Posted in Blogging, Humor, postaday, writing

Happy New Year!

I meant to be on much earlier to wish everyone a Happy New Year, but my computer blew up last night. I had to go shopping for a new one this morning (ugh). I spent too much money, but I am NOT going without my computer!

Anyways, got a new super duper one, took hours to set it all up like I wanted. Now finally here. Whew. That was like work or something 🙂

 

I hope everyone’s New Year starts out great and stays that way! All of you have made my year a wonderful one here on WordPress and I want to say thank you to each and every one of you!

 

hpny

 

ny2

Posted in Blogging, nonfiction, stories, writing

2012 in review here on WordPress

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,400 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 7 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

 

Not too shabby considering I  only started in the beginning of August of 2012. Thank you to everyone that reads and comments! Keep ’em coming! I love hearing from everyone!

 

Posted in Humor, nonfiction, postaday, Uncategorized, writing

New Years Resolutions and Why We Make Them

If you came to see what my New Year’s resolutions are going to be, I’m afraid you will be disappointed. I don’t make resolutions, ever! Never have. They seem kind of pointless to me. But, if you do, great! I sincerely hope you are able to keep them.

My friend Lois over at livingsimplyfree asked the question of who started the New Years resolution thing. Great question Lois!

ny2

I decided to look into it, because I was curious myself. So me and my Sleuthing Elf did one more job. We found out how all this resolution business got started. It goes like this:

According to one report here

New Year’s Day celebrations began in pre-Christian times, beginning with the Babylonians in March but changed to January by the Romans. January gets its name from Janus, the two-faced god who looks backwards into the old year and forwards into the new.

The custom of setting “New Years resolutions” began during this period in Rome, as they made such resolutions with a moral flavor: mostly to be good to others. But when the Roman Empire took Christianity as its official state religion in the 4th century, these moral intentions were replaced by prayers and fasting. For example, Christians chose to observe the Feast of the Circumcision on January 1 in place of the revelry otherwise indulged in by those who did not share the faith. This replacement had varying degrees of success over the centuries, and Christians hesitated observing some of the New Year practices associated with honoring the pagan god Janus.

Most commonly, it revolved around returning any borrowed farm equipment, as their New Year coincided with the start of their farming season.

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The New Year has not always begun on January 1, and it doesn’t begin on that date everywhere today.

It begins on that date only for cultures that use a 365-day solar calendar. January 1 became the beginning of the New Year in 46 B.C., when Julius Caesar developed a calendar that would more accurately reflect the seasons than previous calendars had.

The Julian and Gregorian calendars are solar calendars. Some cultures have lunar calendars, however. A year in a lunar calendar is less than 365 days because the months are based on the phases of the moon. The Chinese use a lunar calendar. Their new year begins at the time of the first full moon (over the Far East) after the sun enters Aquarius- sometime between January 19 and February 21.

Although the date for New Year’s Day is not the same in every culture, it is always a time for celebration and for customs to ensure good luck in the coming year.

ny3

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The celebration of the New Year is the oldest of all holidays. It was first observed in ancient Babylon about 4000 years ago. In the years around 2000 BC, Babylonians celebrated the beginning of a new year on what is now March 23, although they themselves had no written calendar.

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The Chinese set a special New Years resolution – house cleaning. Most people nowadays would relate this to Spring-Cleaning. At the coming of the New Year, the Chinese would clean their house from top to bottom. What a great way to start the year, with a beautiful clean house!
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Today we still set New Years resolutions, and try to achieve them. They are almost always based around self-improvement resolutions and goals. They are a way to mark the beginning of changes in our habits and lifestyle. The most common resolutions include losing weight, quitting smoking and/or drinking, and improving your finances.
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NY1

Now for some good humored quotes on New Year.

Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account. – Oscar Wilde

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. – Bill Vaughn

New Year’s Day… now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. – Mark Twain

Another fresh new year is here . . .
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!
– William Arthur Ward

 

Posted in Blogging, Fiction, Friday Fictioneers, postaday, stories, Uncategorized, writing

Friday Fictioneers ~ Dec 28

Here’s to another Friday Fictioneers post! I just love Fridays! Thank you Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting.

