Kwanzaa is an African American holiday celebrating family, community, and culture. Specifically, its name signifies the harvest of the “first fruits.” This holiday spans seven days, highlighting seven principles. The seven principles are umoja (unity), kujichaguila (self-determination), ujima (collective work and responsibility), ujamma (cooperative economics), nia (purpose), kuumba (creativity), and imani (faith). Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26th through January 1st and has ample traditions including aspects of food, music, poetry and more. Some core foods traditional to a Kwanzaa feast include sweet potatoes, collard greens, peanut stew (West African is origin), curry or jerk chicken (Caribbean influences).
While it is a blessing, it can certainly be a challenge to have a birthday that falls near a major holiday. To kick each birthday off with a bang, remind your kiddo that everyone will remember their big day, seeing as how it’s so close to the holidays! This will help get them and your family in the spirit. It’s also nice to get a little sliver of normalcy during the holiday months. Dedicated birthday cake and birthday gift wrap goes a long way for both that special person and the family as a whole. Oftentimes, there may be extra special outings or activities that are available during these times only. For example, if your child’s birthday falls near Christmas, you may be able to take a trip to the local ice-skating rink or go for a carriage ride in a nearby park.
If you’re getting tired of the same holiday fare, there are several new stomach-worthy untraditional holiday meals ideas. The hors d’oeuvres only theme is perfect for nights like Christmas Eve when a crowd may be large and perhaps heading out the door for a night church service. Messina catering has a great guide on hosting appetizer only events. Homemade takeout is also a crowd pleaser. Even going semi homemade works. Simply stop by your local Chinese restaurant for rice to go and throw together something like this instant pot sesame chicken recipe. Fondue is a fun dining experience that is a sure-fire conversation started. While everyone is having fun, they’ll also be getting a variety of things to nibble on. You’ll be able to satisfy everyone!
During November and December, Holidays meals certainly are at the forefront of everyone’s minds. These holiday spreads have more things to consider when planning and prepping. From number of guests to dietary needs, it’s no wonder we spend a lot of time thinking about holiday dinners and brunches. Beyond these few meals, we have unwavering daily nutritional needs and thus other meal preparation and cooking to consider. Try making the most of the cooler temperatures and food seasonality by making soups and casseroles. Collards, Brussels sprouts, carrots, celery, apples and many other fruits and vegetables are available during the winter months. Winter squashes are the perfect base for Meatless Mondays, like this vegetarian stuffed acorn squash recipe. Hot sandwiches never disappoint, either! Check out this basic tuna melt recipe by Simply Recipes.