Did Santa get it right this year? Here’s your Day After Christmas open thread…

31 replies on “So, What’s Your Christmas Story?”

  1. “Frageeeelaaayy…It must be italian!”
    Love that movie! Christmas was great.
    Hope everyone else’s was too!

  2. I’m in Rome – weather is fine, to the Pantheon and S.Maria Maggiore for programs on Christmas eve—lots of tourists around, heard the >Pope who speaks many languages (poor Italian accent tho)back for the

  3. Santa slid a ping-pong table down the chimney in many small pieces, so my darling spouse and I were up assembling it until long after the reindeer were garaged. Happily it’s a big hit w/ the kids. They’ve spent way more time playing on it than w/ their new vid games.

  4. I’m in Newark – weather is warm, to the K Mart to return some stuff–lots of ugly ass people around, everyone speaks many languages (poor english tho)back for the Leonard

  5. I’m in Antarctica – weather is bitterly cold, to the base station before hands freeze off–lots of eskimos around, they heard me try to speak their language (bad eskimo tho)back for the Reginald

  6. I’m in my Apartment – bum paycheck prevents much travel, to the couch for some cigarettes on Christmas eve–lots of roaches around, heard the neighbor shout at his wife (bad language tho)back for the Stanislav

  7. I had a nice holiday but spent much of it putting together everyone’s (including my own) electronic gifts. Oh, and Santa brought me two extra pounds. 🙂

  8. Ludacris – oh.
    does anyone in the blog community celebrate kwanzaa and if so how is the holiday celebrated?
    Now that kids are grown, I do not really celebrate, but…The idea originated with Dr. Maulana Ron Karenga, founder of US Organization in L.A. as a “non-threatening and economical” alternative (or supplement) to Christmas for African-Americans. It begins on the day after Christmas and end on New Year’s Day. A candle holder for 7 candles, a straw mat, and seasonal produce are the primary decor/props. Each day represents one of the (basic) Seven Principles of Kawaida (an ideology devised by Karenga. Celebrants gather each night to light a candle, recite the principle for that day, discuss it and play music, games with the children, etc. Gifts are exchanged on the final day along with a big feast/party that eve (New Year’s Eve). The final celebration, however, is required to be a non-alcoholic, family affair. Karenga’s intentions were aimed primarily at black families of modest means (Watts in LA circa 1960’s)helping them to avoid the commercial pressure and over-spending of Christmas and the alcoholic excess of New Year’s Eve, without conflicting with their Christian ties or the black church. Ironically, after about a decade or so, Kwanzaa, like black slang, music, dances, roller skating, etc. spread into American pop culture and recognized as a commercial opportunity by Hallmark, et. al.
    The Seven Principles (in Kiswahili), I think, are:
    Umoja – Unity
    Kujichagulia- Self-Determination
    Ujima – Collective work and responsibility
    Ujamaa – Cooperative Economics
    Nia – Purpose
    Imani – Faith
    There is a paragraph of definition with each one.
    Hope this helps a little. Google Kwanzaa or Ron Karenga’s name and see what pops up.

  9. That is a very rose-colored version above of both the origins of Kwanzaa and of the much checkered career of “Maulana” Ron Karenga.

  10. Regardless of the history of the fabrication of Kwanzaa (incidentally, why the double aa ending), the seven priciples are certainly worthwhile rules of conduct.

  11. No argument from me about Karenga or other aspects of what was a very right wing ideology. I was not responding to, or intending to present an informed discourse on Karenga, US Organization, Committee for Unified Newark (East Coast), or related history. I was just trying to give a basic answer to the question, adhere to the Baristanet standard of conduct (with which I agree), and avoid possible legal or other entanglements with some folks who can be less than rational these so-called history and culture issues. Even the tone of your comment suggests the pain and ruined lives associated with much of that sector of the 60’s – 70’s urban black political and cultural movements.
    However, I think, distilled from all the history, etc., those seven principles, socialist/communist echoes not withstanding, are not nearly as damaging as the people with whom they were associated! I too find the misrepresentation of Kwanzaa as a real African celebration or something is offensive, because I know that it is not. That is why I wrote that it was originated by Ron Karenga. He called himself “Maulana.” Hey, it’s America!
    Wikipedia has a “fuller” explanation, which, based on my recollection of things, is fairly accurate, and may address your legitimate concerns about Kwanzaa. Despite the inconsistencies of Wikepedia, I would encourage Baristas who want a more balanced view of Kwanzaa to read it.
    Cathar, is that a better?

  12. Byron – see the Wikepedia version for an interesting explanation of the “aa” which made it 7 letters and turned a legitimate word (with a different meaning) to the purpose of Kawaida.
    I think that the full text of Kawaida reveals the intellectual “genius” of its inventor as well as its right-wing black nationalist (almost cult-like) rhetoric.
    Perhaps a fundamental problem is that we have idealized the slogans, practices and props of the urban black cultural naltionalist movements (from Garvey forward) and their eclectic ideologies without engaging in a thorough historical accounting or analysis of this important aspect of American history.
    Wasn’t this thread supposed to be about Christmas? I think I gotta lighten up!

  13. “I think I gotta lighten up!”
    Poor choice of words black sha-na-na but a joyous Kwanzaa to you anyway!