This event happens every Friday, we are given a picture as a prompt. We are to write a 100 word story using that picture prompt. (there are no penalties for going over) We leave a link at our hostess’s blog for all others to click so that they can read, leave comments and enjoy!

It always amazes me how many different stories come out of the same photo. Please come and join us! It’s great fun and great practice to your writing. Also, it doesn’t have to be a story, you can do poetry or whatever you want. Just keep as close to 100 words as possible.

Here is this Fridays picture:

Copyright Jean L. Hays
Copyright Jean L. Hay

 

She loved this coffee shop. So calm, inviting, colorful. Loved the stained glass. She sat and watched people go about their lives. Made stories up in her head about them all.

She was a writer, a people watcher, a teller of tales. This was her haven. A quiet spot where she could let her imagination fly. The owner was always accommodating, friendly. A small town where everyone knew each other.

The sun shone bright. The day was clear. She sat in front on her laptop and clicked the keys that made her story come alive. She loved being a gossip columnist.

 

 

Posted in Daily Prompt, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, stories, Stories of my life, writing

Daily Prompt ~ Gimme

I hope everyone’s Christmas was a good one. If you don’t celebrate Christmas  I hope you also got through these last few days well. Mine was on the quiet side, so I enjoyed it. I like quiet. There is way too little of it.

I did make Christmas dinner . Turkey, dressing, all that goes with it. Lot’s of leftovers though, as there was only three of us to eat it. But, I love turkey sandwiches, so no hardship there. 🙂

So I’ve been sitting here wondering what to write today as I took yesterday off. Must have too many turkey fumes yet as I couldn’t think of a thing. Then I read the daily prompt and thought why not? I’ll give it a whirl.

The Daily Prompt was …..Gimme……Was there a special gift or toy you wanted as a child but never received? What was it?

Ah, yes.  There was.  So, let me set the scene. I have 3 siblings, a younger brother, one older sister and one older brother. I was kind of the middle child. My mother and I never got along much in those days. Hell, who am I kidding. We never get along much any days. We just got over another little hump this Christmas, but that’s for another story.

Anyway, I was fifteen, not really a child, but not yet ‘grown-up’ either. All three of my siblings had their own bikes. For years I had been asking for my own bike also. Otherwise, I hardly got to ride one, my siblings were not big on sharing, and mom always took their side, so hence I very rarely got to ride one. I always felt cheated. How come I was the only one without a bike??

I would ask for one on birthdays and Christmas. Every year I was disappointed yet again. The year I was fifteen, I told my Mom (again) I wanted a bike, that’s ALL I wanted. They didn’t have to get me anything else. Just a bike!

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I felt sure that year that I would get my own bike! I was so excited at Christmas time. I knew there was going to be a bike for me this time. I remember waking up Christmas Eve morning with this feeling of excitement deep in my belly. I made sure I was good all day. I helped Mom whenever she asked for it.  I mean, I did everything right that year! Or tried to.

In my family it was always tradition once us kids got bigger to open our presents Christmas Eve night. I don’t know why we did that, but we did. So of course we were all excited after supper and waited impatiently for Mom to say “Start opening them!” Now there was no bike under the tree, nothing really big wrapped hiding in a corner. I was all right with that, after all we had a basement, an attic too, maybe it was hidden there and Dad would get it soon.

Well, my Mom told us we could unwrap our gifts!  We all started passing around the gifts and opening them. Yes, I had a small pile of gifts to unwrap, but I kept looking for Dad to get the bike out of the basement! I kept watching and waiting, but to no avail. No bike again that Christmas. I was more disappointed than I had ever been. I felt sure that I was going to get one that year! I was positive! But, nope. Nothing, nada, zip.

I remembered I went to bed that night and silently cried myself to sleep. I don’t think I will ever forget that Christmas. Unfortunately I was usually disappointed at Christmas, especially my teenage years, as those were the worst years for getting along with Mom. But that one, well that one stuck with me the most.

