Kwanzaa is a winter celebration that lasts for seven days. During these seven days, seven values are honored. They are: Unity (Umoja), Self-determination (Kujichagulia), Collective Work and Responsibility (Ujima), Cooperative Economics (Ujamaa), Purpose (Nia), Creativity (Kuumba) and Faith (Tmani.) Kwanzaa is celebrated with feasting, singing, dancing, prayer and gift giving. This Kwanzaa, why not try making your own homemade gifts?
Here are some ideas to try:
The Unity Cup
The kikombe cha umoja, or Unity Cup, is an ideal gift for anyone this Kwanzaa, and it’s fairly simple to make. You can either craft your cup out of modeling clay that’s easily baked in the oven, or decoupage an existing cup. Use the traditional black, red and green colors for your Unity Cup. To decoupage, simply cover the existing cup with an adhesive made for the process, such as Mod Podge. Then, place the paper strips around the cup, and cover with another layer of decoupage adhesive. Allow the adhesive to dry thoroughly.
The Mkeka is a traditional mat on which the kinara, or traditional candleholder is placed. There are many different ways to create a handmade Mkeka. You can sew one if you’re handy with the sewing machine. Kids will love making a traditional mkeka out of black, red and green construction paper. After they’ve crafted their mkekas, take them to a craft store and have them laminated.
Another great Kwanzaa gift to make, especially for little ones, is Kwanzaa stationery. Use heavyweight card stock in the traditional black, red and green Kwanzaa colors. With scissors and glue, you can make cute Kwanzaa cards and stationery that features the African flag. Or, use white stationery and draw or paint decorative designs on the stationery. Finish your stationery set with some decorative envelopes and place in a small shirt box for gift giving.
Gifts of Food
Sometimes, the best gift to give is something delicious. Try some delectable muffins or biscuits in a decorative basket wrapped with red, green or black cellophane or fabric. Adorn the handle of the basket with a festive bow.
Use your imagination and come up with your own handmade Kwanzaa gift ideas. The recipient will appreciate the special effort and thought you put into their gift!