Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanzaa!

Sleigh RideHappy Monday, All!

You know, no matter what happens, I am grateful when I wake up the next morning! Christmas Week is here and many of you may already be on Christmas Vacation. Every year is different for me nowadays as I am maturing and still pretty much single! Again, I am not complaining, just explaining why I have some viewpoints that you may or may not share. I know that Christmas has a different meaning for every family and certainly as many individuals! When someone says “Merry Christmas” to you, we may not be aware of what Christmas really means to that person, nor perhaps, what they wished it meant.

Fortunately, I have lived to see another year and even a rekindled relationship with my daughter, who has come to visit “this side” of the family. Our family, I presume is like most families, unique in our structure and the type of relationships within the structure. I often think back to my senior thesis that I wrote to graduate from Princeton University entitled: “A Critique of Studies on The Black Family.” Most of my memories of my family, which is the focus of my first book, “From the Projects to Princeton,” include near heroic episodes of both my parents to keep a roof over our heads, all four of us, food to eat and decent clothes to wear as we grew up in the Winbrook Apartments. Mom even cleaned houses in addition to a lot of volunteer work, including being President of the PTA for a few years at Rochambeau Elementary School where I went. My dad worked for Pinkerton Detective Agency for many many hours on various assignments. He was glad to have “graduated” from being a garage mechanic to Sgt. Cook after some years with Pinkerton in Westchester. They struggled to make ends meet and it seems that nearly every Christmas, we were traveling from White Plains to Tampa, Florida where my mother’s late sister, Drucilla, and late brother, Jerry lived with their spouses and children. They lived in what comparably would be called “the country” part of Tampa. Christmases were always cool!

So, as I enter another Christmas Season, enjoying friends and family, and just being grateful and humble for a decent life today, I just want to say Merry Christmas to each and every one of you and your families as well. Try to exercise forgiveness when necessary, continue to be loving and generous in spirit and in deed, and be yourself! Most relationships require work. Nowadays, if the average person doesn’t see any results from this “work” that may gratify ones spirit, the average person may not want to make the investment and take the time to do the work. Just a quiet little thanks to my family members for doing this work this holiday season. Our ancestors, I am sure, are smiling on us, too. Happy Kwanza, as well!

Merry Christmas!

John I. CookEmoji, Director

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