Now, there is a shining light at the end of this story. My birthday is in September. My younger brother and I are 2 years and 2 days apart. My birthday is Sept. 12 his is the 14th. Now all the years we were growing up my brother and I had to ‘share’ a birthday. Usually it was on the 13th or his actual birthday the 14th. We shared a cake. We shared small family parties (if we had one), we shared birthdays. Which both of us thought sucked and wasn’t fair. But Mom, well she is who she is.

Except on my sixteenth birthday. Now that birthday was special. Because of what my Dad did. Bless his soul.  My Mom actually refused to have anything to do with this one occasion, but again, that’s for another story.

That September, my Dad asked me after breakfast if I wanted to take a drive with him. It was on a Saturday, I remember that. My Dad usually did his errands on a Saturday, but his norm was to do them alone. It was a rare treat to go with Dad, he hardly ever asked one of  us kids. Anyway, he asked me and of course I said yes. We drove for a while and he pulled into the Schwinn Bike shop. I was confused. I couldn’t understand why we were there. We walked in and started looking at all these shiny new Schwinn bikes! Oh wow! They were beautiful!

He casually asked me which one I liked. I think my jaw hit the ground. He asked me again. I pointed to a shiny red and white one. I liked that one! My dad talked to the owner of the store and told him it was my birthday and he wanted to buy that red and white girls Schwinn bike for me! Oh, how I wanted to cry right there and then. But didn’t dare as I was afraid it would have embarrassed Dad.

It was a 3 speed and it was expensive! Schwinn’s back then were expensive, and my dad just bought me one. I was walking on cloud nine! I had that bike for many years. My Dad was always my hero! I miss you Daddy!

 

(I guess I can’t say I never received this gift. Because I did, just not for Christmas)

just like the one I got!
just like the one I got!
Posted in Fiction, postaday, stories, writing

The Beginning of Mrs. Santa Claus

My Sleuthing Elf made another Christmas discovery. Santa usually gets all the glory, but we thought it would be nice to introduce his wife!

250px-Goody_Santa_Claus 220px-Mr&MrsSantaClaus

Santa Claus’ wife made her most active appearance  by Katherine Lee Bates in her poem “Goody Santa Claus on a Sleigh Ride” (1889). “Goody” is short for “Goodwife”, i.e., “Mrs.”

Goody Santa Claus

Katherine Lee Bates
Boston: D. Lothrop Co., 1889

Santa, must I tease in vain, Deer? Let me go and hold the reindeer,
While you clamber down the chimneys. Don’t look savage as a Turk!
Why should you have all the glory of the joyous Christmas story,
And poor little Goody Santa Claus have nothing but the work?

It would be so very cozy, you and I, all round and rosy,
Looking like two loving snowballs in our fuzzy Arctic furs,
Tucked in warm and snug together, whisking through the winter weather
Where the tinkle of the sleigh-bells is the only sound that stirs.

You just sit here and grow chubby off the goodies in my cubby
From December to December, till your white beard sweeps your knees;
For you must allow, my Goodman, that you’re but a lazy woodman
And rely on me to foster all our fruitful Christmas trees.

While your Saintship waxes holy, year by year, and roly-poly,
Blessed by all the lads and lassies in the limits of the land,
While your toes at home you’re toasting, then poor Goody must go posting
Out to plant and prune and garner, where our fir-tree forests stand.

Oh! but when the toil is sorest how I love our fir-tree forest,
Heart of light and heart of beauty in the Northland cold and dim,
All with gifts and candles laden to delight a boy or maiden,
And its dark-green branches ever murmuring the Christmas hymn!

Yet ask young Jack Frost, our neighbor, who but Goody has the labor,
Feeding roots with milk and honey that the bonbons may be sweet!
Who but Goody knows the reason why the playthings bloom in season
And the ripened toys and trinkets rattle gaily to her feet!

