The holidays are a wonderful time of year – no matter what holiday you celebrate. The word holiday comes from 2 words, holy days. During the holidays, especially at this time of year, we reconnect with family and friends and participate in traditions. Traditions and holidays are both important in maintaining connection with each other and passing on our family heritages. The holidays are a good time to give the gift of forgiveness to yourself and others. Check out my article and radio program on Forgiveness.
I have dear Jewish friends and family members that celebrate Hanuka. The Jews have been observing this festival of lights in celebration of the re-dedication of
Jerusalem’s temple in 164 B.C. In fact Jesus celebrated Hanukkah and other Jewish holidays.
The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated is December 25th in the year 336 A.D. during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine, the first Christian Roman Emperor. Most of the Christians around the world celebrate Christmas and of course many people celebrate the Santa Clause version of Christmas.
Around the world you will find people observing the 12 Days of Christmas – after Christmas until the 12th day known as the Three Kings Day. Many Latin countries, Día de Los Reyes is celebrated to honor the Three Wise Men and closes the Christmas festivities. It is the day they exchange gifts. We have always had an advent calendar to mark the days leading up to December 25th with candles, singing, and other occasions and in many cultures this is a common practice.
Personally, I am starting a new family tradition; adding the 12 Days of Christmas after the 25th to honor the reasons we celebrate Christmas. I hope it is a trend to bring back the 12 Days of Christmas to our local community. It is a much slower time to enjoy each other's company, ring in the new year, and thing about what is important to us.
Don’t forget that in the Asian culture, Chinese New Year is a major holiday and time to visit family and friends, have special meals, gift giving and of course fireworks. It is their most important social and economic holiday.
However you choose to celebrate, perhaps it would be a good time to introduce new family traditions or pick up some old ones. It is also a good time to start some new traditions to incorporate all year long. Here are some suggestions for you:
- Family date once a month. Many people already have a couple date night weekly, and if you don’t that is a great idea to do. It is a good time as a family to have fun and reconnect from the busy pace of life.
- Have a family game or puzzle night each week.
- Take a class together as a family or read a book together – have a family book club, especially if your family is moving away.
- Spend time each month organizing a family photo album.
- Write a family history together.
- Launch rockets or some other event.
- Take vacations or go camping each year.
- A family music/singing night.
- Create a family recipe file.
- Create a secret family handshake.
- Brunch on regular basis.
- Family service projects.
- Rent a hotel room and have a family slumber party.
- 12 Days of Christmas, after Christmas.
Here is an update for you on our family since many of our customers have become good friends and many of you keep asking. Many of you have gotten to know our kids as they have worked in our store. We are very blessed with 7 kids, lots of extended family, a wonderful community, and our dog.
- Our oldest, Daniel is working as a manager in a kitchen at a restaurant. He loves food. He also plays in different bands around his community. He is very happy.
- Angela is working on he masters in China and will be attending the United Nations conference next year. She also performs in China and teaches English. She is doing very well.
- Nicole is going to school to get a degree in Natural medicine.
- Trevor is serving a mission for our church in Taiwan and will be home in the spring of 2016. He uses his music skills in Taiwan and has become quit fluent in Mandarin.
- Chandler is serving a mission for our church in Brazil and will be home in 2017. He still gets to use his music skills down there plus he is learning Portuguese very well.
- Riley is still at home and just starting to learn how to help in the store. He acts, plays soccer and the piano.
- Rachel is also at home and loves to help in the store. She acts and plays the piano.
- Lizzy, our Shih Tzu keesp us busy with walks and keeps us entertained. She is sometimes more like a cat.
This year we welcomed Julie Davis and Mackenzie Davis to our staff. They always have a smile for everyone that walks in the door. We love having them at Indigo Mountain.
From all of us at Indigo Mountain, we wish you a very happy holiday season and the Merriest of Christmas'. We appreciate your support of our family business. Thank you for letting us serve you. You may have noticed Julie and Mackenzie in the store. We were very happy to welcome them to the Indigo Mountain family this year.
Mark, Kally and our 7 kids, Julie and Mackenzie