SUBMITTED BY SHERI SELWAY

December!  Do you know how many holidays are happening in December?  Bodhi Day, Hanukkah, Christmas, Dhanu Sankranti, and Kwanzaa.  There are probably more…. So generally, people say “Happy Holidays” to include everyone!  (Random fact – December 21 5:02 a.m.  is also the Winter Solstice which is the shortest amount of daylight for the year (7:48 a.m. – 4:47 p.m.) in Hamilton, just in case you wanted to know!)  For more interesting facts go here.  Set the city to Hamilton, Ontario have fun searching the night sky, holidays and events, calculators, and lots of “free fun” things to do including making your own calendar.

Another really important day to honour is December 6 – The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. This special day is about honouring those who have experienced violence and a time to question, call out, and speak up against acts of violence against women.

“Recover Better – Stand Up for Human Rights” is the theme of this year’s International Human Rights Day on December 10.  Dealing with Covid has shown us many flaws in our society and increase of poverty, inequality, and discrimination.  Our need to advance human rights will hopefully help us recover into a better world.  The United Nations web page can be found here. Post Covid, the goal is a world without discrimination of any kind.  We need to promote, protect and address societal, economic, and cultural rights, to encourage participation of all, solidarity, and to promote sustainable development.  We need sustainable development for people and our planet.

Last year students from Bennetto School helped write a December column.  Below are some ideas they came up with for gifts to make and give to others. This was such a great list; I am hoping it will be useful again this year!

Our ideas for thoughtful and low-cost gifts:

Homemade cookies Homemade bookmarker, signed
Write a story and illustrate it Origami ornaments
Stress reliever toy (squishy ball/balloon or smooth rock) Decorate magnets – with a photo or “saying”
Homemade stocking or ornament – signed and dated Artwork by you, framed, signed and dated
Pen/pencil holder (decorate a jar) Memo Pad (out of old paper)
Paper snowflakes for decorations Baking kit in a jar with a bow
Pine cone bird feeders (coat pine cones with peanut butter or honey and coat with bird seed) and hang outside Calendar – Get a free one then cover the picture with your own artwork or make a calendar on a computer.