Project Destiny of Pittsburgh ―Creating opportunities for children and parents‖ December, 2010 Volume 1, Issue 11 Holiday traditions past, present and future Christmas Luncheon Saturday, December 11, 2010, 11:30 A.M. Join us for our Annual Inside this issue: Holiday Luncheon. Kwanzaa 2 We’ll have good food, games, a Barbara Joy, Family Traditions 2 sing along, music and gifts from Santa. The Real Santa 3 RSVP required by Monday, Holiday Safety 3 The Birth of Jesus 4 December 6, 2010. Rev. Andrew Cooper , Family 4 Space is Limited. Traditions Inexpensive Gift/Craft Ideas 5 Project Destiny has its own Christmas traditions. Each year we put up our train set which features railroad cars displaying many of the great Pittsburgh Aujah Thompson, her essay on 6 Getting Involved based companies such as Islay’s (they had great chipped ham and home made ice cream), Heinz and of course The Pittsburgh Steelers. We also have Up-coming Events and 6 freight cars representing the Edgar Thompson Steel Mill. Rev. Gregg grew up Programs in North Braddock and remembers walking to her job as a candy stripper at Braddock Hospital where she’d pass by Islay’s and with her twenty cents in hand had to get her crispy Klondike before going to work. Her father and grandfather both worked at Edgar Thompson for many years. Our giant Christ- mas tree sits in one corner with a beautiful angel smiling down from the very tip top and our entire building is decked out in red and green with twinkling lights everywhere. Christmas is a joyous, family time to be shared and enjoyed. At our party last year we invited Dora and of course Santa and his rain deer and they all paraded around the room hugging everyone as they went. We’d like to let you know that they will all be with us again this year and they’ll be bring- ing a few new friends. As we continue our holiday traditions we’d like all of you to share them with us. Please make the Project Destiny’s Christmas celebra- tion one of your family holiday traditions. Join us on Saturday December Donations to Project Destiny-We’d like to thank all our friends and families for their continued support of our programming. Your gift is so important in helping us continue our service to the community. Please visit our website at www.projectdestinypgh.org and ―click‖ on the donate button at the bottom of any of our pages to make your contribution. Gifts can also be sent to Project Destiny directly, payable to Project Destiny. You will receive a tax deductible donation letter in return for your gift. Thank you in advance for your support. Page 2 December, 2010 Project Destiny of Pittsburgh Holiday traditions that celebrate our history, family and religious beliefs. The African celebration of Kwanzaa was a ceremony of appreciation for the "first fruits of har- vest". The four elements that made up the original African meaning of Kwanzaa were unity, awareness of ancestry and heritage, recommitment to traditional values, and reverence for creator and the creation. The modern celebration of Kwanzaa lasts seven days, from December 26 to January 1st. Each of the seven days of the celebration is dedicated to one of the seven principles. Each day one candle is lit that represents each principle. Day 1 - middle candle - Black - Umoja - Unity Day 2 - innermost red candle - Kujichagulia - Self-determination Day 3 - innermost green candle - Ujima - Collective Work and Responsibility Day 4 - middle red candle - Ujamaa - Cooperative Economics Day 5 - middle green candle - Nia - Purpose Day 6 - outermost red candle - Kuumba - Creativity Day 7 - outermost green candle - Imani - Faith There are many symbols of Kwanzaa. The candelabra is called a kinara. The straw mat that the kinara is placed on is a mkeka. Ears of corn are also placed on the mat, one to represent each child in the household. They are called the vibunzi (or muhindi). A fruit basket is placed on the mkeka, and is called the mazao. The unity cup is also placed on the mkeka, and is called the kikombe chaumoja. The seven candles that are placed in the kinara are called the Mishumaa Saba. Finally, all the gifts are called the zawadi and are traditionally given on Imani - the last day of Kwanzaa. On the evening of Kuumba (December 31) there is a feast called Karamu. This is the main focus of Kwanzaa where cultural expression is encouraged. This is practiced to bring all participants closer to their African roots. The program for the Karamu generally involves a welcome, a remembrance of ancestry, a reassessment of situa- tions, a recommitment to values, a rejoicing, a farewell statement, and a call for greater unity. Barbara Joy (Youth Coordinator at Project Destiny) celebrates both Christmas and Kwanzaa with her family Barb says, ―Our holiday customs are centered on family. Individual family groups enjoy Christmas Eve together opening gifts under the tree. On Christmas Day, forty or more of us come together for a wonderful day of sharing our family history with the young, playing games, and eating a wonderful traditional meal. It is a real family time filled with laughter and sharing. We all share in the cooking and we have dishes from Jamaica to South Carolina to Mississippi to New York. Because there are so many of us we each bring a wrapped gift and we play a game called ―The Elephant Game.’’ Anyone can decide to exchange their wrapped gift for someone else’s. This goes back and forth about 3 times and the excitement escalates as the gifts move around the room. Finally, we all hope we got a very special gift when it is time to unwrap our surprise. What Fun!‖ Kwanzaa ,which starts on Dec 26 and ends on Jan 1, has been in our family since 1970. Because of the seven principals of Kwanzaa we felt this was a wonderful way to teach our children about these values. It does not replace our own religion or religious holiday. The seven principles of Kwanzaa gives us an opportunity to remind our children of the importance of family, community, and culture. Page 3 December, 2010 Project Destiny of Pittsburgh The real Santa lived a long time ago in a place called Asia Minor. It is now the country of Turkey. His name was Nicholas. Nicholas' parents died when he was just a teenager. His parents left him a lot of money which made him a rich young man. He went to live with his uncle who was a priest. Nicholas heard about a man who had lost all his money. He had three daughters who were old enough to get married. But in those days young women had to have money in order to get married. This money was a "dowry" and it was used to help the new family get started. If you didn't have dowry money, you didn't get married. This family was so poor they had nothing left to eat. The daughters were going to be sold as slaves because they couldn't live at home any longer. They were very sad. They wouldn't be able to have families of their own. And they would have to be slaves—no longer able to decide where they would live or what they would do. The night before the oldest daughter was to be sold, she washed her stockings and put them in front of the fire to dry. Then all of them went to sleep—the father and the three daughters. In the morning the daughter saw a lump in her stocking. Reaching in, she found a small, heavy bag. It had gold inside! Enough to provide food for the family and money for her dowry. Oh, how happy they were! The next morning, another bag with gold was found. Imagine! Two of the daughters would now be saved. Such joy! And the next night, the father planned to stay awake to find out who was helping his daughters. He dozed off, but heard a small "clink" as another bag landed in the room. Quickly he jumped up and ran out the door. Who did he catch ducking around the corner? Nicholas, the young man who lived with his uncle. "Nicholas, it is you! Thank you for helping us, I hardly know what to say!" Nicholas said, "Please, do not thank me, thank God that your prayers have been answered. Do not tell others about me." Nicholas continued helping people. He always tried to help secretly. He didn't want any attention or thanks. Years passed and he was chosen to be a bishop. Bishops look after their people as shepherds look after their sheep. And that is what Nicholas did. When there wasn't any food, he found wheat; so no one went hungry. He always helped people in trouble. All his life Nicholas showed people how to love God and care for each other. —Carol Myershttp://www.stnicholascenter.org Use Candles with Care Electrical Safety Stay Warm Safely Walk around your home and When decorating, inspect cords Look for the UL Mark on your space move candles away from for damage and fraying and heater and read the instructions before anything that can burn. Store always keep extension cords using it. Move space heaters at least matches and lighters away away from where children play. three feet away from anything that can from children and be sure to Never run an extension cord burn (e.g., curtains, blankets) and blow out candles before you under a rug or tack it up to a never leave a space heater on when leave the room or go to sleep. wall with a nail or staple. you leave the room or go to sleep. Be Never leave a burning candle sure to teach children (and practice it unattended. yourself) to never place anything on top of a space heater to dry. Financial Safety– Give a Gift from the heart Handmade gifts can also stretch your budget. Granted, not everyone has the creative skills of Martha Stewart, and