December 20, 2010

Building Holiday Traditions: For the family, for the Community

By Senator Lena C. Taylor

During the holidays we need to remember what’s really important. We need to remember the short term and long term gifts that people really need.  Although many of us share gifts this time of year, I’d like to talk about other ways that we can celebrate the holidays which unite us as families and as a community. 

For me – the important things are God and Family, both of whom I want to fellowship with more this season. The thing I want to give my family and friends this season are more of my time.  It’s free and these moments of fellowship are priceless.  It’s this time every year that we should all reflect on what is important to us and how we can build on that into something communal.  

Over the holidays I want to create new traditions that promote the values that I desire to reflect throughout the year. This year, my son and I put a tree up together; specifically, putting up an ornament with special meaning. We will also make cookies, and do a craft.  These traditions begin to build a story.  A story of family and togetherness, which each generation can enjoy and build upon. 

This holiday season we can also join in fellowship with our community. Whether coming together and worshipping or volunteering to help those in need:  the holidays are a time to think beyond yourself and be a part of something bigger. 

I encourage everyone to attend at least one community event in the coming weeks. The Wisconsin Black Historical Society museum is holding its annual Kwanzaa celebration on December 26th at 3:00 p.m.  The 26th is the first day of Kwanzaa, celebrates unity and I will be speaking. There will be discussion on what Kwanzaa means to our community, and lots of entertainment! Events like these can tie us together as a community and help us move forward.

As a state senator, I encourage you to look at community oriented opportunities. For those in need, the holidays can be a stressful time due to financial burdens, loss of loved ones, or just end of the year stress.  Likewise, hunger is a concern for many living within our community.

There are many places that offer free meals or shelter during Christmas, but the big fellowship event is the 1290 family feast on Christmas day. It starts at 11:30a.m at the Frontier Airlines Center.  It’s free and it’s fun, and you can bring the whole family.  Another event that will lift your spirit -  CYD’s annual “Kids that Santa Claus Forgot Toy Give Away” on December 28th from 3 to 6 p.m. at North Division.  Come give or come receive.

Drug addiction and depression are serious problems and are only made more difficult during the holidays. If you are stressed and feel the need to self-medicate choose an AA or NA meeting instead.  Although the holidays can be hard during these struggles, remember it is not a hopeless situation. 

Putting up a Christmas tree, going to a community event, or helping to serve others could all become a holiday tradition and it doesn’t cost any money. The holidays can be a joyous time, but for many it is not, so seek out a way to fellowship with others and show love.

These traditions build a foundation which will grow over the years and will be woven into the rich fabric of our community united. I wish you all a very happy and safe holiday!

Madison Office - 608-266-5810

Room 5, South Wing
State Capitol , P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707-7882