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Muslims celebrate on December 8th Eid al-Adah which is the Festival of Sacrifice. Delicious delicacies of Baklava, Maamoull filled with dates and nuts washed down with cups of steaming sweet Turkish Coffee welcome guests and friends.

Christians adorn their Christmas tree in the living room and Jews light their menorah candles that shine in the front windows It is a time of coming together to share the warmth of families.

Children are drawn from near and far off destinations. It is the time of year that people do not want to be alone. They say that home is where the heart is and the festive season is the time of returning to oneís roots. You can take the man/women out of the country but you donít take the country/heritage out of them.

Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, lasts for eight days (December 22-29) with the lighting of a candles/ singing and of course enjoying good food.

Delicious aromas of potato latkes fried in olive oil served with sour cream/apple sauce fills the air of a Jewish home.
The Christian Yule tide table is filled with turkey and stuffing and glasses of good cheer.

Every mother knows that the secret to not gaining weight after eating fattening delicacies is oh so simple: you chew anything you want but be careful not to swallow.

It seems that family, good food and congeniality welcomes us back home to our roots every December.

The Christmas festive season starts the first week in December. Turn to any radio station and you will hear the sounds of Jingle Bells, Santa and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.

The malls are filled to capacity with shoppers buying gifts for friends and family. There are the prevailing questions: will Mom be pleased with her perfume? Dad with his socks/ties?

The four weeks before Christmas are the busiest time of year for our merchants. I wager that a very large percentage of their business is done in the 24 days prior to the holidays.

It is not the price of the gift that counts but rather the thought. Someone has taken the time to care and share.

Times are changing but for most Jewish families gift giving revolves around the children. Books, candy are the norm for the youngsters with rarely a present for grown ups.

The festive season is the time to recognize our letter carriers who brave the elements to deliver the mail. Please donít forget those who drop off our newspapers in the wee hours of the mornings for us to read with our coffee. There are bank tellers, bus drivers, school crossing guards and a host of others to say thank you to with a small token of our appreciation.

Please share your good fortune with a contribution to the United Way, Childrenís Hospital or the charity of your choice. Giving a little for a just cause is returned in kind ten fold.

We are truly blessed to reside in London Ontario. The Forest City is a clean, multi-cultured, safe place to raise a family.

Pause for a moment to embrace your family and wish them a good year filled with health and happiness.

Take the time to thank your creator and extend selfless greetings to your fellow Londoner. It would be nice to have expressions of: ĎPeace on earth, goodwill to mení the whole year long.

Merry Christmas/Happy New Year/Chanukah/ Happy Celebration/Eid Mubarak from the Lesser family.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com