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Kwanzaa: A Made Up Holiday

I love Christmas but did you know that it is highly unlikely that Jesus was born in December, or the celebration we have come to know as Christmas is likely tied to a pagan celebration of the winter solstice. Actually, the celebration of birthdays was a pagan event. The church believed that it was most appropriate to celebrate a martyr’s death, since that was their true date of importance, hence why Jesus’ death should be of greater importance and celebration than his birth.

I do not wish to damper your Christmas joy. As I sit here with my belly full and my heart warm from the family interactions and love, which are magnified on this day, I have to acknowledge that I love Christmas and it is a made up holiday.

Yes, Christ was born, lived, died and rose again on the third day. I do believe that, but that faith has nothing to do with the Christmas celebration. The celebration of Christmas is a made up event tied to many things that have nothing to do with Christ, his birth or his life.

Why do I tell you this? Tomorrow starts the celebration of Kwanzaa. Every year as I share the principles of Kwanzaa I get messages asking how could I, a Christian, celebrate a made up holiday and my reply is “I saw your posts on social media, you just finished celebrating a made up holiday. So, the act of celebrating a made up holiday aligns with your values is not foreign to you.”

Kwanzaa is a celebration of family, community and culture founded in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga as his response to the Watts riots. Though started in the African-American tradition, the celebration of Kwanza is open to any and everyone that wishes to embrace its 7 principles or Nguzo Saba. The principles include:

  • Umoja: Unity. To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.

  • Kujichagulia: Self-Determination: ...

  • Ujima: Collective Work and Responsibility. ...

  • Ujamaa: Cooperative Economics. ...

  • Nia: Purpose. ...

  • Kuumba: Creativity. ...

  • Imani: Faith.

Each day I will post a message for the different principles of Kwanzaa.

Merry Christmas and Happy Kwanzaa

Habari Gani


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