential teachers; therefore parents, brush off your thinking caps, dictionaries, and give Facebook a rest. Use your memory, books, and internet to give your offspring the gift of holiday knowledge. Don’t limit them to knowledge about their own practices; help them explore the world outside of themselves. Certainly traveling to far away places to experience these traditions is the most ideal enrichment tool, but don’t discount the power of the pen. A book can take you thousands of miles away, and offer information beyond measure. So Cowtown, in between online shopping, lunches at Yucatan Taco Stand, and movies on 7th, pick up a book and explore the history of holiday traditions.
Below are a few titles that will allow you to explore holiday traditions with your family. These and many other customs can be explored online at Amazon.com, or at your local library or bookstore.
My Muslim Year (A Year of Religious Festivals)
by: Cath Senker
Light the Candles: A Hanukkah Lift-the-Flap Book
by: Joan Holub
My First Kwanzaa
by: Karen Katz
The Jesse Tree: Stories and Symbols of Advent
by: Raymond Anderson
Chinese New Year
Happy, Happy Chinese New Year!
“Nutcracker” Nation: How An Old World Ballet Became a Christmas Tradition in the New World
by: Jennifer Fisher
Side note: Have you ever found yourself mumbling through the lyrics of Auld Lang Syne? Such a lovely tune, but does anyone know the words anymore? I charge you to look up the history of this old Scottish poem, learn the lyrics, and belt them out this New Year’s Eve!