Embracing Diversity in December: A Guide for Families to Celebrate and Reflect

December recognizes various diverse monthly celebrations. This time of year people focus on celebration, reflection, and giving. So it is a good reminder to reflect on what we have done, what work we still need to do, and how we can serve those who need help. Here are some recognized dates during December.

December 1 – World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day is observed globally on December 1st each year to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, honor those who have lost their lives to the disease, and support those living with HIV.

December 3 – International Day of Persons with Disabilities

By creating an inclusive work culture, your staff can have a better understanding of those they work with, and those with a disability will feel a sense of belonging.

December 7-15- Hanukkah

Hanukkah (also spelled “Chanukah”) is an eight-day winter “festival of lights,” which begins each year on the 25th day of the Jewish calendar month of Kislev. On each of the eight nights of Chanukah, Jewish people light special menorahs (candelabras), adding another flame each night, until on the eighth night eight flames are burning brightly.

December 16 – Las Posadas

Typically celebrated in Mexico and other Latin American countries, this time of prayer refers to the Spanish word posada for lodging or home. This comes from the Nativity story where Mary gives birth to Jesus in an inn. For many Catholics and Protestants alike, this is an extremely religious time of reflection approaching Christmas.

December 22 – Winter Solstice or Yule

Celebrated in both Pagan and Wiccan faiths, Yule or Yuletide originated as a festival in Germany, which celebrated the newborn solstice sun.

December 25 – Christmas

Observed every December 25, nearly 160 countries globally celebrate this holiday. While a religious holiday for Christians, it is also widely recognized as a cultural holiday in many countries. It’s a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics.

December 26 – Kwanzaa

Celebrated from December 26 – January 1, this festival of African American culture focuses on each of the seven principles, Nguzo Saba, each day. The name Kwanzaa comes from Swahili for first fruits, as some of the first fruit festivals of the season occur in December or January during the southern solstice in Southern African countries.

December 26 – Boxing Day

Boxing Day, a secular holiday celebrated in the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and South Africa