Editor's Welcome:River Dee Designs' purpose in creating artwork is to comfort and encourage. Our process to achieve includes the:
1) Sense of Adventure
2) Appreciation for Others
3) Life with Purpose Beyond Self
4) Syncing Inner Powers for Harmony
5) Flipping Our Switch To "Glow"
River Dee Designs artwork is at its most soothing and / or inspiring when ideas, talents and goals are shared. Our artwork and special projects enjoy strong collaboration.
In this holiday newsletter, your season will be brightened by the contributions of family, friends, and professional colleagues. Please explore their artistic gifts. We are so grateful for their participation and hope you will benefit as we have from their discoveries, outreach, kindness, steady balance . . . and the shine they put on their achievements.
(All all materials, written and visual herein, are protected by copyright.)
World Of Holidays Newsletter
A Family Of Many Lands
(Cyprus foundation photo from and tradition of Carol Rose, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom)
Carol's family celebrated several holidays during December as she was growing up. Her family members celebrated the Christmas holiday of the British on the 25th - as England was the country of their birth.
Carol's mother, however, led the family in celebrating the Christmas holiday of Germany on the 24th with a special meal - as Carol was born in Germany.
These multiple celebrations were Carol's mum way of inspiring a wider understanding of everyone's value in the family.
“Blessed are You, Lord, our G-d, King of the universe,Who sanctifies us with His commandments andhas commanded us to kindle the light of Chanukah.Blessed are You, Lord, our G-d, King of the universe,Who has wrought miracles for our forefathers/mothersin those days at this season."
This powerful image is an expression of Chanukah, the festival of lights, celebrated for eight days. The menorah is our oldest symbol in Judaism and is used as the inspiration for this holiday image. A variation of the seven branched menorah is the Chanukiah, with eight branches and a shamash.
The light from the candles that are kindled each evening helps to light our way as we discover the true meaning of Chanukah.
The central column alludes to the power of the great miracles of Chanukah. A small army of Maccabees overcame their enemy and restored the Temple. One day's ration of oil lasted for the duration of the eight day battle.
The branches of the Chanukiah emanate from that fiery core. They spread out from the source and return to it. This dramatic movement emulates the posture of our people as we celebrate and remember this moment in history every year.
(foundation photo by C M Deever, our mother - Kansas, USA)
Mom tells of her first holiday as a newlywed. She and Dad had graduated from college; and, Dad was attending a seminary in Ohio.
To make ends meet, Dad worked nights and Mom was a social worker in an orphanage for girls. During that first holiday together, Mom and Dad spent the evening with the girls in a cottage . . . and started what became an annual holiday tradition.
They gathered around a fire, ate popcorn, told the story of the littlest angel . . . and listened to a recording, "While The Chimes Rang".
As we were growing up, Mom and Dad kept photo albums prominently displayed in our living rooms. During the holidays, we looked at pictures of the first children Mom and Dad cared for - and were pleased they looked so well.
(foundation photo by and tradition of Eileen Weber Porter - Kansas, USA)
During every Christmas holiday, Eileen hangs this treasured wreath. Decades ago, when her aunt and uncle were at their second home in the woods of New Hampshire, her aunt collected nuts from the many varieties of tress on their property.
She made a wreath (like the one shown here) for her home as well as those of her siblings - one of whom was Eileen's mother.
This wreath was passed on to Eileen by her mother more than 30 years ago.
Eileen always hangs this family treasure in a special place throughout the holiday season.
Julie and her sister received very traditional items in their stockings growing up - fruits and nuts. There were no gifts - as many of us would expect. Later, after their mother passed away, it was too difficult to celebrate Christmas Day as they did when they were children.
So, they set a new date to celebrate their year-end holiday and created new traditions.
As children, Julie and her sister would wake up on Christmas morning to find balloons everywhere. As they grew into adulthood, they continued to blow up balloons for themselves - and for the children of Julie's sister. Even now, the adult children of Julie's sister continue to wake up to the balloons their aunt and mother have filled.
Julie and her sister continue to remember their childhood Christmas stockings filled with fruits and nuts . . . as they grew older, they began to fill each other's stockings with little gifts from the dollar aisles in department stores.
Never valued at more than $3 each, Julie and her sister imaginatively wrap their little gifts of lip balm, stickers, etc. and cram each other's stockings full . . . so that opening each small gift takes the time needed to enjoy special time and memorable fun with each other.