VETTE’S VEGAS VOICE: Wishes for a Happy Holiday
BY YVETTE WILLIAMS
As we settle in to celebrate another holiday season with the joy of family, I can’t help but to reflect on cherished memories and ponder the opportunities promised by the New Year. As my own children have grown into inspiring young ladies pursuing their dreams, the holiday traditions remind me how blessed we are to gather around the dinner table, laughing and sharing stories of years past. For me, this is what the season is truly about — family!
Since our oldest child was two-years-old, my husband made a big commitment by agreeing to dress up as Santa each Christmas Eve. For nearly ten years, it was such a joy to watch the girls wake up to surprising Santa as he put their gifts under the tree and allowed them open a gift while sitting on his lap — before dashing off to deliver more gifts around the world. The twinkle in their eyes said it all.
I’ll never forget the day both girls rushed home to show me the picture they took with Santa at our neighbors’ house party, explaining to me that he wasn’t the “real” Santa, proclaiming the “real” Santa was black. Until one year, Dominique, who was now eight, noticed that Santa’s ears looked very much like Dad’s — and that made her wonder. The following year she blew Dad’s cover to Alyse. It wasn’t long before Santa’s real identity was revealed to me in confidence, but I told the girls how much Dad really enjoyed dressing up and doing this for them, so let’s not disappoint him. It would be a few years before the girls started complaining about their sleep being interrupted; that’s when Damone asked if the girls were aware.
Now, the deal was he’d go along with my crazy plan — only if I promised to tell him when they had figured him out. But I was having way too much fun seeing Black Santa dressed up every Christmas Eve. And when my mother decided to start sitting on Santa’s lap and asking for her gift each Christmas Eve, it was just too good a tradition to end.
Well, although my husband hasn’t dressed up for us in years, he has pulled the Santa costume out of the battered box to bring joy to children in poverty on several occasions. I often wonder how I’m going to get him back into that Santa costume when the grandchildren start to arrive.
Our holiday traditions:
• Take turns reading portions of the Christmas story in the Bible. It’s the reason for the season.
• Have the kids clean out their toy boxes/ video games and donate items they no longer need or use. This is a great way to teach the principle of giving.
• Adopt a family and shop for items on their wish list. We always found a family to help through the girls’ school counselor and the girls felt connected.
• Have a cookie-decorating night and enjoy eating them over hot apple cider with friends.
• Enjoy a night out at Opportunity Village and drink hot cocoa while touring the holiday lights.
• Visit the Strip and pretend you’re a tourist having dinner out and catching a show.
• And last but not least: celebrate Kwanzaa with a traditional potluck and clothing. Celebrate your heritage and history.
From my family to yours, we wish you a wonderfully blessed and happy holiday season. Enjoy your family traditions and consider some of ours — but with everything, may your memories be bright.
Yvette Williams is founder of the Clark County Black Caucus. Learn more at www.YvetteBWilliams.com, follow her on Twitter @YvetteBWilliams and send email to ClarkCountyBlackCaucus@gmail.com.