Greetings To All Our On-Line Family!
the most special time of year and certainly one that fills our
homes with simple pleasures of the holiday season. Indeed,
it's a splendid season full of joy, peace, happiness and love.
we extend our glittering Christmas greetings and delightfully
distribute/deliver our Christmas gifts we must remember the true
meaning of Christmas...it's the joy of giving, the happiness of
children, the love of the family, the warmth of good friends, the
blessings of hope, the gift of faith, and most importantly the
celebration of life and peace throughout the world.
Christmas...Happy Hanukkah...Happy Kwanzaa...Feliz Navidad!
for many of us this Christmas will be one to remember forever,
because our gift was bestowed upon us in early November (on
November 4th to be exact.) We must all praise and give
thanks for this most magnificent gift...the gift of an eloquent
gentleman who has been elected our 44th President of the United
States. During this Christmas season we must glorify this
exceptional man for the history he has made, and for
taking on the difficult task of delivering to us what we are seeking...Change!
during this special time my mind often drift
away to home...my home in Trinidad, and oooh what a lovely sentiment
it is. At this time I can almost smell the ham boiling on the stove
before mommy places it in the oven to complete the baking
process. I can also see mommy adding the rum soaked fruits
into the black cake mixture, and I even smell the other baked
goodies she has prepared - the sweet bread and cakes.
Ooooh yes, I can almost taste the Punch-A-Crème mommy prepared
that she has had chilling in the refrigerator along with the
Sorrell. The music...oh the awesome music, I can hear it
so clearly...the cuatros, guitars, bandolins, and shak shaks
(maracas) along with the sweet voices singing as family and
friends "parang" from home to home, drinking, dancing,
and just celebrating the spirit of the season. Gosh, how I
miss Christmas's in Trinidad.
I am here in America with my family, and even though my
Christmas will never be as it has been in Trinidad I look
forward to it being a delightful one full of love and good
your holidays be filled with happiness and good health, and as
you celebrate - kindly keep in mind our "loved ones" who are in far away lands fighting to protect
us and keep us safe. Additionally, please keep in mind and
in prayer the thousands who are not certain how they will spend
Christmas this year due to the lost of their jobs and/or homes!
is our Special greeting to you, please click on the card to
view. Additionally, you will find I have added some
history on the many cultural holiday celebrations taking place
during this Christmas season.
click On The Christmas Card
View The Special Christmas Greeting from us at
begins every year on the 25th of the Hebrew month of
"Kislev." The 25th of Kislev In 2008, is December
21st. Therefore, Hanukkah begins at sundown on December
Festival of Lights
is the most widely celebrated American Jewish holiday, possibly
because it is a fun, child-centered occasion. It is celebrated
with excellent food, exchanging gifts, and lighting beautiful
menorahs (special Hanukkah candelabras) filled with brightly
colored candles. Unlike some of the other Jewish holidays, which
require intense spiritual reflection or elaborate preparation,
it is easy to celebrate.
Many Jewish holidays commemorate events invested with historical
and religious meaning, and Hanukkah is no exception. Hanukkah
means "rededication," and it commemorates the
rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after its desecration by
foreign forces. The celebration also reaffirms the continuing
struggle to live by God's commandments and to lead Jewish lives.
When all is said and done, perhaps the most important message of
Hanukkah may be found in the name of the holiday itself:
Dedication. When Jews have dedicated themselves, through faith
and action, to the pursuit of high religious and human ideals,
Judaism has been strong. That imperative, to strengthen our
religion and our people, remains an important challenge at this
season, in every generation.
celebrated traditionally from December
26th through January 1st
is an African-American cultural holiday conceived and
developed by Dr. Maulana Ron Karenga in 1966. Each day of
Kwanzaa focuses on Nguzo Saba, or the seven principles-
"matunda ya kwanza" which means first fruits, Kwanzaa
is rooted in the first harvest celebrations practiced in various
cultures in Africa, and it seeks to (1) enforce a connectedness
to African cultural identity, (2) provide a focal point for the
gathering of African peoples, and (3) to reflect upon the Nguzo
Saba, or the seven principles, that have sustained Africans.
