Christmas, 2015

As the temperature outside begins to drop, and the season of giving quickly approaches, the community once again comes together to celebrate the ‘Holidays’. The month of December observes holidays and traditions for several cultures locally and globally. Christmas – Dec. 25 – is known worldwide as a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Christ. Hanukkah – Dec. 6 – 14 – is a Jewish holiday celebrating religious freedom. Kwanzaa – Dec. 26 – Jan. 1 – is an African-American celebration of family, community and culture. Collectively, these holidays are traditionally a time for feasting, restoring faith, and the giving of gifts to those closest to us.
Every year, our hometown holiday traditions grow as more and more residents of many cultures come together to celebrate as a community. At Christmas, a tree is lit; during Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, a menorah is lit; and during Kwanzaa it is customary to light candles. These symbols of light represent the customs and faith of mankind; it reflects the kindness and inherent goodness of people.
With peace and good will in their hearts, the elves of Secaucus are busy making Christmas and the entire holiday season brighter for our less fortunate families. These elves may be your friends, your neighbors, or co-workers.
To that end, the Secaucus Emergency Fund, (SEF), a not-for-profit organization, is accepting non-perishable pantry food, toys and other seasonal items for the holidays. There is no greater gift you can give yourself than to know you are responsible for bringing joy to a child, relief to a struggling single parent, help to a family suffering the loss of a job or devastating illness, or providing a hot meal to an elderly shut-in. Donations may be dropped off at the Senior Center/Social Services office at 101 Centre Ave., Town Hall at 1203 Paterson Plank Road, the Recreation Center at 1200 Koelle Blvd. or St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church at the corner of Roosevelt Avenue and Paterson Plank Road. All donations will benefit Secaucus’ families in need during this holiday season.
The SEF does not work alone. Members of K&S Social and Athletic Club, the Secaucus Youth Alliance, the Secaucus chapter of the Sons of Italy, People to People International (PTPI), our schools, and many other local civic organizations staffed by charity-minded residents are working together with the common goal of making a difference for those who need it most.
Giving doesn’t just begin at the turn of the season and it doesn’t end with the New Year. The Department of Social Services assists not only low income families but all families with emergency situations year round. All these organizations are continually active throughout the year.
In a world filled with great uncertainty, we are fortunate to live in a community filled with caring residents and generous corporate neighbors. Together we are a family that works together, celebrates together and most importantly, supports each other. As Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” By working together, we will make a difference. We will strive for peace on earth and for every family in Secaucus to have a “Happy Holiday.”
As always, feel free to call my office at (201) 330-2005 for more information on how you can join the team and help bring joy to others.

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