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The holidays are upon us again and I wanted to take this time to talk about inclusive holiday celebrations. Most people love the holiday time! Adults flutter around busily preparing for festivities and children are abuzz with excitement. While we should have an opportunity to learn about and share information about the important holidays and celebrations in our lives, celebrating specific holidays in a library environment may exclude someone. Some people, based on religious or personal beliefs, do not celebrate holidays or birthdays. That doesn’t mean that holidays have to be forbidden! By connecting holiday themes, you show that holidays are an expression of cultural and religious pride, and help with understanding the commonality of certain human feelings, celebrations, etc.

You might look at the way lights are used in the holidays of Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Santa Lucia Day and Diwali, for example. As a reminder, the use of religious symbols such as a cross, menorah, crescent, Star of David, crèche, symbols of Native American religions, the Buddha, among others, that are part of a religious tradition is permitted as a teaching aid, provided such symbols are displayed only as an educational example of the culture and religious heritage of the holiday and are temporary in nature and should not be used as decorations.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my updates and being on this path of learning. I wish you all the happiest of holidays and look forward to seeing you in the new year!

~Sherry Machones


Continuing Education:


Diverse Holidays in December:

December is Universal Human Rights Month. This month people all across the globe are encouraged to come together and stand up for equality, justice, and the dignity of all humans. The Universal Month for Human Rights started in 1948 when the United Nations wrote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

December 1: World AIDS Day, commemorating those who have died of AIDS, and to acknowledge the need for a continued commitment to all those affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
December 3: International Day of Persons with Disabilities, designed to raise awareness in regards to persons with disabilities in order to improve their lives and provide them with equal opportunity.
December 6: Last day of Hanukkah, also called The Festival of Lights.
December 8: Bodhi Day, the Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day that the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama (Shakyamuni), experienced enlightenment, also known as bodhi in Sanskrit and Pali.
December 10: International Human Rights Day, established by the United Nations in 1948 to commemorate the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
December 12: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a religious holiday in Mexico commemorating the appearance of the Virgin Mary near Mexico City in 1531.
December 15: Bill of Rights Day, the national celebration of the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, which spell out our rights as Americans.
December 16-24: Las Posadas, a nine-day celebration in Mexico commemorating the trials Mary and Joseph endured during their journey to Bethlehem.
December 21: Yule Winter Solstice, celebrated by Pagans and Wiccans. The shortest day of the year represents a celebration focusing on rebirth, renewal and new beginnings as the sun makes its way back to the Earth. A solstice is an astronomical event that happens twice each year when the sun reaches its highest position in the sky.|
December 23: Festivus, a secular holiday celebrated on December 23 as an alternative to the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas season.
December 25: Christmas Day, the day that many Christians associate with Jesus’ birth.
December 26: Boxing Day, a secular holiday celebrated in the U.K., Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and South Africa.
December 26-January 1: Kwanzaa, an African-American holiday started by Maulana Karenga in 1966 to celebrate universal African-American heritage.
December 26: Zartosht No-Diso (Death of Prophet Zarathushtra), a day of remembrance in the Zoroastrian religion. It is a commemoration of the death anniversary of the prophet Zoroaster, or Zarathushtra.
December 31: Watch Night, a day for Christians to review the year that has passed, make confessions, and then prepare for the year ahead by praying and resolving.