  14. The seven principals are worth looking at:
    Umoja (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 brothers’ and sisters’ 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 together.
    Nia (Purpose) To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
    Kuumba (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.

  15. Black nana, I note the past existence of Amiri Baraka’s Temple of Kawaida (is it still a going concern?) in Newark, which played a key role in so much of-the-times racial mischief. Did Baraka “borrow” the word Kawaida from Karenga? Somehow I’ve always thought Baraka’s brain is more fecund than that.
    But to term Karenga’s rhetoric as “right wing?” I think the tilt is much, much to the other side. I even recall the “war” he and some of his followers had with the Black Panthers, which, I recall, was not conducted with any of the bona fide gentility conservatives often ascribe to their conduct. And had much to do with which side was more radical, thus appropriate to “lead.”
    Kwanzaa to me is an amazing piece of marketing. Framed in a tongue most Africans don’t speak (Swahili, as opposed to something truly widespread but “Colonialist” in nature like French or English or even a variant of Arabic. With no real antecedents in history. A constant puzzlement to Africans when they come over here and are asked about it or wished “Happy Kwanzaa,” since it has nothing to do with the diversity of their genuine religious traditions. Created by an utter scoundrel. And yet Hallmark and NJPAC have embraced it. This is consumer success, and it is rooted in the most throat-throttling “get whitey” rhetoric from the late 60’s. Simply an amazing story, and I can only wonder if Karenga somehow receives royalties.

  16. If, however, you studied the Malekian Scrolls, you would see that the feast of Qu’ansei predated even the ancient pagan rites of winter by well over 300 years. This may have been the inspiration for Karenga. According to the scrolls, Kestapha, the head priest of the Malekian people, grew a long white beard which was a rarity among the beardless population. His propensity to dress in red garments lined in white tiger fur was also unusual in that part of the continent. This was all overlooked due to his benevolence and generosity which culminated in December with his annual practice of distributing a new bowl and loin cloth to every Malekian. Some historians saw this, however, as Kestapha’s attempt to keep the Malekians from following the teachings of Matupen, who believed that internal strife, indolence and integration with non-Malekians were the divine gifts bestowed on all mankind by Promtius, the Malekian deity. It was only the death of Matupen at the hands of Kahuda, the self proclaimed son of Promtius, that kept the Malekians following the leadership of Kestapha.

  17. But founded by the Prince of Peace, dear Barista, rather than a narrow-minded race hustler. kidnapper and thug. And for all people of all colors, ethnicities and even temperaments. Nor has Christianity ever needed a boost from Hallmark.
    I’d suggest then that Christianity might better represent a triumph of content over packaging, since in the Roman Empire the old pagan gods had all the pizzazz and even state approval, but nonetheless lost out in the end to a creed propagated by former fishermen and tax collectors.

  18. Well, I celebrated my Decemer 25th basking in the post-digestive-system-explosion glow via food poisoning at a Super 8 Motel in Westlake, OH.
    Now, top THAT on the fun meter!

  19. I think every knee should bow to Dog Mom on that one, it cannot be topped very easily this year. (And were your personal Magi three fry cooks at the local Burger King?)

  20. “I think I gotta lighten up!”
    Hiding in Baristaville replied: “Poor choice of words black sha-na-na but a joyous Kwanzaa to you anyway!”
    And, I agree, topped only by poor beleaguered Dog Mom!!
    Thanks both for giving me two big LOL’s. Happy Holidays to you and yours.
    PS. Cathar – I decided to delete my somewhat involed reply to the House of Kawaida question. This discussion might merit a separate thread on this board. Maybe a Black History in Baristanet during February, as a relief from the usual “black apple pie” and oligarchical African Queen foolishness.
    For now, I am a “lighter” black lady hiding and on holiday! (who needs a new online name 🙂

  21. Black-sha-na-nana, I look forward to an explanation in February of whatever “black apple pie” is supposed to be (with blackstrap molasses?).
    But I was at Baraka’s temple once or twice. Can’t say I felt the love back then. Baraka’s such a little lad, too, I swear he must wear Oshkosh B’Gosh clothes, somebody who seems to swell a few inches every time he gets mad (and froths just like so many liberals here do!). As he does so often.
    Nevertheless, I wish you the most queenly of New Year’s, one that finds you amidst all the regal comforts you clearly deserve. (Even as I remain convinced Cleopatra was very much a Greek.)

  22. Why, cathar, thank you. And to think, I didn’t even need to mention the Larry King marathon that punctuated my sleep transitions.

  23. cathar,
    Thank you so much. We may have been at the Hekalu (temple) on the same day! I hope you at least feel my warm appreciation today.
    black sha-na-nana
    “black apple pie” – Blackstrap molasses! Another LOL for me 🙂 ok, bad attempt at metaphor – I meant the making of “I have a dream” into rhetoric, without depth or facts that might offend the mass marketing machine.

  24. Could one of the Baristanet staff, or anyone, please help me to get Barista emailed to me again? The last one I received was around Dec 17. I had to go back to that date to enter, signed up on Feedblitz multiple times. What happened?
    Hey, what a minute, is this ’cause I’m black!? :))

  25. I work with Adriana and I believe she was typing so fast she didn’t put in “back for the New Year” even though she is a big Ludacris fan.

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