As I am part Native American I had to include a American Indian Christmas. Hope you enjoy!
A Native Christmas
by Looks for Buffalo and SandieLee
European Christmas for Native Americans actually started when the Europeans came over to America. They taught the Indian about Christianity, gift-giving , and St. Nicholas. There are actually two religious types of Indian people in existence. One of these is the Traditionalist, usually full-blooded Indians that grew up on the reservations. The second type is the Contemporary Indian that grew up in an urban area, usually of mixed blood, and brought up with Christian philosophy.
Traditionalists are raised to respect the Christian Star and the birth of the first Indian Spiritual Leader. He was a Star Person and Avatar. His name was Jesus. He was a Hebrew, a Red Man. He received his education from the wilderness. John the Baptist, Moses, and other excellent teachers that came before Jesus provided an educational foundation with the Holistic Method.
Everyday is our Christmas. Every meal is our Christmas. At every meal we take a little portion of the food we are eating, and we offer it to the spirit world on behalf of the four-legged, and the winged, and the two-legged. We pray–not the way most Christians pray– but we thank the Grandfathers, the Spirit, and the Guardian Angel.
The Indian Culture is actually grounded in the traditions of a Roving Angel. The life-ways of Roving Angels are actually the way Indian People live. They hold out their hands and help the sick and the needy. They feed and clothe the poor. We have high respect for the avatar because we believe that it is in giving that we receive.
We are taught as Traditional children that we have abundance. The Creator has given us everything: the water, the air we breathe, the earth as our flesh, and our energy force: our heart. We are thankful every day. We pray early in the morning, before sunrise, the morning star, and the evening star. We pray for our relatives who are in the universe that someday they will come. We also pray that the Great Spirit’s son will live again.
To the Indian People Christmas is everyday and the don’t believe in taking without asking. Herbs are prayed over before being gathered by asking the plant for permission to take some cuttings. An offer of tobacco is made to the plant in gratitude. We do not pull the herb out by its roots, but cut the plant even with the surface of the earth, so that another generation will be born its place.
It is really important that these ways never be lost. And to this day we feed the elders, we feed the family on Christmas day, we honor Saint Nicholas. We explain to the little children that to receive a gift is to enjoy it, and when the enjoyment is gone, they are pass it on to the another child, so that they, too, can enjoy it. If a child gets a doll, that doll will change hands about eight times in a year, from one child to another.
Everyday is Christmas in Indian Country. Daily living is centered around the spirit of giving and walking the Red Road. Walking the Red Road means making everything you do a spiritual act. If your neighbor, John Running Deer, needs a potato masher; and you have one that you are not using, you offer him yours in the spirit of giving. It doesn’t matter if it is Christmas or not.
If neighbors or strangers stop over to visit at your house, we offer them dinner We bring out the T-Bone steak, not the cabbage. If we don’t have enough, we send someone in the family out to get some more and mention nothing of the inconvenience to our guests. The more one gives, the more spiritual we become. The Christ Consciousness, the same spirit of giving that is present at Christmas, is present everyday in Indian Country.
Looks for Buffalo is an Oglala Sioux Spiritual Leader, the full-blood Oglala grandson of Chief Red Cloud and White Cow Killer, and a Cheyenne Oglala Leader. He saw in a vision that a White Buffalo was coming to the people and that it would mean world peace. His vision foretold of the White Buffalo that was born in Janesville, Wisconsin two years ago. He resides on the Pine Ridge Reservation in SD;
Sandie Lee Bohlig, spiritual healer, counsels and teaches around the globe.
American Indian Cold Christmas Cake Recipe
1 lb pecans or walnuts, chopped
1 lb shredded moist coconut
1 lb raisins
1 lb vanilla wafers
1 regular can sweetened condensed milk
Combine dry ingredients well. Pour in sweetened condensed milk and
work through with hands so that dry ingredients are thoroughly
saturated. Press into spring foam pan. Refrigerate for 2 days.
Cherokee Indians used hazelnuts, dates and thick goats milk, then
wrapped the cake in watertight leaves bound with vine and placed in
cold running stream for several days. This is delicious and easy.
Yield: 4 servings
Pueblo Feast Pinion Cookies
2/3 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup lard or vegetable shortening
2 cups unbleached flour, sifted
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp anise seed
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup pinon nuts (pignoli),; chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon
The Pueblo Indians give much attention to food, especially on Feast Days, when they must feed their families, a circle of friends and even casual visitors. Field parties for planting or harvesting, kiva parties, a Kachina or Corn Dance, an initiation or wedding, the pueblo’s Saint’s Day – all require elaborate food preparation. In the Pueblo world, the households of men engaged in any ceremonial activity are the busiest, and at the conclusion of the feast, leftovers are distributed and carried home. Pueblo hospitality is identified, as everywhere, with food; under no circumstances may one refuse food or, asking for it, be refused. To a caller from the vicinity, watermelon, pinon, or peaches will be offered, and it is proper to eat before announcing the reason for the visit. For visitors from far away, whenever they arrive, a regular meal will be served. To be stingy with food is unacceptable. Visitors on Feast Days might be offered these special cookies, but we doubt there are ever any leftovers to be carried home.
Preheat oven to 350. In a mixing bowl, cream 2/3 cup sugar and lard. Add egg and blend thoroughly. Stir in flour, baking powder, vanilla, and anise seed, blending thoroughly. Gradually add milk until a stiff dough is formed. Mix in the pinon nuts. Roll dough out on a lightly floured board to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into 2-inch cookies with cookie cutter. Sprinkle tops with mixture of the remaining sugar and cinnamon. Bake cookies on a well-greased baking sheet for about 15 minutes, or until golden. Cool on a rack.
Kolab Christmas Salad
1/2 cup cider vinegar
7 tablespoons olive oil
1 jalapeno chili, seeded, minced
1 teaspoon white sage dried, crumbled
6 prickly pears ripe, sliced
1 head red leaf lettuce or boston lettuce
3 avocados, peeled, pitted, sliced
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 small red onion, thinly sliced, rings separated
Combine vinegar, jalapeno and white sage in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be
made 1 day ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.)
Peel and cut lengthwise the pears then slice crosswise into half rounds.Line platter with lettuce. Arrange pear slices in center of
platter, overlapping slices. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and
chill.) Arrange avocado slices around pear slices, overlapping slices.
Top with nuts. Arrange onions over all. Drizzle dressing over.