|So like... this happened.|
By now most of the country is winding down from a week filled with holiday events... office parties where everybody gets a little too familiar with each other once the booze starts flowing (sorry accounting guy with the unfortunate bowl cut. I thought you could take a punch), jam-packed malls in the hunt for that perfect gift to show our sweetheart how much we love them (remember, every kiss begins with k and every that one weird thing you like begins with a new X-Box 360 and Call of Duty-Modern Warfare 3) and time spent with our friends and family. But before we start ramping up for the second most over-hyped holiday of the year, let's take a moment to acknowledge the lesser known holidays that must share the spotlight with Christmas, Hanukkah and College football- insert some kind of fruit or chip here- Bowls.
|No, not Festivus. Though what holiday get together would be complete without|
the annual Airing of Grievances?
I was thinking more along the lines of Kwanzaa. You know, that red-headed stepchild holiday not too many people know much about? Including me, sadly. My full grasp of the day involves childhood candle lighting's in school and songs about Umoja and something called Kujichagulia that used to make me giggle every year. And then as I became a somewhat grown person, I realized that this holiday was more than a little janky (imho) and that the founder, Dr. Maulana Karenga, was a little bit of a crazy wafer. While I’m certainly not against teaching the African American youth to appreciate and practice great principles such as unity (Umoja) and Self-Determination, I’d like to think of myself as more of an every day practicing black person. In other words, I get my Kuumba (creativity) on 24 to the sev and a day mo’ on the leap year! I don't feel the need to reserve it to Boxing Day. And while my lack of knowledge on Kwanzaa probably qualifies me to have my black card forfeited by the NAACP any day now, I still find it comical when others (namely, non- African American peeps) somehow know even less than I do on the subject. I love to get my holiday jollies by “educating” people on some of the lesser known practices and principles found in your annual Kwanzaa celebration. Whether you're black, brown, white or polka dot, fun can be had for all this time of year. Just don't forget these Kwanzaa essentials:
- It's customary on the first night of Kwanzaa for guests to greet their host/hostess with the official Holiday Black People Secret handshake. The handshake is of course to honor the great innovator, George Washington Carver who as we all know, invented the peanut. A dab of peanut butter is smeared in the palm of the hand prior to the shaking of the hands and of course the host/hostess dictates whether said peanut butter is to be chunky or smooth. Usually, choosy mom's choose Jiff but during the high holy day Skippy is an acceptable substitution. That is as long as the secret peanut butter handshake is promptly followed up by chanting the also secret Holiday Black People mantra: No Justice, No Peanuts! If this is your first year being invited to a Kwanzaa party and your hostess seems uninitiated in the ways of the secret George Washington Carver is the original Mr. Peanut/black people looove making up secret handshake tradition, don't be discouraged. They are only testing you and will surely name you Grand Poobah of all things Kujichagulia once you remind them that you never... and I mean never half-step when it comes to all things peanut butter and peanut related. And you certainly wouldn't ever bring some pasty-ass Smart Balance peanut butter into their crib (no matter if it's a studio apartment or the White House, all AA's live in cribs) because you respect them too much.
|I baked a nail file inside this cake for when you go to visit your|
cousin Pookie, who I'm assuming is in prison. Ujamaa!
- Now that you've made it through your first Kwanzaa dinner, it's time to ingratiate yourself to some of your colorful coworkers. Don't bother asking them if they celebrate or not. If we have a tan darker than Snookie, we looove Kwanzaa. And we just loove it when people bring us in presents to celebrate this American-made holiday that kind of treats the over 53 countries of Africa like one big monolithic mother ship that we can all identify with in only the most general and stereotypical of ways. Show us how much you understand this by surprising us with small trinkets that signify the motherland. Such as; a handful of acorns picked from the parking lot. Go ahead and leave those right on our desk while we're out for lunch. No need to sign a card, we'll know it's from you. Or how about a nice kente cloth covered seat cushion to rest our bootyliscious bottoms on? Hey, now we're collating and hitting our Kwanzaa dougie all at the same time. Thanks for helping us multi-task! We're sure to get that promotion now. Almost forgot... Don't forget the holiday treats to get us in the mood for the season. My coworker brought me in a handful of Jordan Almonds and circus peanuts to celebrate the eloquent poetry of Langston Hughes and now we've never been closer. Also, it's a well know fact that Harriet Tubman sustained the run-away slaves escaping the US South to Canada with a corn based casserole dish consisting of mashed potatoes, gravy, fried chicken and cheddar cheese. In fact, to honor our ancestors, you can find one of these casseroles in single-serving form at your neighborhood KFC... I think they call them Famous Bowls now. Make sure to bring enough in for all the black guys down in the warehouse.
Note: This post is obviously an end of year stab at sarcasm but just in case you were planning on actually doing any of these things may we suggest you click on the Kwanzaa links throughout the article before you embarrass yourself, your family and your country.
--- Vanity in Peril