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kenny-and-his-family-celebrateHappy Holidays from Kenny!

During the holiday season, I have been thinking about all of the different ways that people celebrate. I have traveled all over the world. I enjoy talking about my travels and the people that I meet on my travels. When I meet people, I learn a lot about them and I learn that no matter how different we all may be, we all have so much in common as well. We all celebrate special holidays and events each year, though those events and holidays might be different depending on where we live and our own personal family cultures.

My friend Daniel celebrates Christmas with his family. They hang stockings and decorate a tree. They wait for Santa Claus to come and give presents to Daniel and all children. They leave out cookies for Santa and they leave apples for the reindeer. Daniel also writes a special note giving thanks to Santa for all the good things in his life. They have a special fondue for dinner on Christmas Eve and then go to church and sing Christmas hymns. In the morning, they wake up and open their presents. In the afternoon, Daniel goes to the homeless shelter with his Grandparents and make a nice Christmas dinner for those less fortunate.

My friend Julian also celebrates Christmas, but his family travels a lot, so they celebrate wherever they are. Since they are in Australia this year, they are eating a midday Christmas lunch of shrimp, cold turkey with quince jam and some vegemite! Vegemite is a thick black Australian food spread made from leftover brewers’ yeast extract with various vegetable and spice additives. You should try it at least once in your life. They are also going to be singing carols from their boat with other boats in the harbor and lighting a luminary. It sounds like it is going to be beautiful.

My friend Ethan’s family celebrates Hanukkah because they are Jewish. During Hanukkah, Ethan’s family lights a different candle on their menorah for eight nights. They also eat specially prepared foods that are fried, Ethan’s favorites are the jam filled donuts called sufganiyot and potato pancakes called latkes. They also like to sing special songs and play special games. The families also exchange gifts for Hanukkah, but they give one or two presents each day rather than all the presents at once.

Amanda’s family are Wikka, they celebrate Winter Solstice. During Winter Solstice, Amanda’s family also lights candles. They burn a special oak log in their fireplace. Amanda and her family meditate on the ending on the solar year and the rebirth of the sunshine. They sing songs, chant and say prayers for peace on earth and eat special oat cakes made from grains and fruits from their garden. They put flowers in their hair and celebrate the life that is to come in the new year.

My pal Travon’s family celebrates Kwanza. During Kwanza, Travon, and his family light a candle each day for seven days. The candles symbolize unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and finally faith. During Kwanza, they give each other handmade gifts.

Rosa, along with Chloe and of course Rosa’s family celebrate by participating in plays about the nativity for Christmas. They also celebrate by lighting candles, singing songs and breaking piñatas then, of course, collecting all of that great candy. Rosa helps to decorate her home with evergreen branches and flowers. And of course, she waits for Santa Claus.

Mar and Kilary who both live in Costa Rica celebrate Christmas as well. They decorate their homes with tropical flowers and fruits. They place a special nativity scene in their home called a Pasito. On Christmas eve Mar and Kilary dress up and go to Miso de Gallo which is a midnight mass (even though it translates to Mass of the Rooster). They then have their Christmas dinner. On Christmas day, they open their gifts. And of course, they spend time on the beach!

I think that it is wonderful that so many people celebrate. Celebrating is a wonderful thing. It is a way of showing joy, it is a way of giving thanks for what we have and it is a way to just experience happiness. We can also celebrate by helping those who are less fortunate that we are, the way that Daniel and Julian do. We can give back to the world and those that have given us so much.

You might be wondering what a dolphin does to celebrate the holidays or what holidays we celebrate. Well, I celebrate all of them. I celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, and everything else. We love to celebrate. We celebrate our loved ones and we celebrate those who we do not know. We give gifts of kindness and help others and we do it all year round. My family met me in the Caribbean Sea where I was traveling and we had a delicious holiday meal of delicious fish and even some fruits. I introduced them to my little friend Jairo and of course, they welcomed him as well. We sang dolphin songs of good will to the world. We decorated a coral reef with shells and sea flowers. We celebrated life of all kinds. We gave our gifts of kindness. I wish you all the Happiest of Holidays whoever you are and whatever you celebrate.

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