Africans and African - Americans of all religious faiths and
backgrounds practice Kwanzaa.
SABA - The 7 Principles of Kwanzaa
(Unity) To strive for and maintain unity in the family,
community, nation and race.
Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) To define ourselves, name
ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.
Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) To build and maintain
our community together and make our brother's and sister's
problems our problems and to solve them together.
Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) To build and maintain our own
stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them
Nia (Purpose) To make our collective vocation the building and
developing of our community in order to restore our people to
their traditional greatness.
(Creativity) To do always as much as we can, in the way we can,
in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial
than we inherited it.
Imani (Faith) To believe with all our heart in our people, our
parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and
victory of our struggle.
popular Traditional Celebration of Christmas in the
Trinidad and Tobago
Parrang is derived from the Spanish
word Parranda which means "the action of merry
making, group of serenaders."
is a musical style which fuses together Venezuelan
influences to create up beat tempos with a Spanish
style and is popular in Trinidad
& Tobago and various areas of Venezuela.
is celebrated during the Christmas season with Singers
and instrumentalists (musicians) traveling from
house-to-house in communities, and is often joined by
friends and neighbors using whatever instruments at hand
performing. The music is typically played
with cuatro (a four-string small guitar), maracas
(locally known as shak-shaks), and is often sung
Other instruments are used as well and they
are violin, guitar, claves - locally known as toc-toc,
box bass, flute, mandolin, bandolin, caja - a percussive
box instrument and marimbola). The entertainment
and performances are done in exchange for food and drink
rum or ponche de creme (an alcoholic eggnog).
called "Parranderos" roam the streets
playing this music and serenading people with both
sacred and non-sacred repertoire, including songs such
as "aguinaldo" which is related to the
stories of the Nativity or birth of Christ;
"estribillo" which is a sing along song that
is very lively and is sung in a call and answer fashion
and a few other styles of songs.
the repertoire is influenced by nearby Venezuela's
traditions, it has largely developed into an indigenous
performance genre in Trinidad. While the traditional
tradition is still practiced by small groups and larger
organized groups, the music has also developed into a
season of staged performances called "parang
fiestas," held from October through January each
year, culminating in a final national parang
has evolved throughout the years and many soca
music artists have generated a cross-over music
called "soca parang" which is a fusion of
calypso and soca whose lyrics are sang in English and
are inspired by the "Americanized" Christmas
often referring to such symbols as Santa
Claus. Noted parang-soca artists include Scrunter,
B. Chutney (a singing artform of the indigenous
people of Trinidad which have influences from Indian
rhythms and are sometimes sung in Hindi) melodies have
also been fused in with Parang.
practice of paranging remains an important
element of not only the Trinidadian rituals during the
Christmas season but also in the rituals of other
islands such as Grenada
and the Dominican
Republic and other countries such as Venezuela.
Parang is especially vibrant in Trinidad & Tobago
communities such as Paramin,
origins of the presence of parang music in Trinidad and
Tobago is controversial, and there are two theories
which are (1) Spanish monks
who were present in Trinidad to lecture people about Catholicism
were the first individuals to introduce the music; and
(2) Venezuelans brought the first elements of parang
with them when they migrated to Trinidad to escape the Bolivian
Nine Mornings Festival madness,
Kingstown. Courtesy of Michael Peters
Mornings celebration begins 9 mornings before
Christmas December 16th – December 25th
Mornings is a unique Vincentian festivity associated
with the Christmas season.
Nine Mornings before Christmas, Vincentians awake
in the early hours of the morning and partake in a range
of activities, among them sea baths, dances (or in local
parlance, fetes), bicycle riding and street concerts.
In the rural areas, the final morning of the
festivity usually ended with a steel band “jump-up”.
origins of this festivity are clouded in some mystery,
although the original tradition relates it to the
‘novena’ of the Catholic Church on the nine days
before Christmas. It
is believed that after the early morning church services
of the Catholics, worshippers began walking the streets
while others went for sea baths.
From this the popular festivity emerged.