From the time the dollies budded, wiry-boned and saw-dust blooded,
With their waxen eyelids winking when the wind the tree-tops plied,
Have I rested for a minute, until now your pack has in it
All the bright, abundant harvest of the merry Christmastide?

Santa, wouldn’t it be pleasant to surprise me with a present?
And this ride behind the reindeer is the boon your Goody begs;
Think how hard my extra work is, tending the Thanksgiving turkeys
And our flocks of rainbow chickens — those that lay the Easter eggs.

Home to womankind is suited? Nonsense, Goodman! Let our fruited
Orchards answer for the value of a woman out-of-doors.
Why then bid me chase the thunder, while the roof you’re safely under,
All to fashion fire-crackers with the lighting in their cores?

See! I’ve fetched my snow-flake bonnet, with the sunrise ribbons on it;
I’ve not worn it since we fled from Fairyland our wedding day;
How we sped through iceberg porches with the Northern Lights for torches!
You were young and slender, Santa, and we had this very sleigh.

Jump in quick then? That’s my bonny. Hey down derry! Nonny nonny!
While I tie your fur cap closer, I will kiss your ruddy chin.
I’m so pleased I fall to singing, just as sleigh-bells take to ringing!
Are the cloud-spun lap-robes ready? Tirra-lirra! Tuck me in.

Off across the starlight Norland, where no plant adorns the moorland
Save the ruby-berried holly and the frolic mistletoe!
Oh, but this is Christmas revel! Off across the frosted level
Where the reindeers’ hoofs strike sparkles from the crispy, crackling snow!

There’s the Man i’ the Moon before us, bound to lead the Christmas chorus
With the music of the sky-waves rippling round his silver shell —
Glimmering boat that leans and tarries with the weight of dreams she carries
To the cots of happy children. Gentle sailor, steer her well!

Now we pass through dusky portals to the drowsy land of mortals;
Snow-enfolded, silent cities stretch about us dim and far.
Oh! how sound the world is sleeping, midnight watch no shepherd keeping,
Though an angel-face shines gladly down from every golden star.

Here’s a roof. I’ll hold the reindeer. I suppose this weather-vane, Dear,
Some one set here just on purpose for our teams to fasten to.
There’s its gilded cock, — the gaby! — wants to crow and tell the baby
We are come. Be careful, Santa! Don’t get smothered in the flue.

Back so soon? No chimney-swallow dives but where his mate can follow.
Bend your cold ear, Sweetheart Santa, down to catch my whisper faint:
Would it be so very shocking if your Goody filled a stocking
Just for once? Oh, dear! Forgive me. Frowns do not become a Saint.

I will peep in at the skylights, where the moon sheds tender twilights
Equally down silken chambers and down attics bare and bleak.
Let me show with hailstone candies these two dreaming boys — the dandies
In their frilled and fluted nighties, rosy cheek to rosy cheek!

What! No gift for this poor garret? Take a sunset sash and wear it
O’er the rags, my pale-faced lassie, till thy father smiles again.
He’s a poet, but — oh, cruel! he has neither light nor fuel.
Here’s a fallen star to write by, and a music-box of rain.

So our sprightly reindeer clamber, with their fairy sleigh of amber,
On from roof to roof , the woven shades of night about us drawn.
On from roof to roof we twinkle, all the silver bells a-tinkle,
Till blooms in yonder blessèd East the rose of Christmas dawn.

Now the pack is fairly rifled, and poor Santa’s well-nigh stifled;
Yet you would not let your Goody fill a single baby-sock;
Yes, I know the task takes brain, Dear. I can only hold the reindeer,
And so see me climb down chimney — it would give your nerves a shock.

Wait! There’s yet a tiny fellow, smiling lips and curls so yellow
You would think a truant sunbeam played in them all night. He spins
Giant tops, a flies kites higher than the gold cathedral spire
In his creams — the orphan bairnie, trustful little Tatterkins.

Santa, don’t pass by the urchin! Shake the pack, and deeply search in
All your pockets. There is always one toy more. I told you so.
Up again? Why, what’s the trouble? On your eyelash winks the bubble
Mortals call a tear, I fancy. Holes in stocking, heel and toe?

