What If Your Santa Ain't Pink?
Happy holidays, all! By the time you read this, you will probably have consumed your turkey, goose or ham (Some latkes maybe? Peas and rice? ); opened your gifts (and we hope you got some nice ones); and are looking ahead to... well, what are you looking ahead to? For some of you, at this point it's all about New Year's. For others, maybe you're still in the middle of Kwanzaa or you're going to observe Epiphany, the Feast of the Three Kings.
The point is that a multicultural society like ours offers a feast of opportunities to celebrate and worship. But it can also get complicated. The traditions of Christmas, as practiced in North America, draw heavily on imagery shaped by northern Europe: the pink-cheeked Santa and all that snow, snow, snow! It's a problem for some of us to see ourselves in the story. And Kwanzaa can be a dilemma, too: Does it add to Christmas or detract from Christmas?
You may find yourself thinking about these things when you're on your own, but for most of us, what and how to celebrate doesn't really become an issue until we decide to share our lives with someone else, especially when we have children. So we decided to ask some savvy multicultural moms how they navigate the cultural minefield of holiday time. We hope to offer this kind of practical, accessible talk about real issues as a regular feature of our program.
Our working title for this segment is "Mocha Moms" — and no, we weren't clever enough to come up with that one. Mocha Moms is a national organization founded by stay-at-home moms of color, but open to all. I stumbled across the group a couple of years ago when I interviewed some of their chapter members for a story for ABC News Nightline. When we started developing this program, my colleague Marie Nelson had the idea of building a segment around members of the group, which was founded here in the D.C. area.
We liked their common sense, chemistry and energy, and we hope you do, too. Please listen (audio) and take a minute to tell us what you think about the segment. What about the topics? If this were a call-in show, is this the type of segment that would move you to call or write in? What if you knew about it in advance from our blog? Would you make more of an effort to participate in the conversation?
On a side note, a husband of one of our Mocha Moms just returned from a tour of duty in Iraq. That reminds me to take a moment to thank all of you who are spending your holidays abroad, whether in the military, Peace Corps or Foreign Service. Thank you for your service and sacrifice, and that of your families. And thanks also to those of you who are spending the holidays working here at home — in squad cars, firehouses, newsrooms, fixing utility lines, serving food or taking care of the sick. Whatever you do, we appreciate it, even if we don't always take the time to say so. So thank you and happy new year to all! We're gone for the holiday but will be back next week to respond to posts.