Kwanzaa Dec 26 to Jan 1

Kwanzaa is¬†an African American and Pan-African holiday which celebrates family, community and culture. Celebrated from 26 December thru 1 January, its origins are in the first harvest celebrations of Africa from which it takes its name. The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits” in Swahili, a Pan-African language which is the most widely spoken African language. ”

source: officialkwanzaawebsite.org

(From the Official Kwanzaa Website)

Christmas Day

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source: public domain

Christians in Canada and around the world celebrate the Nativity, the birth of the Christ. Christians believe that Jesus, who was born in Bethlehem, in Roman occupied Israel roughly 2000 years ago, was the Messiah, the long awaited saviour promised by God.The Hebrew word Messiah translates to Greek as Khristos, from which we get the anglicized form, Christ. Christians believe that God became one of us in the person of Jesus, or Emanuel, literally “God With Us.”Over the course of the last century, Christmas has grown from a strictly Christian festival to become a secular holiday celebrated by people of many different religions, cultures and worldviews from all over the planet. For some, Santa Claus, stockings and gift-giving are central to Christmas. To others, it is a much needed rest at the coldest and darkest time of year. Some may agree with the Grinch, who simply hated Christmas, or with Ebenezer Scrooge when he said it was a “Humbug” — although both of them changed their positions in the end!

Whether you are celebrating the birth of the Christ with your family and friends, or observe Christmas as a strictly secular event, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve

134746__nativity_l“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests.'” from the¬†Book of Luke, Chapter 2

Winter Solstice and Yule

source: Wikimedia Commons / CC

Winter begins in the northern hemisphere on this, the shortest day of the year. In traditional pagan cultures, this time of the year represented darkness giving way to light, and death giving way to life. The dark and cold had reached its nadir. Henceforth the days would grow longer and warmer. Hope was restored. Many of the festivals and celebrations that take place at this time of year, from many different cultures, follow this theme.

For more on this and other winter observances and feasts, check out our display: Holidays and Holy Days.

December 20: It’s A Wonderful Life

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On this day in 1946, Director Frank Capra’s beloved holiday film, “It’s a Wonderful Life” opened in New York. It would go on to become standard Christmas viewing for millions of families. (I estimate that I have seen it 28 times.)

For more information about the film, click here or here.

Christmas Reading Rewards!

Reading is its own reward. But from time to time we like to give a little something more to those students who demonstrate a love of reading to the rest of the class during SSR. Teachers select students for Reading Rewards tickets, which earn them trips to the school library during class for warm beverages, some tasty treats, and some bonus silent reading in a warm, comfortable and festive atmosphere! 

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Thanks! Thanks to our volunteers and other members of the Library Team

IMG_0107[1]Thanks to our volunteers and other members of the Library Team.  You serve the staff and students of the school in a vital way.  We appreciate it very much!

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On Wednesday the library shut down for lunch so the volunteers could attend the Volunteer Lunch & Christmas Party Extravaganza! We had festive gathering with a ton of tasty treats (Thanks to everyone who brought some, especially those who baked them themselves!) 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone on the Library Team.

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Christmas Reading Rewards

HPIM0973.JPG Do you love reading and do you demonstrate that each day during SSR?  Ask your teacher about Christmas Reading Rewards! You might be lucky enough to come down to the library this week for some tasty Holiday Treats, a warm drink, some Christmas music, and, best of all, some silent reading time!

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Library Team Christmas Party!

All Library Team members are invited to a Volunteer Appreciation Lunch / Christmas Party on Wednesday, December 18.  It will be a fun time to celebrate the Season and a chance for us to thank you for all your service to the students and staff of our school!

Source: Seattle Municipal Archives / Wikimedia Commons