Goodman, though your speech is crusty now and then there’s nothing rusty
In your heart. A child’s least sorrow makes your wet eyes glisten, too;
But I’ll mend that sock so nearly it shall hold your gifts completely.
Take the reins and let me show you what a woman’s wit can do.

Puff! I’m up again, my Deary, flushed a bit and somewhat weary,
With my wedding snow-flake bonnet worse for many a sooty knock;
But be glad you let me wheedle, since, an icicle for needle,
Threaded with the last pale moonbeam, I have darned the laddie’s sock.

Then I tucked a paint-box in it (’twas no easy task to win it
From the Artist of the Autumn Leaves) and frost-fruits white and sweet,
With the toys your pocket misses — oh! and kisses upon kisses
To cherish safe from evil paths the motherless small feet.

Chirrup! chirrup! There’s a patter of soft footsteps and a clatter
Of child voices. Speed it, reindeer, up the sparkling Arctic Hill!
Merry Christmas, little people! Joy-bells ring in every steeple,
And Goody’s gladdest of the glad. I’ve had my own sweet will.

 

Posted in nonfiction, postaday, stories, Stories of my life, writing

Another Favorite Christmas Memory

This is another stroll down memory lane. My most favorite Christmas memory can be found here.  Today’s memory is when I was about 6 or 7, maybe a bit younger. I hadn’t quite grown into my tomboy years, that would come a bit later and stay with me through out my life. 🙂

trees

When I was young we were not very well off. We kids didn’t fully realize that. We were young, we enjoyed what we had, it might not have been a lot, but it was ours. There were 2 boys and 2 girls, plus my Mom and Dad. It was hard feeding, clothing, and affording everything else that goes with kids. That year must have been tougher than others,  because I remember my Mom sitting us down and explaining that we weren’t going to get much for Christmas that year.

She told us  Santa had met with hard times. That there were a lot of  kids in the world, and he was trying to give each and every one of them a gift. He didn’t want to miss a one! So instead of the usual amount of gifts this year, we were each going to get one toy, and a winter coat. That was it.

I remember that her announcement was met with complete silence at first. The four of us looked at each other, my little brother started crying. My older brother got mad and stormed off, my sister and I just  sat there quietly. Then we both looked at my mom and said, “It’s ok, we can share.”

My older sister and I were always pretty close back then. So it wasn’t surprising that we came out with the same thing at the same time. It really was ok with both of us, and later on with my 2 brothers. We decided every kid should have a Christmas present, and if Santa needed our help, well then we would help him! We all knew who the real Santa was of course, well except my little brother,  and we tried to  understand that Mom and Dad didn’t have a lot of money. We wanted to help in any way we could.

So even though we were all a little bit disappointed that Christmas, we made a pact that we wouldn’t show it in front of Mom and Dad. We had never had a lot to begin with, we wore hand me down clothes most of the time, even got hand me down toys from others in the family that were a bit better off then us. It was how we were raised, no big deal. (Can’t really miss what you never had).

We were also getting a new winter coat!  Mostly our winter coats were hand me downs from cousins, so that wasn’t so bad either. We would manage. We also didn’t want our parents feeling bad.

So Christmas Eve we all went to bed excited as we did every year.  We woke up early  and  ran out to the living room. The tree was lit  and looked beautiful and there was a pile of gifts under the tree. As promised we each got a new winter coat, but we also got new gloves! Then we each got our  one new toy! I don’t really remember what my siblings received that year, but I sure remember what I got!

I remember seeing this huge box sitting in a corner, it was bigger then  me! It also had my name on it in big black letters! It had a bright red bow on top and it was mine! I was so excited and couldn’t imagine what it could be.

very close to what I remember
very close to what I remember

My dad laid it on the floor for me and with a big smile told me to open it. I started tearing off the paper and bow slowly, I wanted that moment to last! I finally got all the paper off and  I remember seeing this girl on the front of the box. No wait! It wasn’t a girl! It was a doll!!! I opened the box and there inside was a blonde headed doll that was as big as me!!!