Although popular opinion has this practice as
starting during the period of slavery, it was more
likely to have been a post-emancipation practice.
is also believed that in the 1920s, a Vincentian member
of the Dominican Order of the Catholic Church initiated
a tradition of celebrating a Christmas novena in the
early hours of the morning.
It was the procession home after the service, as
the churchgoers wandered back to their houses, eagerly
greeting friends with holiday blessings and peering in
the still-shut shop windows, which developed into
Soon it became customary for the ‘boom drum’
bands, composed of musicians playing goatskin drums and
wooden flutes, to accompany the walkers home.
Street dancing, of course, was soon to follow,
and in time, the character of the nine mornings’
Over the years the number of walkers grew, and
with the advent of the steel drum band a carnival-style
nine mornings tradition evolved.
Street vendors joined the celebration, selling
drinks made from ginger and sorrel as well as holiday
cakes and sweets. A
later addition was the tradition of the ‘carolers’
who went house-to-house singing Christmas carols.
mornings was particularly popular with young people for
whom the normal restrictions at home were relaxed,
giving them an opportunity to socialize with their
different periods emphasis was placed on different
the early period, street walking and sea bathing seemed
to have predominated.
Over the years other features took root.
, owners of bicycles decorated their bicycles with
lights and rode around town.
Persons wanting to get hot bread besieged
bakeries around town that were producing bread for the
early morning market.
Over time the bakeries catered to this demand.
Dances became popular at other times and recently
, concerts involving choirs and individual entertainers
have been attracting large crowds.
There are also fun competitions such as speech
making, beer drinking and banana eating, crying,
laughing, ‘ring play’ games and story telling.
A welcomed addition in recent years is the
‘lighting up’ of towns, villages, commercial
buildings, churches and private homes.
Christmas...Happy Hanukkah...Happy Kwanzaa...Feliz Navidad!
District of Columbia Government has decided to keep DC bars,
clubs, and restaurants open during the Inauguration week (From
January 17th - 20th) until 4:00 am instead of 5:00 am. As
I stated last week "I
personally don't think this Inauguration is a time for allowing
excessive drinking. This is a serious time and extremely
historical time, and there is no need to celebrate with drinking
and drinking to
all hours in the morning. Why is it: when the
first African-American person becomes president, bars and clubs
are allowed to remain open until the early morning? This
historical event is not a joke, and no time to drink
excessively." Absolutely no one needs to
drink all night till the early morning to celebrate this historical
occasion." What do you think? email@example.com.
there was My Space, then Facebook, Now there's My Caribbean a
social network for the Caribbean. Join now by clicking on the
following logo - www.mycaribbean.us
Special Hello and Big up to Mr. Lester!
was a pleasure making your acquaintance last weekend Mr. Lester
and please know that I do appreciate your kind words and
44th President of the United States of America will
be sworn into his new position in 38 days.
may not get there in one year or even in one term,"
"But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am
tonight that we will get there. I promise you, we as a
people will get there."
to the many who have sent me e-mails in response to my past
E-Newsletters and lots of important information to use for our
future E-Newsletters. Most importantly, I thank you for
your encouraging words! Enjoy Christmas which every way
you celebrate, and until next week...please
enjoy, and be safe this Weekend and the upcoming week!!
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to all of you, thanks for reading, sharing your thoughts and
comments with us, and for always supporting us. As you
know without you there would be no us, so thanks very much for
your support and One Love!
our "Featured Events" listed below.
are several events taking place this weekend, next weekend and
beyond, so to view all the Events please log on to our
"Events" Page above!
R2C2H2 The Artivist Cordially
invite you to
1st Annual Jimmie Lunceford Legacy Awards
TheBlackList Pub: Opening Doors To Being Free
R2C2H2 Tha Artivist has invited you to the event 'Dec. 20, 2008 From
12pm-3pm~Join Us For The 1st Annual Jimmie Lunceford Legacy Awards (Part Of The Jimmie
Lunceford Jamboree Festival Series)
Juice & Jazz...' on TheBlackList Pub!
