Holiday traditions are an important part to building a strong bond between family, and our community. They give us a sense of belonging and a way to express what is important to us. Traditions are a wonderful way to anchor family members to each other, providing a sense of unity and belonging.
Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday celebrated for eight days and nights. This year it begins on Saturday, Dec. 21 and continues through Sunday, Jan. 1. In Hebrew, the word "Hanukkah" means "dedication," and the holiday marks the re-dedication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem. The center ritual to Hanukkah is the lighting of the menorah, a candelabra that holds nine candles — eight of them to symbolize the miraculous eight days that lamps, which should not have had the oil to burn, lit a temple, cleansing it of its poor condition — and a ninth to light them all. Families light one candle on the first night, two on the second, and so on, after sundown during the eight days of the holiday while reciting prayers.
Food surrounding this holiday is deep-fried, caloric and absolutely delicious. As Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of oil, it is traditional to eat fried foods such jam-filled doughnuts known as sufganiyot and potato pancakes known as latkes. Rabbinic literature suggests there is also a tradition of eating dairy products, such as cheese, during Hanukkah, so many dishes will contain dairy. In many households, gifts are exchanged during this time — one given on each night of the holiday.
Kwanzaa, December 26h- January 1st, is a mostly secular holiday created by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor and chairman of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach, in 1966 in response to the Watts riots in Los Angeles. Kwanzaa, a seven-night festival, commemorates values and concepts reflective of African culture. The name Kwanzaa comes from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits” in Swahili.
On each of the seven nights, the family gathers and a child lights one of the candles on the Kinara (candelabra), and each night one of the seven principles, called the Nguzo Saba, is discussed. The principles are values of African culture which help to build and reinforce community among African-Americans: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. Kwanzaa celebrations often include songs and dances, African drums, storytelling, poetry reading and a large traditional meal. There are many different interpretations of what "Kwanzaa food" is, and some of that depends on the area of the world the families’ culture came from. But let’s just say that Kwanzaa is a delicious tribute to soul food, African recipes and even Caribbean flavors.
Chinese New Year, this year — the year of the fire rooster — begins on Saturday, Jan. 28. The New Year festival is centuries old. Traditionally, the festival was a time to honor deities and ancestors. Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the Chinese New Year vary widely, which means across the globe, they do too. But most contain a gathering of family, a thorough cleansing of the house to sweep away ill-fortune and make way for good luck to come in. Red paper decorations will decorate windows and doors. Firecrackers will be lit and money will be given in red paper envelopes printed with wishes of wealth, prosperity and longevity.
Christmas, December 25th, originated as a religious holiday celebrated by Christians around the world to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, the son of God. Religious celebrations involve candle-lit wreaths to represent the four weeks of Advent, songs like “O Come O Come Emmanuel,” readings of Christmas stories in the Bible, the display of Nativity Scenes, and December 24th Midnight mass in darkness to celebrate the birth of light. Over the years, Christmas has been adopted by non-Christian peoples as a secular holiday of gift-giving, decorating, caroling, storytelling, and feasting. Traditions vary around the world. Evergreen trees decorated with ornaments and lights date back to 16th Century Germany. In Australia, where Christmas falls during summer, people head out to the beach and decorate a Christmas Bush. Depictions of Father Christmas or Santa Claus, based loosely on Saint Nicholas, go back at least as far as the reign of Henry VIII, where he appeared in plays wearing fur-lined green or red robes to deliver peace, joy, food, wine, and good cheer.
Some say Santa arrives on Christmas Eve in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer to deliver gifts to good girls and boys, but he arrives by boat in Hawaii and on water skis in Australia. Instead of leaving milk and cookies out for Santa Claus, children in England leave mince pies and brandy for Father Christmas. Iceland has thirteen Santas known as Yule Lads who leave small gifts for good children in shoes left on the window sill, and potatoes in the shoes of naughty children. From lantern festivals in the Philippines and Kentucky Fried Chicken dinners in Japan, to 42-foot-tall straw yule goats in Sweden and late night fireworks in Brazil, there is no shortage of ways to observe Christmas around the world.
