Welcome to December – Happy Holidays!

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We hope you’ll include Habitat for Humanity of Dutchess County in your holiday plans – we’d love to have you join us!

* December is National Car Donation Month—Yes, it’s a thing!

Each December, car dealerships, celebrities, and ordinary citizens celebrate National Car Donation Month with generous donations to the causes they choose. Habitat for Humanity of Dutchess County is all in on it! Check out how easy it is to donate, help protect the environment, and give a gift of generosity this holiday season!

* DECK THE HOMES! Holiday Decorating Contest—Registration is open until December 3!

If you’re someone who goes all out decorating your home for the holidays, join your neighbors for the Habitat for Humanity of Dutchess County Annual Home Holiday Decorating Contest and show off your stuff! All residents and community members are invited to sign up to participate in some high-spirited holiday fun as you decorate your homes in your holiday best.  Saturday, December 3 is the last day to register for the home decorating event. Starting December 12, community members can vote for their favorite home. Voting ends December 16. We’ll announce the winners at the Habitat for Humanity of Dutchess County ReStore on December 17. We’ll share more information about voting and the ReStore event here, so visit us again soon.

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* National Christmas Lights Day—December 1

Thursday, December 1 is National Christmas Lights Day!  Electric Christmas lights were first invented in 1880 by Thomas Edison, who promptly strung them all over the outside of his Menlo Park laboratory. Because people were initially distrustful of electricity, however, it took several decades for the invention to catch on. And it wasn’t until 1903 when General Electric began selling pre-assembled kits of Christmas lights that electric lights became widely popular. Today, electric lights are an integral part of the winter holiday season, and certainly aren’t exclusive to Christmas. As we get ready for the end of the year, let’s string up our lights and celebrate. ‘Tis the season, after all.

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* Second Sunday of Advent—December 4

AdventNovember 27 marks the first Sunday of Advent, and December 4 marks the second. The word Advent originates from the Latin word “Adventus” which means “coming” or “arrival.” The month-long Advent Season is focused on preparing for the coming of Jesus Christ in all ways, from His birth in the past to His Second Coming in the future as the Messiah. Each of the four weeks of Advent has a theme, and a candle is lit for each: Advent Week One: Hope and Faith. Advent Week Two: Peace. Advent Week Three: Love. Advent Week Four: Joy. This Advent season, we wish you strong hope and faith, peace, love, and abundant joy.

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* International Volunteer Day—December 5

The United Nations Volunteer Programme coordinates International Volunteer Day every year on December 5th to recognize and promote the tireless work, not just of UN Volunteers, but of volunteers across the globe. Every day, volunteers dedicate time and effort to ensure the inclusion of those often left behind. From helping to build and repair homes to staffing our ReStore locations, volunteers are the lifeblood of Habitat for Humanity of Dutchess County, and at the heart of everything we do. To learn more about volunteering with us, visit our Volunteer page.

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Hanukkah (Chanukah)—Sunday, December 18, 2022 through Monday, December 26, 2022

Hanukkah (also spelled Chanukah ) is an eight-day Jewish festival marking the miraculous victory of the Maccabees—Jewish freedom fighters—over the Seleucidian Greek occupiers in the year 139 BCE. After recapturing Jerusalem’s Holy Temple, which had been converted into a place of idol worship, they searched for pure oil with which to light the Temple menorah. They found just enough to burn for one day, but it burned for eight days until more oil could be brought. To commemorate this miraculous event, on each of the eight nights of Hanukkah, Jewish people light special menorahs (candelabras), adding another flame each night, until on the eighth night eight flames are burning brightly. The lighting takes place at home, in a doorway, or near a window, and is performed after brief blessings are recited. This is why Hanukkah is also called “The Festival of Lights.” Happy Hanukkah to all who observe.

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Kwanzaa—December 26, 2022 though January 1, 2023

Kwanzaa is an African American celebration of life, family, community, and culture that lasts for seven days from December 26 to January 1. Dr. Maulana Karenga, now chairman of Black Studies at California State University at Long Beach, introduced the holiday in 1966 not only to bring African Americans together and reconnect with their heritage, but as a counter to the commercialization of Christmas in the United States. Each night of Kwanzaa, a candle is lit on a traditional candleholder, the kinara, to honor each of Kwanzaa’s seven principles. The principles are: Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith).  The candles symbolize the sun’s light and power. For those who observe, we wish you a Happy Kwanzaa.

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* National Homeowners Day—December 26

December 26th is statistically the prime day to put an offer on a house for optimal savings. Homeownership means different things to different people, especially through the generations. As housing crises occur in different markets, it is important to support and celebrate homeownership and what that does for our economy and the stability of our citizens. Through programs such as Homeward Bound, our Advancing Black Homeownership Initiative, and programs to help homeowners preserve their existing homes, Habitat Dutchess fosters, supports, and promotes the importance of providing families with affordable homes they can be proud of.  If you are interested in learning if you are a good candidate for Habitat for Humanity’s programs, visit our Am I Eligible page. 

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SPECIAL NOTICE: The next application period for Habitat for Humanity of Dutchess County will open in February 2023. If you would like to be added to our Homeownership Interest list, please complete our Homeownership Interest Form.
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About Habitat for Humanity of Dutchess County
Habitat for Humanity International was founded in 1976 on the conviction that everyone deserves a decent place to live. Habitat for Humanity of Dutchess County is part of its global network, serving 11 areas throughout Dutchess County.
Since 1986 Habitat for Humanity of Dutchess County has built 36 homes to provide a safe and financially sustainable place for families to call their own and has made more than 250 critical repairs and improvements for local homeowners, helping them to preserve their homes.
We believe that we’re stronger together, and that’s why we partner with local organizations to provide resources and outreach that assist eligible applicants in the homebuying process and home maintenance and upkeep. We accomplish all of this through the hard work and dedication of our staff, our volunteers, our partners, and our donors. A special “thank you” goes out to all of them.