Please Join Us To Honor Those Who Dedicated Their Lives To Excellence In Music \
& Music Education:
Time: 12pm to 3pm
Location: Java, Juice & Jazz,
1423 Elvis Presley Blvd,
Memphis, TN 38106
Contact: Ron Herd II & R2C2H2 Tha Artivist
- phone~901-299-4355 - firstname.lastname@example.org
*Presenting The 2009 Jimmie Lunceford Legacy Awards Honorees*
Live Entertainment, Rare Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra Footage, & Panel \
So All You Jazzy Hep Cats Come Join Us!!!
AND THIRD DISTRICT SUBSTATION
Third District and the Community will kick off
its 1st annual “Red
Carpet Meet and Greet”.
The Red Carpet Meet and Greet night was created
to allow residents the opportunity to mingle
with celebrities and members of the
Celebrities will be signing
and providing give
Families will enjoy, games, and raffles, face
painting, as well as, receive information on crime
safety, HIV awareness and more.
Appearances by McGruff,
Cat Women, Mrs. Incredible, Spider man, Shrek,
Santa & Mrs.
Claus & his elf (just
to name a few).
December 20, 2008
1620 V. Street, NW
District Police Station)
OF THE COMMUNITY ( ANC
MEMBERS, COUNCIL MEMBERS, FIRE CHIEF,
ETC.., ARE INVITED TO WALK THE RED CARPET AND
MEET AND GREET OUR COMMUNITY FAMILIES)
Community is invited to an afternoon of fun
with members of The Metropolitan Police
Department. Families will have the
opportunity to mingle with Police Officers that
patrol their perspective communities and
receive information on crime prevention, traffic
safety, HIV awareness, health insurance, pedestrian
safety and more.
are inviting organizations, business,
dentist, churches, etc.., to attend and set up a
table to offer services to our Community
you for your support.
Call or email to reserve a table, mobile space or
make arrangements for
Officer B. Davis 202-689-4278-
PSA 301 or Officer
L. McKoy 202-576-8222-
PSA 302 & PSA 304 or Civilian
Marco Santiago 703-819-9434-
Executive Producer or Sgt.
J. Eccles- 202-671-6821-
DISTRICT SUBSTATION-PSA 301, PSA 302
AND PSA 304
STORY TIME AND HOT CHOCOLATE WITH
Location: THIRD DISTRICT POLICE SUBSTATION,
750 PARK ROAD, NW, WDC
Date: MONDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2008
The Community is invited to HOT CHOCOLATE
and STORY TIME, with Santa Claus
and members of The Metropolitan Police Department. Youth will enjoy treats, face painting,
and essay contest (thank you letter to Santa Claus), (youth
5 to 12 years of age). We will raffle book
bag(s) with school supplies, Free continental snack and youth will have an
opportunity to mingle with Police Officers that patrol their perspective
communities, receive information on pedestrian safety, bicycle safety and
traffic safety, holiday crime prevention information and more.
PARENT/GUARDIAN MUST SIGN A PERMISSION SLIP
Youth have an opportunity to win a
Christmas gift for their parent.
Enter Santa's essay contest. Write a
letter to Santa Claus Why I like
All Letters have to be entered, no later
than Saturday, December 20, 2008, 5:00pm, at 750 Park Road, NW, WDC.
Participants don't have
to be present to win
Officer B. Davis 202-689-4278- PSA 301
Officer L. McKoy 202-576-8222- PSA 302 & 304
Civilian Marco Santiago 703-819-9434
Sgt. J. Eccles- 202-671-6821- PSA
Sgt. G. Pollock- 202-576-8222- PSA 302 & PSA 304
Smiles Dental Clinic
Ave., NW, WDC
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
1:00pm – 5:00pm
( LOBBY AREA)
Parents bring your camera and take a picture
of your child with Santa
Police Department Third District Substation,
Smiles Dental Clinic and Santa Claus
Officer Davis, B.T. - PSA 301-
Officer McKoy, L.R. - PSA 302 & PSA
Sergeant. Eccles, J- PSA
Pollock, G. - PSA 302 & PSA 304-
Small Smiles Dental Clinic-
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