The Great Holiday Cookie Swap: Bonus Material for Kwanzaa!!

Today is the third day of Kwanzaa! My family does not celebrate Kwanzaa, but as I wrote THE GREAT HOLIDAY COOKIE SWAP, it was exciting to learn about the traditions and values around all the holidays of the world, especially those whose cookies are represented. I lived in Charleston, South Carolina, for four years when I taught at the College of Charleston, and benne wafers were one of my very favorite new discoveries there so I knew they HAD to find their way into the book. My good friend Mary Catherine James still lives in Charleston and she graciously agreed to create a video to help introduce readers to the traditions of Kwanzaa and even a Kwanzaa craft that is fun and easy for kids to make. (MaryCatherine frequently leads children in craft projects at her church and is also an artist with work at the Art on the Square gallery!)

Watch Mary Catherine tell about her own family’s connections to Kwanzaa and see her take you step by step through DIY video here– then click on the link following the video to download free printable instructions for the craft!

Mary Catherine James explains Kwanzaa and the magic of the benne wafer!
Left: The nutty not-too-sweet benne wafer cookie, a Lowcountry Carolina tradition!
Right: A corn pendant craft to celebrate the creativity and culture behind Kwanzaa! (And they look just a tiny bit like the cookie, too!)