She was beautiful! Her blonde hair shone in the Christmas lights and it looked just like mine! She had big blue eyes and a wonderful dress on and a straw hat! When she stood up she was as tall as I was.

I was never  one of those little girls who played a lot with dolls, but this one was different. It was like having a best friend. I used to dance with her, I would put her little  feet on mine and we would dance around the house together! It was great fun!  I told her all my secrets and dreams. I had so much fun with that doll for many years.

I didn’t just get a doll that Christmas, I got a best friend. A friend who never told my secrets. A best friend that I could do no wrong in her eyes. It was a great Christmas that year.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

How about helping spread some peace next year? I’m in, come join me!

everyday gurus

banner 

“Peace is not something you wish for, it something you make, something you do, something you are, something you give away.”–Robert Fulghum

In an effort to actively do something to create more peace in the world in 2013, I am dedicating a number of my posts specifically to peace. I invite you to join me. We can call ourselves “Bloggers for Peace.” Everyone is invited to join. The requirements are simple and flexible.

  • Devote at least one post a month to/for/about peace. If you write poems or fiction, write a piece about peace. If you take photos, post a photo or gallery that reflects, symbolizes, defines, or creates peace. If you write rants, rant at something that disturbs the peace or rant about something that promotes peace. If you are into zen, post a blank white page. If you are an artist…you get the idea. Feel free to…

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Posted in Blog challenge, Fiction, Friday Fictioneers, Humor, stories, Uncategorized, writing

Friday Fictioneers ~ Dec 21

Here’s to another Friday Fictioneers post! I just love Fridays! Thank you Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting.

This event happens every Friday, we are given a picture as a prompt. We are to write a 100 word story using that picture prompt. (there are no penalties for going over) We leave a link at our hostess’s blog for all others to click so that they can read, leave comments and enjoy!

It always amazes me how many different stories come out of the same photo. Please come and join us! It’s great fun and great practice to your writing. Also, it doesn’t have to be a story, you can do poetry or whatever you want. Just keep as close to 100 words as possible.

Here is this Fridays picture:

copyright-scott-l-vannatter
Copyright-Scott L. Vannatter

 

 

” I have everything I need.”

“Candles, check. Paper, check. Gift tags, check”

“My humans will never know I did this!”

“I know! Hold still so I can get your picture! I’ll put it in your scrapbook.”

“Can you believe they still think  Claus does all this??”

“That clown?? He wouldn’t even know how to wrap a decent present!”

“I know, right?”

“Cats are so much more advanced than anyone knows! They might guess, but that’s all.”

“Don’t want  humans knowing anyway, might frighten them. Then who would I have to feed and water me?”

“Didn’t think about that.”

“That’s cus you’re a dog.”

Posted in Blogging, nonfiction, postaday, stories, Uncategorized, writing

Christmas Superstitions and Other Odds and Ends

My Sleuthing Elf and I have been busy once more for you dear readers! We decided to investigate all the Christmas superstitions out there in the world. It’s funny what people will believe.

We also came up with some more symbols of Christmas and how they came about.

  • “To have good health throughout the next year, eat an apple on Christmas Eve.”
  • Eat plum pudding on Christmas and avoid losing a friend before next Christmas.”
  •  On Christmas Eve all animals can speak. However, it is bad luck to test this superstition.”
  •  The child born on Christmas Day will have a special fortune.”
  •  Wearing new shoes on Christmas Day will bring bad luck.”
  •  In Ireland it is believed the gates of Heaven open at midnight on Christmas Eve. Those who die then go straight to Heaven.
  •  If you refuse a mince-pie at Christmas dinner, you will have bad luck for the coming day.
  •  If you eat a raw egg before eating anything else on Christmas morning, you will be able to carry heavy weights.
  •  Snow on Christmas means Easter will be green.”
  •  Good luck will come to the home where a fire is kept burning throughout the Christmas season.
  •  Place shoes by side on Christmas Eve to prevent a quarreling family.”
  •  A clear star-filled sky on Christmas Eve will bring good crops in the summer.”
  •  A blowing wind on Christmas Day brings good luck.”
  •  In Greece, some people burn their old shoes during the Christmas season to prevent misfortunes in the coming year.
  •  In the Swedish countryside, from cock-crow to daybreak on Christmas morning the trolls (wicked elves) roam about.
  •  In Devonshire, England, a girl raps at the henhouse door on Christmas Eve. If a rooster crows, she will marry within the year.
  •  You will have as many happy months in the coming year, as the number of houses you eat mince pies in during Christmastime.
  •  Shout ‘Christmas Gift’ to the first person knocking on your door on Christmas Day and expect to receive a gift from the visitor.

