- Reasons to celebrate
- Managing holiday stress
- Holiday decorating safety tips
- Need money for college?
- Reminder to Marine and Coast Guard residents
- New Year’s Eve cosmic bowling parties
- Green Corner
- Want to know what is happening in your community?
December is a month of many holiday celebrations crossing a variety of cultures, nationalities, and beliefs. Here’s a quick snapshot of what people celebrate, and why:
- Hanukkah - This Jewish holiday begins Sunday, December 6th at sundown and ends sundown on Monday, December 14th. Hanukkah is the festival of lights, and celebrates the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem after the Jewish victory over the Maccabees in 165 B.C. Each night, families light one candle on the menorah, observing the traditional story of how the oil for the temple’s eternal flame burned for eight days.
- Christmas - Observed on Dec. 25, this Christian holiday celebrates the birth of Jesus, probably between the years 7 and 2 B.C. The 25th may have been chosen to correspond with the winter solstice or to coincide with a Roman holiday honoring the sun during the same period. Christmas became a federal holiday in the United States in 1870.
- Kwanzaa – Is a seven day celebration of African heritage and culture, Kwanzaa is observed from December 26th to January 1st. Activist Ron Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966 to emphasize African-Americans’ shared history and experience. The name Kwanzaa is derived from “matunda ya kwanza,” a Swahili phrase meaning “first fruits.”
For many, the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year. However, the holidays can also be a stressful time of year. The pressure of juggling gift buying, holiday parties, preparing the perfect meal, traveling or entertaining houseguests can be difficult to manage. Don't let the demands of the season hinder your holiday cheer. Here are some tips to help prevent holiday stress:
- Plan ahead - Make a plan and schedule days for cooking, baking, shopping, preparing your home, and other events or activities. You can use helpful apps on your Smartphone for creating to-do lists, shopping lists, or locating that much-sought-after gift.
- Budget - Set a budget and stick to it. Decide in advance how much you can afford to spend. Remember to budget not only for gifts, but also for the additional food you will buy for your holiday meal and baking. This will help reduce financial stress after the holidays.
- Take care of yourself - Take time to do something relaxing. Take a long hot bath, get a massage, or listen to your favorite music. Make sure to get enough sleep, exercise and eat healthy.
- Give back - The holiday season is the perfect time to give back to the community. Contact local agencies and organizations for volunteer opportunities.
- Get support - If the holiday season is a difficult time for you and/or you have feelings of loneliness or sadness, reach out for help. Army Community Service (ACS) and the Chaplains offer services, counseling, and support not only during the holiday season but the whole year.
Remember to focus on what is most important this holiday season and that everything does not need to be perfect. Managing stress will help you enjoy the upcoming holidays and remember the real meaning of the season!
Decorating homes for the holidays is a long-standing tradition. We would like to share some great tips to help prevent any potential fire or injuries.
The National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Fire Administration estimate holiday decorations cause almost 400 home fires each year. The below tips will help ensure that everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday season.
- If your home has a natural Christmas tree, water the tree on a daily basis. A well-watered tree can help prevent a fire in the event of an electrical short in the lights or if an open flame happens to come in contact with the tree.
- Display your tree away from a heat source. Heat will quickly dry out the tree, which may lead to a higher risk of a fire.
- When putting up holiday lights, inspect your lights for any frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, and broken or cracked sockets. If any of these things are found, discard the lights.
- More than three light strands in one outlet can cause an overload to the outlets. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet. Periodically check the wires of the lights to ensure they are not warm to the touch. Turn off your holiday lights when no one is home.
- Purchase flame-retardant decorations. Place all decorations away from heat vents.
- Ensure that trees and other holiday decorations are not displayed in locations that would block your home’s exits in case of an emergency situation.
- Never leave a burning candle unattended. One alternative to open-flame candles are battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles.
- Ensure candles are placed in a location that prevents them from being easily tipped over. Keep all candles at least 12 inches away from any flammable items. Avoid using candles in bedrooms.
Please be safe and happy holidays!
Are you the spouse or child of an active-duty service member with plans to go to college? Go to corviasfoundation.org to learn more about available $50,000 Scholarships and $5,000 Educational Grants from Corvias Foundation. Applications are available online.
BAH will change on 1 January 2016. Please have allotment adjusted to the correct amount by 15 January 2016 to ensure the correct amount is received and prevent any payment issues.
Join the fun at The Lanes at Fort Meade on December 31 for a fun filled night of bowling, shoes, pizza, popcorn, soda, party favors, games and much more! A Family Party is scheduled from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. and a Prime Time Party is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m. Advanced reservations are recommended. Call 301-677-5541 to reserve your lane today!
Turn off holiday decorations when no one is home and at night before you go to bed. Timers are a great way to ensure the lights are only on at certain times.
Your community calendar can help you stay up-to-date on trash, recycling, lawn care, resident events and community activities.
You can even sync your community calendar with a personal Google calendar by clicking on the +Google button on the bottom right-hand corner of the calendar.
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Upcoming events and important dates
- December 7- United States Army Field Band Holiday Concert 7pm at Meade High School; go to: http://www.armyfieldband.com for free tickets
- December 11-Tree Lighting Ceremony 5-7pm at Parade Field
- December 19 – 5K Reindeer Run 8am at Murphy Field House; click here for information: http://ftmeademwr.com/events/RunSeries/RunSeries.php
- December 22 – First Day of Winter
- December 24 – Community office will be open from 9am-1pm
- December 25 – Christmas; community office closed
- December 31 – Community office will be open from 8am-3pm