The holiday season has begun



Cabins at the Home Ranch in Colorado are a festive home-away-from-home this holiday season. (Home Ranch/TNS)

Brian Martinez

Cabins at the Home Ranch in Colorado are a festive home-away-from-home this holiday season. (Home Ranch/TNS)

The holiday season is quickly approaching and for many the holiday season begins with Thanksgiving and ends with New Year’s Day. Everyone loves the season because it is full of light and happiness. The nice, cold weather also adds to the happiness of the season because the hot sun is not striking its rays.

Thanksgiving falls on the third Thursday of  November and is the holiday where people are thankful for the people and things in their life that matter the most to them. However, to many that is not the true reason why they celebrate the holiday. The true reason they celebrate is for the food. They might have to deal with the family reunions and all the perks that come with it but the roasted turkey,stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie make it worth it.

Recently, many companies and stores have been open during Thanksgiving because of the Black Friday deals. Black Friday has slowly taken over Thanksgiving. For many families it has become tradition to begin black Friday shopping on the evening of Thanksgiving. For many people who do not partake in the Black Friday festivities they can do the same activities but online on the following Monday on Cyber Monday. This is a fairly new concept that is gaining popularity. Cyber Monday is not even close to the popularity of Black Friday but soon it might catch up in popularity.

For many people Christmas begins on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Houses are decked for the season and jolly music begins to play. After a tough and gloomy year, the moods of the people change to joy once they see the sparkling light placed on houses and malls.

Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the rededication to the Holy Temple after the victory of the Maccabees against the Seleucid Empire. Eight candles are placed on the menorah, a candelabra with eight branches. A candle is lit each night for the eight nights that the temple lights blazed. Children love this holiday because of the food and the fact that they receive a present each night for an entire week.  Families celebrate the holiday by spending quality time playing with a dreidel, singing joyous songs, exchanging gifts and eating traditional foods. Some of the foods that are enjoyed are potato latkes with applesauce or sour cream to the side, fried doughnuts with jelly filling called Sufganiyot and brisket are just a few examples of the huge variety they have.

Kwanzaa is an African-American celebration that lasts a week and is about family, community and culture. It is a fairly new holiday, created in 1966 and has been celebrated since then. It was declared as a holiday in 1997 by president Bill Clinton. The holiday is celebrated to honor African heritage in African-American culture. Kwanzaa also has a candelabrum, Kinara, with seven candles, one for each night. Each candle has a different meaning. They represent unity, self-determination, responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. Kwanzaa is a holiday that not a lot of people celebrate because they are not part of that culture or do not have an interest in it.

Christmas is enjoyed by many, especially by children due to all the lights and yummy food they can eat but to top it off they get to open all the presents under the Christmas tree.

Each culture has a different way to celebrate their joyous holiday. In American culture Christmas festivities are on Dec. 25. Presents are opened early in the morning and the Christmas dinner is held that same night. In Hispanic culture, all the Christmas festivities are held on Dec. 24, which is Christmas Eve. Christmas dinner is held that same day and presents are opened at the strike of midnight. Santa Claus is not prominent in Hispanic culture. Instead of Santa the Three Wise Men bring presents to the children. The Three Wise Men are biblical characters that brought presents of gold, frankincense and myrrh to baby Jesus.

At the end of the season people celebrate and welcome in the new year. A list of resolutions are made but it is not common to keep up with the resolutions that were made. but we all know that they do not last for long. Couples kiss at the strike of midnight and some just hug everyone and wish a happy and prosperous new year. Twelve grapes are consumed representing prosperity for each month. Fireworks are heard around the world as everyone brings in a new and happy year.  

These holidays all have one thing in common and that is the joy and love that they bring to all the people in the world.