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Our Seattle’s Child Tradition

To celebrate the rich and imaginative family holiday traditions found in our community, we've gathered traditions from our readers and will post one each day until the new year.

We hope you'll also share one of your favorite holiday traditions and that you'll find reading these traditions as comforting and inspiring as we do — to be reminded of how every family is entirely unique yet we still share so much in common.


By April Rauch

While Kwanzaa was established as a celebration of African-American culture in the 1960s, we first discovered the holiday after the adoption of our first child, Ophelia. Kwanzaa is the perfect answer to my and Andrew's atheist and agnostic resistance to the commercialized holiday season. Kwanzaa runs from Dec. 26 through Jan. 1st and celebrates a different principle for each of those seven days: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, family, purpose, creativity, and faith.

We light a kinara (similar to a menorah) each evening and discuss the daily principle. Kwanzaa gives our family the opportunity to reflect on all we are grateful for and to collaborate on meaningful resolutions for the New Year to come for both ourselves and our community. We have a boisterous annual Kwanzaa celebration with our adoption group friends, and it strengthens our children's camaraderie and pride in their beautiful heritage.

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