However you celebrate we hope your homes are filled with warmth and love this holiday season. Take time to be grateful for all that you have, and have hope for the new year to come!
From all of us at Team ELM, we wish you are a very happy holiday!
Team ELM is now on YouTube!
Hello Team ELM Families,
We hope you are all doing well, and enjoying the holiday season so far. We would like to announce that Team ELM has now launched our own youtube channel, we will be posting content regularly, our content currently includes “Story Time with Maya”, “Cook and Bake with Alex”, and “Arts and Crafts DIY with Maya”. We look forward to using this platform to connect with our families even more and hope to continue empowering little minds. Please feel free to follow the link below to like, comment on the videos, and subscribe to the channel for future content!
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
SAT Classes Now Available!
Preparing for the SAT requires a dedicated focus. SAT class helps you stay focused on what's important and help connect students to what they are learning in school, as well as keep you on track with your scheduled study plan. If you are trying to prepare on your own it can be easy to second guess yourself, or to become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of material covered by the SAT. An SAT class can give you confidence that you are sufficiently prepared, which will improve your performance in its own right.
The biggest advantage of an SAT class is that they will first identify your strengths and weaknesses and accordingly help you develop a customized plan for managing your study time. During these classes, we’ll also monitor your progress and give you numerous personalized tips that will help you take the tests more efficiently. Last but not least, these classes will keep you motivated which is particularly important if you find yourself struggling to stay on track.
Here at Team ELM we have experienced staff ready to help you, offering SAT class Saturday mornings, 9 or 10 AM at our office located at 45 East Railroad Avenue, Jamesburg NJ 08831. It is $65 per 1 hour session. We’re also offering in-home sessions for $75. Call us at 732-301-7015 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot. If you have any questions do not hesitate to reach out!
Holiday Gifts From Team ELM!
Looking for a gift that gives back this year? Team ELM Boxes are the perfect gift for that special kiddo in your life. Our Color me Crazy Box, Kids Craft Box, and Brain Busters Boxes are fun, entertaining and an excellent way to let kids be creative and have fun! Proceeds from all boxes sold will be donated to COVID-19 relief.
We also have Magical Jars this season. Want a way to help your children understand what it means to be nice this holiday season? Allow children to decorate and make the jar their own. If they do a small nice thing for someone, give them a little bit of magical sparkly snow. If they do something big, a sparkly pom pom! When the jar is full, so is our hearts! Purchase a kit of materials, each kit comes with stickers, jar, pom poms and magical sparkles! $5! Custom color choice available for an extra $5!
Remember we still have yummy s'mores jars and homemade apple butter available for purchase!! Use coupon HOLIDAY20! Order online at our shop at teamelmnj.com, email us at email@example.com or call to place an order 732-301-7015
The holiday season is the most exciting time of the year. This year we have our Lending Library program offering free delivery of books for you to borrow as many times as you’d like with a one time evaluation by a certified teacher each month. We will pick out the perfect fit books for each child as well!
At Team ELM, our goal is to engage children in reading and instill in them a passion and love for reading. Along with our Lending Library program, we have our Scholastic Book Club where you can get free books with your order.
Scholastic Book Clubs are a cherished part of childhood. Handpicked with love by Scholastic editors and literacy experts, the monthly catalogs are filled with the best children’s books for each grade. Scholastic Book Clubs is the best possible way to help you get excellent children's books and help facilitate successful lifelong readers and discover the joy and power of good books!
We are also offering delivery and pick up for any and all books! Parents, you can join the Lending Library now or reach out for more information! Let’s get the children to love reading!! Call us at 732-301-7015, or email us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please see the attached flyer and place your order online with our class code XL3Y3 or by calling us and letting us know which books you would like!
We appreciate your participation in this program and for all of your support!
Team ELM Childcare and Tutoring LLC
Posts written by the Team ELM family!
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