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This Christmas Here- typed December 29th- Ujamaa

December 29, 2015

Wow- this Christmas here was a record breaker in so many facets, I am still shaking my head 4 days later in awe and pain at the same time.

When I approached my 40th Birthday this past August/ September during that time of reflection I vowed certain things in life could just be no more and in order to ensure these no mores would no longer exist, I drew some boundaries and decided these lines will not be crossed ever by myself or anyone else.

Thanksgiving in agreement with keeping boundaries, I stayed home while the remainder of my family including my daughters had dinner with family. My son experienced a mishap that lead to his head being shaved so he decided not to go, along with my twin birthday pal from VA who stayed also because he was in XBOX heaven. My Cousin Lonnie and his mom made sure we had dinner and although I told my mom she didn’t have to cook she did anyway.  When Lonnie brought the food, he said Wow Cuzz it is peaceful in this house and we are going to have a good Christmas, my answer was Amen and Agreed. We laughed and enjoyed the day as another cousin dropped by for a few, game on, and all was well.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving I jumped into the Holiday Spirit full force, watching the Hallmark Channel’s Christmas movies the entire month of December and a Christmas miracle, I knew it would be this season.  The decorations went up the 9 days before Christmas 😊😄, which turned out very lovely, and although I am not a fan of driving in the rain, the temperature and the soothing of the water here in NC was all but wonderful to me. The Monday before Christmas I received $100 from a person I least expected, and that Blessing truly helped set the definite tone of belief that This Christmas here was it.  At 8 PM Christmas Eve my Uncle from DC was at my house and this was his 1st time being with the family for the holidays in over 8 years so it was a great happiness to see him. A cousin from New Jersey stopped by that day as well, and when the night ended I was wrapping presents with my dad and his only 3 siblings for the 1st time since I was a child.

My Christmas Day  duties didn’t shut down until 7 AM that morning, and about an hour later my 3 are up and opening gifts, by 11 AM I am out delivering gifts, and Christmas Day our house was filled with more family I haven’t seen in years, and this holiday was the example of how people’s presence was a present. Saturday my nephews arrived and this is when it all went sour and the holiday mood went on pause and Soul Food came out.The reality of why I avoid much hits. The reality of how one person’s battle with their demons can fuck up life for everyone around them hits.

When living in Fort Washington the surburbs of DC, a definite everyday hustle and bustle, home of the movers and shakers; I was RAISED were holidays were relaxing, gathering, eating, and partying. As a child when we travelled here to Henderson, NC where I live now, MY GRANDMOTHER RAISED us to have enjoying, relaxing, gathering and eating holidays.  And just like Soul Food my cousins and I are watching the destruction of families now that “big mama is gone”; and In my perception of today’s society and this “lustfilled need for attention spirit” that’s lingering, I have watched our family gatherings turn into too many moments of WHAT THE FUCK- and attention is the motive.  “Vanity definitely one of my favorite/greatest sins”( The Devil’s Advocate movie)

Sunday our house was in a mood most of the day because of two people, and as I slowed  down to see myself in the middle of the street with my church dress on that I had vowed to wear all day in honor of the last Sunday for 2015, I humbly looked at her and said you know what I don’t want to fight but your shit and the things you do have got to go. Expressed very vocally do not bring her ass back to this house and then I had to ask, in all this chaos, attention, and “love” – what type of family are we, what have I become, and what are the boundaries? Do we all agree on the boundaries?

And just like that Sunday night the house was back at peace, the kids are together for the remainder of the holiday season, tomorrow we celebrate my nephew’s 6th birthday, and although some things went down shady this Christmas holiday, this “shade” helped  to start a long overdue conversation of oneness on a “few” issues in our family.

It’s going to require more work than I know and the 5 kids in the house with me right now are my proof and vow to get it done- because although I may not want to fight – this 2015 I have taken several BOLD stands.

Sunday I lived -Kujichagulia(Self- Determintaion), although the atmosphere in the house was initially shifted Saturday night, Sunday morning I made it to church on time to hear my mom speak, and make a stop pass another church.  The house was in Sunday dinner mode, and after the disturbance We lived -Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility).

Monday morning my sister and I shared “Your Daily Blessing” by Paradigm Shift

“People with a scarcity mentality tend to see everything in terms of win-lose. There is only so much; and if someone else has it, that means there will be less for me. The more principle-centered we become, the more we develop an abundance mentality, the more we are genuinely happy for the successes, well-being, achievements, recognition, and good fortune of other people. We believe their success adds to…rather than detracts from our lives.- Stephen R. Covey

“When I chased after money, I never had enough. When I got my life on purpose and focused on giving of myself and everything that arrived into my life, then I was prosperous.”- Wayne Dyer”

This Christmas was the 1st Christmas in 8 years I was able to give gifts to most in the immediate family and because the kids ALWAYS receive – I gave to the adults only. I received way more than imagine and the holidays have been a pure joy for the children. This has been a wonderful Spring feeling winter break and today on this Tuesday December 29th Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) I will be contacting a friend to help with his business.

Happy Kwanzaa Everyone-Enjoy your New Year and this is my 2nd to last post for 2015 since I was so sure that I would be taking a break until 1/5 from technology, but I am up at 5:30 AM with this one on my mind – so I am going against myself to share it.  May I fully embrace these principles today and all the days of the new year to come.

Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.

Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.

Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems and to solve them together.

Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.

Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

Imani (Faith): To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

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