Home Sweet Home Magazine - December 2021

Boxing Day (December 26)

means the last day of the month, the “om” in front indicates the big last day – the final day of the entire year, known to most as New Year’s Eve. Omisoka is celebrated by cleansing the body and the home, eating lucky foods and general preparation for an exciting, fortuitous year ahead. ▶ ▶ Foods to Try The Japanese new year calls for tasty items such as seafood, rice and soups. Certain foods have certain meanings for the new year — for example, orange is given to new couples who are hoping to conceive children — so be sure to look up what might represent your hopes for 2022.

Africa, Kwanzaa was Dr. Maulana Karenga’s attempt to form a community among African Americans. Today, Kwanzaa is celebrated with food, candle- lighting ceremonies and acknowledgement of the Seven Principles, a collection of ideals marking the seven days. ▶ ▶ Foods to Try

The day after Christmas, December 26, marks the day to return gifts for many people, but the origin of the day is about giving gifts to the poor. Primarily celebrated in Europe and Canada and also called “Offering Day,” the day after Christmas is still a fine time to celebrate selfless giving. ▶ ▶ Foods to Try Creative ways to use holiday leftovers are the name of the game on Boxing Day – so go ahead and fix those soups and stews and sandwiches! ▶ ▶ Decorations While there are no particular decorations for this day, some families might choose to take decorations down and clean up the Christmas chaos.

For Kwanzaa, indulge in some traditional foods such as jerk seasoned chicken, African creole, cajun catfish, collard greens and gumbo, to name a few.

▶ ▶ Decorations

Red, green and black are the traditional colors of Kwanzaa to keep in mind as you decorate. Try incorporating the seven principles on posters or other decorative art around the house, or light seven candles — bonus points if they are red, green and black! ▶ ▶ Other Fun Families often take the days of Kwanzaa to celebrate not only the seven principles but also think about how to apply them to their own lives. Holding festive feasts, giving thanks, and honoring ancestors are common elements. Gifts are exchanged but are typically handmade rather than store-bought.

▶ ▶ Decorations

Put out your traditional new year’s decor for this celebration — but clean the house from top to bottom first! The “big cleaning” represents wiping the slate for the coming of the year. Pine and bamboo

▶ ▶ Other Fun

Giving is the point of Boxing Day, so go ahead and box up all your unwanted and superfluous items to offer to those less fortunate. Or have a family and friend swap!

wreaths and other plant elements are also used as decorations.

▶ ▶ Other Fun

In some families, adults give the children envelopes with money, along with lessons on how to wisely use it in the future.

Omisoka (December 31)

Omisoka is a Japanese celebration for the last day of the year. Derived from the word “misoka” which


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