Here’s a Primer on December Holidays

The neighbors have outlined their home in lights, the city’s done its annual Christmas tree celebration and the sound of ringing bells echoes around the Salvation Army kettle.  We’re hardly through Thanksgiving but it’s holiday time.

Here’s a primer on December holidays if you need some quick copy to tuck into a story, add to a facebook posting, or use for developing story ideas in a slow month of news:

Sunday, Dec. 2 is the start of Advent,  a season of hope that marks the beginning the the new year for Christians.  It is also a time of preparation leading up to Christmas and is observed successive Sundays through Dec. 23. For more information on Advent see this posting from

Buddhists will observe Bodhi Day on Saturday, Dec. 8, the celebration of the day the Buddha attained enlightenment. You can read more about the day and how Buddhists observe it in an article from a Buddhist teacher published on the Huffington Post.

Also on Saturday, Dec. 8 Jews begin their celebration of Hanukkah, continuing through  Sunday, Dec.16 Many people know about the lighting of candles but here is more background on the tradition.

Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ is Tuesday, Dec. 25. Many churches have services on the evening of the 24th, rather than the 25th.  Watch through the month for food give-aways, clothing drives for underprivileged kids, and community service projects.

African Americans will begin celebrating Kwanzaa, a 7-day festival of community and culture, Wednesday, Dec. 26. This photo essay from Beliefnet explains the week-long observance. Check out this list of regional celebrations to see if one is in your area.

And if you are stuck for holiday story ideas, you’ll find help from Religion Link. a helpful resource from Religion Newswriters Association.

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