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December 2011 Newsletter

Dear Friend:

In our little mountain community, there have been three storms already, but none too intense. It has been cold, and I think with some compassion of the homeless and our other Americans living in the Center and on the East Coast who are not as fortunate as we.

Today the sun is reflecting down on us again and on California as we prepare for Christmas.

The Origins of Christmas

You may or may not be surprised to find that many of the routines and the décor of Christmas go back to traditions that were laid in long before the birth of Christ. Three hundred years after Christ’s resurrection the Roman emperor Constantine saw a vision of a cross superimposed upon a sun and he got his priorities right in favoring Christianity. Constantine introduced the Edict of Toleration of 313 AD and this is what changed the world, opening the way for Christianity to go mainstream.

It was Constantine who endorsed the first celebration of the birth of Christ and selected the date of 25th December, not the true birth date of Jesus, which was some time during Rosh Hashanah in September.

In the play, “Fiddler on the Roof” Tevye, the lead character says that if we abandon the security of our customs, we will be shaken and unstable like a Fiddler on the Roof. Constantine understood this. Can we apply this now with all that is going down in America and in the world? I want to ask you as a Creative Home Maker to carefully evaluate, select, and create your own family traditions and in this way you will contribute to the stability and order of the whole.

Besides Christianity there are other religions that celebrate at this time of the year.


This Jewish celebration begins at sunset on Tuesday, December 20th and ends at sunset December 28, 2011. It is the story of when the Jews evicted the Syrians-Greeks from Israel, and restored the temple. Apparently when the priests were ready to relight the temple menorah they could find only one jug of oil, enough for only one day. Miraculously the oil burned for seven full days by which time they had processed the necessary pure oil which took seven days to make.

This Jewish story also honors Hannah and her sons who were loyal to HaShem. They refused to pray to Zeus and were all three beheaded; not a way to win historically. Religious tolerance, as practiced by Constantine, went a much longer way towards eliminating conflict and bringing stability and happiness.


This is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar which lasts 29 or 30 days and this is when participating Muslims refrain from eating. There is much celebrating when they finally break the fast, as you can imagine.

Fasting is embraced as a cleansing nutritional action in many early religions, and has been adopted in America by the Wellness Movement.


This tradition from Africa goes from Christmas for seven days through to the New Year. Could we as Creative Home Makers, whether we are Black or White, not embrace some of these beautiful ideas?

  1. Unity – (Umoja) To strive for unity in family, race community and nation.
  2. Self-Determinism – (Kujichagulia) - Rise to a point of cause in your life, and name yourself, speak for yourself, and create for yourself.
  3. Responsibility – (Ujima) Maintain affinity and understanding and peace within your sphere of influence.
  4. Co-operative Community– (Ujaama) Give help to others, and make the problems of your brothers and sisters your own problems and give help.
  5. Purpose – (Nia) Support a single group or nation and work to restore its greatness.
  6. Creativity – (Kuumba) Leave everything around you more beautiful and beneficial than before you came along.
  7. Faith – (Imani) – Always believe!

If applied broadly in America would this not bring back American greatness? I think so! Did you know that we at Picture Lady have created a separate website, which reflects the Art of all the peoples now living in America?

America has come a long way in embracing Diversity and it didn’t just happen. The understanding is brought about in American homes, by Creative Home Makers. We encourage you to use our Diversity website to teach your children about the cultures of America and the cultures of the world.

Quote for the Month

"Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love."

~ Hamilton Wright Mable ~

How You Can Find Us

Call 661 242 1010 or go to www.picturelady.com/schedule.htm to see where we will be doing shows. The password is "art" (without the quotes).

Until next month!

Warm Regards,

The Picture Lady
Beautiful Things
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