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Just For Kids    |    for Kids Only

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published on 12/01/2001

Celebrate the Seasons-FUN FOR KIDS

By staff writer

Holiday Fun
The Signal Mountain Newcomers will hold the the Signal Mountain Holiday Celebration at the Mountain Arts Community Center on Friday, December 7th at 7:00. For more details, parents, go to the November Hats Off to Signal Mountain.

Winter Days & Lights
Grande Illumination & Christmas on the River - Held on Saturday, November 24, the Holiday Open House is an all-day activity, with street performers, refreshments and discounts to entice shoppers from 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Then at 7:00 PM, the festivities move to Coolidge Park for the 20th annual Christmas on the River. This event features a lighted parade of approximately 40 boats decorated for the season. As they circle in front of Coolidge Park, crowds enjoy holiday choirs, a live Nativity scene and delicious food and drink concessions. Immediately following is the Grande Illumination Ceremony which features lively performances by singing and dancing groups and the popular singing Santa who performs pyrotechnic wizardry to illuminate over 120 downtown buildings for the season. At approximately 8:30 PM, the evening is brought to a colorful conclusion with a fireworks finale over the river. For more information click on

Appalachian Christmas - Held on Friday, December 7, this event will continue as it has for the past 13 seasons, with an abundance of cheer and traditional Appalachian folk or bluegrass music. Local favorites, Tom Morgan and the Dismembered Tennesseans begin the toe tapping evening, followed by a regional headline band performing traditional Yuletide tunes. An Appalachian Santa and complimentary hot cider and sugar cookies round out this favorite free event. The fun begins at 7:00 PM.

Holiday Nightlight Parade - This event has been Chattanooga's largest holiday parade for the past five years. Traditionally held in the evening, this event has enjoyed a theme as a lighted parade, with every float, vehicle or marching unit strung in twinkling lights. The parade will take place on Saturday, December 15 at 6:00 PM. A free, outdoor concert in Miller Plaza follows the parade.

Parents are encouraged to bring children to the Signal Mountain Middle School on Saturday, December 15 to help package baskets of food for needy families. According to Ellen Heavilon, President of the Signal Mountain Welfare Council, packaging begins at 9:30 AM. Around 11:30 AM, the adults will begin delivering the packages. Volunteers are needed.


•What is Hanukkah? Hanukkah is the eight-day religious holiday celebrated by people of Jewish faith. The holiday honors an historical event in which a small band of Jews triumphed in a struggle to preserve their heritage. Hanukkah means rededication and symbols and rituals of the holiday demonstrate an annual renewal Jewish faith and practices. The story can be found in the Second Book of Macabees, the last historical book of the Old Testament.
•When is Hanukkah? Hanukkah always occurs in the late fall or early winter, but varies from late November to late December. This year, Hanukkah falls between Friday, December 22nd and Friday, December 29th.
•How is Hanukkah celebrated? During the festival of Hanukkah, menorahs, a special candelabra with nine lights, are lit for eight days. Families gather at nightfall to rekindle menorah flames, rededicate themselves to their faith, and share in festive meals. Each night the celebration continues with songs or readings, games, and small gifts. Children play the dreidel game with spinning tops. Hanukkah is celebrated in the synagogue as well as in homes, and there are prayers and readings from the Torah that accompany the lighting of the menorah. Read about Hanukkah in the book The Story of Hanukkah by Norma Simon.

•What is Christmas? Christmas is the Christian holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, who Christians believe is the Son of God. The story of Christmas can be found in two gospels of the New Testament, the books of Matthew and Luke. It is from these accounts that many of the symbols and traditions of the holiday grew. Christmas is a religious holiday, and in the United States the traditions surrounding Christmas have provided the basis for celebration and gift giving.
•When is Christmas? Various churches celebrate Christmas at different times. The Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches celebrate it on December 25th, Greek Orthodox, Syrian, and Ethiopian's celebrate it on January 6th, and the Armenian's on January 18th.
•How is Christmas celebrated? Family togetherness is a focus this time of year. Decorations include holly, angels, crθches, lights, and Christmas trees. Many families have traditions they follow every year. Presents are exchanged; midnight candle church service is attended; stories are told; Christmas cards are mailed to family and friends out of town; and meals are shared. The Christmas season begins with the first Sunday in Advent, which is Sunday, December 3rd. Advent is the Christian season that is a time of waiting for the birth of the Messiah. Read about Christmas in the book The Story of Christmas by Barbara Cooney.

•What is Kwanzaa? Kwanzaa is an African-American/Pan-Amercian celebration of family and culture based upon seven principles or beliefs call the Nguzo Saba. There are seven days in Kwanzaa, one principle for each day. Kwanzaa is celebrated once a year, but the principles of Nguzo Saba are important for every day. Celebrated for the first time in 1966, this celebration was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga, an important participant in the civil rights movement. Kwanzaa means first fruits in Swahili, a language spoken in much of Africa.
•When is Kwanzaa? Kwanzaa starts on December 26th and lasts for seven days and nights, until January 1st. It is an American holiday, and occurs between Christmas and New Year's Day. The Nguzo Saba of the seven days of Kwanzaa are:
Day 1. UMOJA means unity.
Day 2. KUJICHAGULIA means self-determination.
Day 3. UJIMA means working together.
Day 4. UJAMAA means supporting each other.
Day 5. NIA means purpose.
Day 6. KUUMBA means creativity.
Day 7. IMANI means faith, especially faith in ourselves.
Read about Kwanzaa in the book The Story of Kwanzaa by Donna L. Washington.

It's time to celebrate the joy of the seasons; time to be with your family and enjoy the traditions that make being together so special. It's time to listen to the quiet of the snow; time to enjoy the cold but be grateful for the warmth of a fire. It's time to make this holiday season the best you ever had for YOU and your family. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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