Tuesday, December 11, 2018

5 Ways to Create a Racially Affirming Merry Christmas for your Multiracial Family

Christmas is our very favorite family holiday!  Over the years, we have created new family traditions that make our celebration all the more magical.  And if you're in a multiracial family like we are, Christmas is an opportunity to focus on the birth of Jesus while savoring the season with some fantastic racially affirming actions.

1:  Take your child to visit a Black Santa.

This takes some pre-planning, as it's not always easy to find a melanin-rich Santa.  You might have to travel to a diverse area, make lots of phone calls, and ask around.  But I think it's very important for children of color to know that yes, there was a real Santa (you can read about him here), and that now there are representations of Santa everywhere.  And yes, Santa CAN look like your child!  

2:  Create a Black musician Christmas playlist.

This is one of our favorite traditions:  listening to our playlist!  We love our eclectic mix of music styles and artists, as well as eras!  Artists I suggest include Darius Rucker, Jamie Grace, Mandisa, Ella Fitzgerald, John Legend, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, Etta James, Natalie Cole, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey.  We love Mickey Guyton's (female country artist) version of "Do You Want to Build a Snowman."  

3:  Build your home library.

The best day to shop is the day after Christmas when many bookstores mark their Christmas books down by 50% or more!  They often also carry Christmas cards, CDs, and DVDs.  

The best racially diverse children's Christmas books can be found here.

4:  Decorate!

If you've been following me on social media (especially my Insta stories), you know I LOVE racially diverse Christmas decor.   My go-to stores are TJ Maxx, Home Goods, and Marshalls (which are sister stores), Hobby Lobby, and Michael's.  Hallmark is also one of my favorite stores.  

The best time to buy this decor is the day after Christmas.  Hallmark, for example, usually marks their ornaments down by 30% the day after Christmas.  Other stores like Home Goods, Marshalls, and TJMaxx mark down by 50% the day after.   

Things to look for:  Black Nativity, angels, Santas, children figurines, ornaments, Christmas cards, snow globes, and wrapping paper.  (PS:  Hallmark carries the BEST wrapping paper in terms of quality.  Since we travel, I prefer paper that won't easily rip!)

5:  Bake.

My daughter and I recently learned how to make a fantastic sweet potato pie (gluten and dairy free, too!), and it's one of our new favorite traditions!  We love to make our pie and take it to family gatherings.  Baking is a fantastic way to bond and celebrate your child's racial culture.  There's a fantastic children's Christmas book that talks about different Christmas traditions (including favorite cookies) around the world that can help inspire you to get in the kitchen with your kids!  (There are some recipes included!)

And while you bake, play your new Christmas playlist!  (#2) 

6:  Attend a Christmas service at an African American church.

A holiday as sacred as Christmas should create special memories for your child.  When we put the focus on Christ, while also teaching our children that Christmas isn't just for white folks and Jesus WAS NOT white Himself, we're doing our children a great service.    I encourage you not to let the search for a fantastic church to being and end on Christmas.  (More on this in 2019!)  Because remember, your child is Black all year long.  

Dear one, it is NOT too late.  Get started on some new traditions TODAY!  

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