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The Wreath

wreath

The Wreath which is traditionally displayed on the front door of a home during the weeks of Advent and the Christmas season once was a multiple role.

The wreath is intertwined with red ribbons which is done to express the festive spirit, while its evergreen leaves were symbolic of the everlasting life promised to the faithful by the birth of Jesus Christ. The circular shape was a reminder of the crown of thorns placed on His head by the Roman soldiers when they ridiculed Him as the ‘king of the Jews’. Another reason for the wreath being used as part of celebrations related to the god Bacchus, whose worshipers were thought to have worn circular ivy crowns.

Another practical purpose for the wreath was that the evergreen boughs were believed to protect a home from evil spirits, which were thought to be plentiful during this dark time of the year. During the Middle Ages the red berries of holly were believed to keep witches out of the home; this is why holly became the traditional and lucky evergreen for the wreath-making.

Tinsel

tinsel
Glittering tinsel is used to decorate the Christmas tree to symbolize light. Light in all forms was thought to be magic enough to ensure that the forces of darkness would not have any power.

A Christian legend given for the origins of tinsel is that a poor widow was determined to have a memorable Christmas for her family that all she possessed was a tree. She spent many hours decorating it and finally fell asleep. Later in the night spiders wove webs all over the tree’s branches. As a reward for the widow’s unselfishness, the Christ-child changed the spider webs into shining silver threads.

Another legend was that as a child Jesus Christ once decorated a tree. He was assisted by angels whose hair was caught on the branches as they departed, it turned into tinsel.

Poinsettia 

poinsettia
The poinsettia is named after Joel R. Poinsett, who served as the USA’s first ambassador to Mexico, from 1825-1829. He saw this indigenous plant with large scarlet leaves encircling small, greenish-yellow blossoms, which was the Mexican Christmas flower. He sent specimens back to the USA, where they flourished.

A Mexican legend tells how the poinsettia became a Christmas flower. A poor peasant girl was anxious to bring a gift in honor of the Virgin Mary to the Christmas Eve service. She had nothing to give so she went with nothing. On the way she met an angel, who told her to pick some weeds. She did this. As by a miracle they were transformed into the bright scarlet ‘flowers’. Ever since poinsettia’s have been popular decorations for churches and homes during the Christmas festival.

Christmas Colors

colors
There are many colors associated with Christmas such as the red of holly berries, of Santa Claus or Father Christmas outfit; the green of fir trees  the gold of candles and stars; the whiteness of snowy fields.

Red is the color that is considered the greatest excitement, and is also the color of the month December. As the religious symbol it stands for fire, blood and charity.

Green is the symbol for nature, youth and the hope of eternal life. It is for this reason that Christmas is a feast of hope, with a newborn child as its central symbol.

White is the religious symbol which stands for light, purity, joy and glory. White is seen in the robes of Christmas angels, in Santa’s beard and suit trimmings, as well as in Christmas snow and snow flakes.

In Northern Europe and in some of America, snow covers the ground at Christmas. In southern California roses are blooming. In the warmer climate but the snow is artificial, so as to show the link with the Northern Yuletide.

Gold stands for sunlight and radiance. It is the color of the Christmas stars, tinsel, candles, electric lights.