handmade gifts may not be appropriate for everyone on your list. Still, you can use your talents to lighten the strain on your wallet. Try a basket of inexpensive items, nicely arranged. Or, combine homemade goods, like chocolate chip cookies, with a purchased item, like a holiday platter, for an appealing gift at a reasonable price. One caveat: Watch the prices of the ingredients and supplies, or a budget-stretcher can become a budget-breaker. Some family members or friends may appreciate your time more than an expensive gadget. Rather than get a new coffee maker for your great-aunt, could you take her to the movies or help her run errands? Page 4 December, 2010 Project Destiny of Pittsburgh The Birth of Jesus One day about 2,000 years ago an angel named Gabriel appeared to a young Jewish woman named Mary. Gabriel told Mary she would have a son, Jesus, who would be the Son of God! Mary was confused and worried about this sudden news, but she had faith in God and said, "I am the Lord's servant; let it be as you say." Mary and her husband-to-be, Joseph, lived in a town called Nazareth. But they had to travel to the city of Bethlehem to register for a census ordered by the Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus. Both Nazareth and Bethlehem are in the country now called Israel. It is about 65 miles (105 km) from Nazareth to Bethlehem, and the trip probably took them several days. When Joseph and Mary got to Bethlehem, there was no place for them to stay because the inn was already full. They ended up spending the night in a stable, a place where animals were kept. There was probably fresh hay on the floor that they used for beds. That night, Jesus was born. There was no crib, so they laid baby Jesus in a manger, a feeding trough for animals. The manger probably had fresh hay in it and made a nice bed for the baby. That night, some shepherds were in the fields near Bethlehem, keeping watch over their flocks of sheep. An angel appeared to them and gave them the good news that a Savior, the Messiah, had been born. The angel told the shepherds they could find Jesus lying in a manger. Suddenly a whole group of angels appeared saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" The shepherds hurried into Bethlehem and found Jesus in the manger, just as the angel had told them. After they had seen Jesus, they spread the news, and everyone who heard was in awe. Some time later, wise men, or magi, from eastern countries saw a star in the sky that signaled the birth of a new king. They came to Judea, the region around Jerusalem and Bethlehem, to worship Jesus, the new king. A man named Herod was the king of Judea. He called the wise men to a meeting and told them to find the new king so he could go and worship him, too. The wise men continued on to Bethlehem and followed the star until it was directly above the house where Jesus was. They found Mary and Jesus in the house and knelt down to worship Him. They brought Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, some of the finest things in the ancient world. Frankincense was burned to make a sweet smell, and myrrh was an expensive perfume. After visiting Jesus, the wise men had a dream that warned them not to go back to King Herod, so they took a different route home. Rev. Andrew Cooper remembers his traditions Andrew Cooper is a family therapist and also works as a Cultural Consultant for Pro- ject Destiny’s Inua Ubuntu Project. He grew up in Manchester and he says that the holidays were exciting times when he was a child, especially Christmas. He said the Holiday’s were always family times when everyone came together, shared a meal and enjoyed each other’s company and this included extended family. The best toy that he remembers getting for Christmas was a Play mobile which was a working miniature car dash board. It had an ignition key, steering wheel, and horn and made a sound like an engine so he felt as if he was actually driving a car. Andrew has one brother 5 yrs older and remembers when they got a bike for Christmas. His family never had much money but he and his brother shared the bike and enjoyed riding through the neighborhood. He said although they didn’t have a lot they always got one special toy and always had what they needed. Andrew’s Father’s brother lived next door and so they didn’t have to travel too far to visited family and cousins. Andrew still keeps these family traditions and still finds Christmas exciting and enjoyable. Page 5 December, 2010 Project Destiny of Pittsburgh Inexpensive Craft/Gift ideas that kids will have fun making From http://familyfun.go.com here are some fun Christmas Craft ideas Santa Christmas Card Materials Red craft paper, Glue stick, Plain note card