During the holidays, feelings of grief are experienced by many because the holidays are centered around family and those we love. The holidays can exacerbate the feelings of loneliness, grief, and depression, especially now when COVID-19 has taken so many of our loved ones. 36% of Americans don’t feel like celebrating the holidays this year due to feelings of grief and loss (Experience Camps/Harris Poll survey). Grief is a universal, understandable response to loss, but everyone processes this feeling drastically different. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Whether you are grieving, experiencing loneliness, or know someone who is grieving during the holiday season, read these additional resources.
Grief & the Holidays: Dealing with the Pain
Grief and Loss Throughout the Holiday Season
Dealing with Loneliness During the Holiday Season
9 Self-Care Tips for Anyone Spending the Holidays Alone
Ways to Support Someone Who is Grieving
How to Help a Grieving Friend
American Counseling Association: Grief and Loss Resources
Hanukkah also known as the Festival of Lights is a religious holiday celebrated by Jewish people. This year Hanukkah is observed November 28 through December 6, 2021. The Hebrew word Chanukah means “dedication,” and is thus named because it celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple. Learn more about the history of Chanukah here.
The Hanukkah celebration is marked by the lighting of one candle on the menorah, a nine-branched candelabra, on each night of the festival. A new candle is added to the menorah each night and lit from newest to oldest, while reciting blessings as each candle is lit.
Traditional Hanukkah foods are typically fried in oil and include items such as potato pancakes, or latkes, and jam-filled donuts, or sufganiyot. Other holiday customs include playing with a dreidel, a four-sided spinning top, and exchanging gifts.
Resources on the Importance of Religious Freedom
A Brief History of Anti-Semitism
Your Right to Religious Freedom
Religious Freedom: What’s At Stake If We Lose It
Teaching About Freedom of Religion
Understanding Other Religious Beliefs
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