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Talking Books Talk provides news and updates about the Kansas Talking Books Service (KTBS). Talking Books staff will highlight relevant announcements from KTBS and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

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Dec 18

December Celebrations

Posted on December 18, 2020 at 8:43 AM by Maggie Witte

As November rolls around each year, we look forward to celebrating the winter holidays with our friends and family. While this year will be a little different, it doesn’t change that people around the world will be celebrating their chosen holidays. December holidays include Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, and Omisoka. As we celebrate our holidays, find out more about December holidays and celebrations from around the world with these books.

DB 89600 Christmas: a biography by Judith Flanders
A chronicle of the development of religious and secular celebrations of Christmas, beginning with the time of the Bible. Examines myths and legends surrounding the day, traditions, literary and artistic interpretations, its association with other winter holidays, its commercialization, and more. 2017.

DB 81412 Hanukkah in America: a history by Dianne Ashton

Professor of religion examines regional variants of the ancient Jewish tradition. In New Orleans, Hanukkah means decorating a door with a menorah made of hominy grits; latkes in Texas are seasoned with cilantro and cayenne pepper; children in Cincinnati sing Hanukkah songs and eat oranges and ice cream. 2013

DB 34528 Kwanzaa: an African-American celebration of culture and cooking by Eric V. Copage
Kwanzaa is a week-long (December 26-January 1) African-American celebration of the "first fruits." The author has compiled a sourcebook for the observance. Included are selections from historical works, folklore, and biographies that illustrate the "Nguzo Saba" (seven principles of Kwanzaa,) interspersed with a host of recipes from the African diaspora.

Juvenile/Young Adult
DB 26087 Christmas by D. J. Herda
Describes the history and traditions of the Christmas season in many parts of the world. Includes popular carols and ideas for making gifts, foods, and decorations. For grades 3-6.

DB 64912 Celebrate Hanukkah by Deborah Heiligman

Explains the Jewish holiday called Hanukkah or the Festival of Lights. Discusses the menorah, prayers, traditional foods, and the game of spinning the dreidel. Includes instructions for lighting candles and playing dreidel, and a recipe for latkes, or potato pancakes. For grades K-3 and older readers. 2006.

DB 97859 Seven candles for Kwanzaa by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Describes the origins and practices of Kwanzaa, the seven-day festival during which people of African descent rejoice in their ancestral values. Commercial audiobook. For grades K-3. 1993.

DB 48650 A world of holidays! by Louisa Campbell
Explains five celebrations in different nations: the New Year in Japan, Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr in Pakistan, national independence day in Namibia, Thanksgiving in Canada, and Christmas in Mexico. Each description is followed by a short story about a child enjoying that holiday. For grades 3-6.