Wednesday, October 18, 2006

African American Christmas Decoration

There are many people who have a very traditional idea about Christmas, however few of these really realize that most of the Christmas traditions that we have come not from Bethlehem, but from Northern Europe. Everything from the snow in the manger scene to the Christmas tree actually starts in European countries, and not in the holy land. With this in mind, why should we not change Christmas when it suits us to fit our cultures and our individual styles.
This is why I have begun to collect African American Christmas Decorations. There is definitely a unique African American style which has penetrated the American mainstream as much as any other style that there is, and it seems like a shame not to celebrate it. African American Christmas Decoration not only celebrates authentic African traditions, but also the styles and contributions of generations of African Americans. Getting or making your own African American Christmas Decoration is the best way to celebrate your own heritage if you are an African American, or to celebrate tolerance and cultural diversity in America if you are not. I am not saying that you should go all out and discard all of those blown glass Christmas ornaments that you have stocked up to put all over your tree. But what I am saying is that that same tree will look all that much better with African American Christmas Decoration strung up alongside the more traditional Christmas decor.
Of course, what exactly constitutes African American decorations really varies depending who you are asking about it. Some people take African American Christmas Decoration to mean African Christmas decoration, and like to adorn their trees with charms shaped like giraffes, gazelle, and stylized masks. I do think that this has a place in African American Christmas Decoration, but I do not think that it is enough by itself. In reality, African American Christmas Decoration has so much more to offer. When I think of African American Christmas Decoration, I think of Christmas ornaments that celebrate and remember African American history. That means celebrating literature, music, education, farming, and all of the other areas in which African Americans have made a contribution to our culture, and doing it with a distinctly African American style. Of course, that is just me. The beauty about African American Christmas Decoration is that you can do it in whatever way is the most meaningful to you.