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As our melting-pot society has progressed into one that rejoices in its multi-faceted cultural and religious heritage, the public celebration of religious holidays has become more and more difficult. Should our public school classrooms celebrate Christmas? What if they include Hanukkah? But wait, don’t forget Kwanzaa or Ramadan or the Winter Solstice. If you’re confused as to exactly how many reasons you have for celebrating the season, follow me on today’s multi-cultural holiday exploration.
Ben & Jerry’s Winter Holidays
“Happy Holidays, Season’s Greetings, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Yuletide Greetings, Happy Winter Solstice, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy New Year, Feliz Navidad, Habari Gani?
Blue Mountain Winter Holiday Cards
Blue Mountain, the granddaddy of free electronic greeting cards, offers an extensive selection of fun secular and religious holiday cards for all the winter celebrations. Two unique features are the Twelve Days of Christmas and Eight Days of Hanukkah cards that send a different card each day of the holiday! Another addition to the Blue Mountain bag of tricks is the ability to attach a voice or video message to your card as you are personalizing it. Gifts and gift certificates can also be included. Obviously, the gift enclosures are not free.
Bonus.com Ho Ho Ho!
“Ho Ho Ho! Play games while your mom shops! These activities are sure to get you in the holiday spirit!” Although these twenty-nine pages of games draw on many different Web sites, Bonus.com packages them in their NetScooter browser window so it appears that all the fun is happening in one place. In addition to the Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa activities, you’ll be treated to winter arcade games such as Ski Slalom “Steer through the pine trees!” and Break the Ice “It’s a cold winter day and you must break the ice from the trees.”
Holidays on the Net
Beyond its multimedia features on Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, Holidays on the Net also covers the month-long Moslem holiday Ramadan which began on November 27. “Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. It is during this month that Muslims observe the Fast of Ramadan. Lasting for the entire month, Muslims fast during the daylight hours and in the evening eat small meals and visit with friends and family. It is a time of worship and contemplation. A time to strengthen family and community ties.”
World Book Holidays Around the World
“From Christmas and Hanukkah to Our Lady of Guadelupe Day in Mexico, Guy Fawkes Day in the United Kingdom, and New Year’s Eve, November and December are full of revelry, celebration, and solemn religious occasions.” This World Book site is my pick of day for its even-handed explanations of holidays around the world. Don’t miss the Christmas entry for a fabulous feature on “How Santa Claus Came to Be.”