Kwanzaa, Imani, Kujichagulia,Ujaama, Nia, Ujima, Ujoma

Here are Five Ways To Make An Easy Transition From Christmas To Celebrating Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is a week-long holiday celebration of the culture and heritage of African Americans. The holiday, which was created in the 1960s by activist Maulana Karenga, begins Dec. 26 and continues through Jan. 1. Each of the seven days in the weeklong holiday represents one of the seven fundamental values of African culture or “Nguzo Saba,” which means the seven principles in Swahili.

Black, red, and green candles on a Kinara represent the seven values of Kwanzaa. The seven values are Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith).

If you’re considering celebrating Kwanzaa this holiday season, but don’t want to skip out on Christmas, here are five ways to easily transition from one holiday to the next.

Add Kwanzaa decorations to your holiday or Christmas decor

Kwanzaa decorations typically use red and green, the base colors of Christmas. Putting up Kwanzaa decorations along with your Christmas decorations will allow you to keep the holiday spirit after Christmas. It will also keep you from doing extra work disassembling the decorations for one holiday and putting up decorations for another.

If you need to know where to find decorations for Kwanza, you can grab a bevy of decorations at Amazon, Target, and Walmart. If you’re looking for more authentic decorations and gifts, Mahogany Books, It’s A Black Thang, and Etsy sport numerous Kwanzaa-themed products from Black-owned businesses.

Look for Kwanzaa events in your city

It may not seem like it, but a litany of Kwanzaa-related events are happening this month in numerous metro cities, including New York, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and more, celebrating African American art, food, music, culture, and more.

Look online for events in your area and use them to meet people, share ideas, and, most of all, celebrate African American heritage and culture. The events can also be used as an educational tool for kids, showing them that Black culture has its way of celebrating the holidays.

Take time each day during Kwanzaa to Celebrate the meaning of the day

Turn off the TV, tablets, and smartphones, and sit down with your family to discuss each day’s meaning and how you’re celebrating each day of Kwanzaa. Sitting down with family and friends and tuning out from distractions will fulfill the first day of Umoja or Unity.

Take a half hour each day of Kwanzaa to discuss and celebrate each day of the holiday. Also, find inexpensive ways to celebrate each day. Use Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) to open a children’s savings account for your toddler or child. Work on a family project or volunteer on the day celebrating Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility).

It will get you used to regularly celebrating Kwanzaa each year while keeping it short enough to keep your children’s attention.

Celebrate Kwanzaa with friends as well as family

Including your friends and distant relatives in your Kwanzaa celebration is a great way to get those close to you to celebrate the holiday. Holding a dinner on a day during the weeklong celebration is a great way to celebrate Kwanzaa at the end of the year.

Holding a Kwanzaa-themed event is also a way to celebrate the holiday without the debauchery of typical end-of-year celebrations for people you know who don’t drink. It can also be a way to celebrate the holidays without spending more money by turning the party into a potluck event.

Be Safe

If you’re celebrating Kwanzaa this year, be safe. The COVID-19 pandemic has not ended,d and making things worse, cases of the flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are also straining hospitals across the country. You may not have done it in a few months, but now is the time to put that mask back on.

Remember at the beginning of the pandemic, Black Americans were disproportionately infected by the virus and dies as a result. Ensure you’re in for a safe holiday by staying updated on vaccinations to make sure the beginning of your 2023 isn’t in a hospital or sick at home but instead focused on accomplishments for the new year.