Wendy Raven McNair
Author & Artist
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Common Page
Common Page
November 2011: Welcome
Happy Holidays!

12/12/2011 2:50:42 PM

During this season in which many of us honor, commemorate, and celebrate
various special events, I wish you a Happy, safe, and blessed Holidays.
My family and I celebrate Christmas and Kwanzaa so to those of you who
do the same, Merry Christmas and Happy Kwanzaa.

I'd like to share a special Christmas story from my childhood. My mom
raised my sisters, brother, and me in the projects but even though we

struggled financially and didn't have much, there was always toys under the
Christmas tree for each child on Christmas morning. One particularly difficult
year, my mom asked us if we would prefer a Christmas tree or toys because
we couldn't afford both. We emphatically chose toys. But as Christmas day
neared and the spot where the Christmas tree traditionally stood went empty,
it didn't feel like Christmas. I even wondered if Christmas existed in the tree
and not the toys, so much so that I believed I'd made the wrong choice.
I didn't share my doubts with anybody but the absence of a tree made me

On Christmas eve, my mom came home later than usual and she knocked
instead of using her key to come in. We were slightly alarmed because it
was dark and mama never knocked and we weren't supposted to open the
door after dark so we were hesitant to open the door. My mom called out,
assuring us it was her and threatening us if we didn't open the door right
away. In relieved recognition, we hurriedly opened the door and were greeted
by a wall of greenery; a christmas tree so big it filled the doorway and completely
blocked mama from view.

"Help me get this inside," her voice instructed and we eagerly grabbed the
tree, not heeding the pokes and scratches of pine needles. We were overjoyed
to actually have a tree at all. To this day, I can't tell you what toys I got that Christmas
but I know that tree was the biggest tree we'd ever had and my family and I had so
much fun decorating it together; it finally felt like Christmas.

My mom never put the family in debt for Christmas because she was the
queen of finding a bargain or working a deal; like finding a bargain tree
on Christmas Eve when the majority of trees were headed for the chipper.
Who buys a tree the day before Christmas? My mom, that's who.

So please, everybody, during this holiday season and during these trying
economic times, it's not about how much stuff you buy but the memories
you create with each other. You don't have to bankrupt your family to enjoy
the holidays. The memories will out last the stuff.

Please feel free to share any special family stories about this holiday season
or if you'd like to share your holiday plans, feel free to post those as well.


12/22/2011 12:50:30 PM
Name: NIa K.      Subject:  Merry Christmas !     

Merry Christmas to you Mrs.Mcnair and happy Kwanzaa to you too!
How long did your family celebrated Kwanzaa and why.I celebrate Kwanzaa everyday by learning about my rich family history and rich of our African-american people.
Jesus is the reason for season!
Peace and Blessings,
Nia,a high school senior

Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy New Year
to you NIa K. We started celebrating Kwanzaa when my
daughter was around 5 or 6 years old. Why? For the same
reason I was inspired to write the Asleep trilogy. I believe
it is a positive reflection of her as an African American girl.
Young people are bombarded with so many negative images
about themselves in the media, particularly young black girls.
It's necessary to counter this skewered representation with
positive images to maintain sanity and self esteem. I enjoy
sharing stories, true and fantasy, that reflect the many positive
aspects of African American culture and Kwanzaa provides this
opportunity. You're fortunate to be able to celebrate Kwanzaa
everyday through your rich African American family history. All the
best to you and your family, NIa K., and peace and blessings as
well. ~ WRM