December 22, 2008

December 22, 2008 

Dear LoMA Family,


I have really enjoyed seeing the doors being decorated with multicultural holiday symbols this week. I think it was a great theme for the student council to pick as it has accentuated all of the different ways that we celebrate our holidays. For instance, from my own advisory’s door, I have learned of all of the different meals that people eat during their holidays.


The holidays can be a very stressful time for many people because the media, our friends and stores all push some fantasy ideal of the holidays. Millions of dollars of advertising inundate us with images of shopping and gifts and movies show us large, idealistic families gathering in harmony and laughter. The only holidays better than these, we are told, are the ones from “back in the day” when everything was more beautiful, purer and sweeter. Mr. Colin’s decorations on the resource room door put the lie to that myth though. In the 19th Century, Christmas became such as excuse for robbing and threatening that the city outlawed it as a public danger, and in other cultures the Christmas season has been connected with free love.


My point is not that we should then just ignore the holidays – I love the food, fellowship and tradition, but in my family it has been the children that have established the traditions. Years ago, my sisters, brother and I made Christmas Eve the day for friends to visit and eat lasagna, my sister began making fudge and my in-laws took over the cooking of a large, festive Colombian breakfast. We did not wait for our Mom to establish these traditions (she was never a big fan of the holidays), we did it ourselves a little bit at a time. In the same way, I think that every family and every family member has to be involved in making their own holidays special in their own way. Think of who you can invite, what you can make, where you can go. Make it out of the ordinary, do it a few years in a row and you will have a tradition. It will make your holidays more special and bring your family, however you define it, closer together.


Have a wonderful holiday…however you celebrate it,


John Wenk