Celebrate the Family by Frank Deaver

Posted By rotary

December is Family Month on the Rotary Calendar – and what better opportunity to celebrate the “Family of Rotary” than during this holiday season? The holidays are celebrated in many ways, each with its own history and traditions. Christmas. Chanukah (Hanukkah). Kwanzaa. Winter Solstice. New Years.

Although holiday traditions may be quite different, they typically include a focus on family, both immediate family and extended relationships. Sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors, and entire communities come together in celebrating the season.

In many diverse ways, the peoples of the earth, whatever their differences, join hearts and hands in the great communion of mankind that is embodied in this season of multiple celebrations. As we learn of customs in various nations, we better understand the traditions that families have practiced for centuries. Common among all or most of the world’s societies are these:

** Worship. Religious expression brings people together in faith, hope, expectation, and purpose.

** Music. We sing together and attend seasonal performances of traditional music, lifting our spirits, stirring our memories, transporting us back in time.

** Greenery. Trees are decorated as symbols of tradition and an expression of life, serving as a gathering place for family or group events.

** Lights. We light trees, candles, homes and yards, our streets and public buildings. We even light the sky with fireworks, all in celebration of the power of light over darkness.

** Decorations. In home, workplace, and public buildings, we display ornaments of multiple shapes and colors; and in the computer age we reproduce those ornaments in websites and email. Decorations enliven the festive atmosphere.

** Gifts. In this season of sharing, we exchange gifts with family and friends, we offer assistance to the needy, and we donate to charities at home and around the world.

** Food. We eat together, often with foods from treasured family recipes that take us back in memory to childhood, or perhaps to another country of family origin.

** Parties. Social events of many sorts bring together not only families but neighborhoods and organizations as well.

Yes this is a very special time of year for family. For an immediate family within a single household. For the family of neighbors and community. And for that extended Family of Rotary, from the local club to the 1.2 million Rotarians around the world.

We celebrate the season. We celebrate our various holidays. And for Rotarians, central to all the celebrating is the opportunity to “Celebrate the Family of Rotary.”


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