Christians who were once pagans saw the new god as they had the sun, that is the radiant being who lighted the world. Many artists show Christ in a pool of light, or with a bright halo around his head.

 

Posted in Blogging, Fiction, Humor, postaday, stories, writing

Twas the Night Before Christmas (My Version)

Twas The Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the towns

Not a blogger was writing, not even Le Clown.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that our pets would not chew and tear.

The Children were  nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of x-box games warred in their heads.

Dis is me! Sam
Dis is me! Sam

My dog Sam in his ‘kerchief and me with a drink,

Had just settled  down without so much as a  blink.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clamor,

Sam sprang with a growl and I with a hammer.

Away to the window we flew like a flash,

If it was a burglar he was going to get smashed.

The moon on the mounds of new fallen snow

Gave the shine of mid-day to objects below.

When, what to my blood shot eyes should appear,

But a damn little man carrying eight cans of beer!

With a sigh and a feeling of being sick,

I knew in a moment it was my neighbor being a dick.

More vapid and stupid is this person next door,

As he whistled and sang a course song about whores.

Now hooker! now, harlot! now, floozy and vamp!

On, trollop! on, hussy and strumpet and tramp!

Let’s all have a party! Let’s all have some grass!

I’ve got the cash, the beer and the brass!

As the snow flew and whirled inside, I shook my fist and muttered a sigh.

And then in a twinkling, I heard my door open

In came the neighbor with his eight beers as tokens.

I gasped and I drew in my breath to give him a shout,

when I got a good look at what else was about.

He was all dressed in black, from his head to his toes,

And his clothes was a tux, with a big red rose.

This man in the back that followed the lout,

he looked like a god, as he carried his stout.

His eyes how they sparkled! His dimples how dreamy!

His face  was a models, his nose long and leany,

His strong mouth was turned up in a grin,

And the cleft in his chin made my heart spin.

His strong body held straight, with muscles so tight,

It’s then I remembered my hair looked a fright.

tux

He was handsome and smart, a man of my dreams,

And I drooled just a little and wanted to scream.

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to work,

He fingered my stockings, then turned to the jerk.

And laying a finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, he rose up and strode,

He shoved the neighbor outside of the door,

Then came back and hugged me once more.

He gave me a cuddle, a kiss and a gasp,

Then he carried me off like man of great class,

I heard him exclaim as we went out of sight,

“Happy Christmas to all, We are off for a great night!”

 

Posted in Blogging, nonfiction, postaday, Uncategorized, writing

Blog of the Year Award ~~ Twice in one day!

Hi dear readers! Today has been a good day for me! I was nominated twice today for “The Blog of the Year Award”! My good friends Liam and Tiny nominated me for this great blog award. Please go visit their blogs when you get a chance, they are both great! Thank you again Tiny and Liam!

Tiny’s fine poetry and pictures can be seen here ~ http://tinylessonsblog.com/

Liam’s fine writing and great blog challenge ….This title is…. can be found here ~ http://thelifeofathinker.wordpress.com

Blog of the Year Award 2 star thumbnail

The Rules:
1. Collect Six Stars (I have two)
2. Nominate as many people as you like (you can even re – nominate to get the nominator to six stars!)
3. A more easier version of the rules can be found here! http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/

Now for my nominees!

http://boomiebol.wordpress.com/   boomiebol always has beautiful poetry, it makes me wish I could do what she does, it touches me.

http://rarasaur.wordpress.com/ rarasaur has an awesome blog and she is super nice, always willing to help

http://elappleby.wordpress.com/ ah, a new friend! She has a great sense of humor and I enjoy reading whatever she writes.

http://tinylessonsblog.com/ I have to re-nominate Tiny, she is just that good!

http://livingsimplyfree.wordpress.com/ Lois is a dear woman who lives in a 300 sq ft apartment and loves it! Learn how she does it.

http://thelifeofathinker.wordpress.com I have to nominate Liam again, go read his blog, he even interviewed Mr and Mrs Santa!

There it is my friends, go take a look at all the wonderful blogs, and enjoy!