or card stock. Tempera paints Paper plates Googly eyes Instructions 1. Cut Santa-hat shapes (minus the pom-poms and white trim) from the craft paper, then glue one onto each card. Glue a pair of googly eyes a fingertip's width below each hat. 2. Pour white tempera paint onto one paper plate, and a dollop each of red, black, and pink (mix some red and white) onto another. Stamp white handprint beards, then use fingertips to stamp the trim on the hats, and a nose, mouth, and cheeks on each face. Crunchy the Snowman- Instructions 1. To make a batch, melt 1 cup of white chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler. (place a heat proof bowl over a pan of hot water-water should not touch the bottom of the bowl). 2. One at a time, dip one end of an 8-inch pretzel rod in the melted chocolate and use a plastic spoon or knife to spread the chocolate two thirds of the way down the rod. 3. Set the pretzels on a sheet of waxed paper and press on mini chocolate chips for eyes and buttons. Use orange decorators' gel to add a carrot nose. 4. When the chocolate has hardened, stand the pretzels in a mug or glass and tie on strips of fruit leather for scarves. For each hat, stretch a gummy ring over the narrow end of a gumdrop and secure it on the pretzel rod with a dab of melted chocolate. Recycle old crayons into new ones (Great inexpensive gift idea) Have lots of crayon stubs that are too small to hold on to? Don't throw them out! You can use them to create big, chunky crayons – and your kids can help. Time Required: 25 minutes 1. Gather up all of your broken crayons, and cut them into small pieces. (An adult will need to complete this step.) 2. If you don't have a muffin tin to devote to crayon making, you can line your regular muffin tin with foil cups. 3. Candy and soap making molds can also be used to create fun, shaped crayons. OR you can fill a muffin tin with an inch-thick layer of crayon pieces. 4. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees. 5. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until the wax is melted. 6. Allow the tin to cool; then pop out the crayons, and they're ready for use. Page 6 December, 2010 Project Destiny of Pittsburgh Aujah Thompson was one of nine “Girls on the Move” who won a trip to Destin, Florida this past summer. She goes to Allegheny Traditional Academy and is now in the 7th grade. Her essay speaks to why getting parents and mentors involved is so important. Other Up-Coming Events and Programs Chess Club for children ages 8 to 16. English Benton of the Northside Old-timers is facilitating the club. The Chess club will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30p-6:45p (Begins November 30th but children can start anytime). Skating Party at Neville Island Rink-Sunday, December 5th from 5:00p-8:30p. Sponsored by the Northside Old Timers. Call Barb at Project Destiny for more information. NOOK – Nurturing Our Own Kids-December 15th at 6:30p. CYF (Children and Youth Services) Holiday Celebration, December 17th at Hosanna House, 6p to 9p. “Reality Check”-Tuesday December 7th from 7:00p to 8:30p—For boys only. Ages 12 and up. The Northside Old Timers will speak about the realities of street life and taking charge of your life to get boys back on the right track. New Year’s Eve at Project Destiny-December 31, 2010 at 10:00p. Come celebrate our blessings and hopes for the New Year. We’ll have good music, food and fellowship. RSVP by December 27th. Healed without Scars- Rev. Brenda Gregg will facilitate this 8 week session on dealing with family trauma. Begins Jan 5th at 6:30p. Child care provided. Call us to register for this dynamic support group. Project Destiny of Pittsburgh 2200 California Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15212 Phone: 412-231-1258 Fax: 412-586-4589 Web site: www.projectdestinypgh.org "Creating opportunities for children and parents" Founder and Executive: Director: Rev. Brenda J. Gregg Writer and Editor: Lane Colvin Administrative Assistant: Rhonda Jennings Program Facilitators: Rev. Joyce Thomas, Barbara Joy, Quinton Zigler, Lane Colvin, Mollie Robinson, LPN, Jammie Albert, M.Ed. Whatever your Christmas and Holiday traditions, take some time to give thanks for your family and the many blessings you have. The best gift you can give anyone is your time and loving attention. In order to provide equal employment and advancement opportunities to all individuals, employment decisions at Project Destiny will be based on merit, qualifications, and abilities. Project Destiny of Pittsburgh. does not discriminate with regards to race, color, sex, national origin, disability, age or any other characteristic protected by law.
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