Posted in Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, Stories of my life

O’ Christmas Tree!

Hello people! Hope this week is finding you are getting into the Christmas spirit. If not, why not?

I wasn’t sure if I would get the spirit of Christmas this year. The last few years have been pretty rough and I didn’t feel like decorating, celebrating, or much of anything else. I put on a ‘good face’ about things, but I really wasn’t into it. I didn’t put up a tree or anything.

This year was going to be more of the same. Then something happened. I began feeling all Christmasy. My Grinch heart began to grow. I have no idea why. Things here aren’t all that rosy. We are still fighting the government to get some help for the husband. Finances are non-existent. Health for me could be better. Yet, I am beginning to get that Christmas cheerful, card sending, decorating, smiling and humming feeling.

Maybe I’m finally losing my mind!

We won’t have presents this year, again. But that’s ok, as Christmas is not about the presents and food. Christmas to me is all about being extra nice, smiling at strangers and wishing them a Merry Christmas. Helping others, because even though we are having problems, many others are worse off.  I at least have a roof over my head, food in the cupboards, animals to cuddle up with and heat when it’s cold.

So when I was out and about running errands the other day, I saw this Christmas tree. It was even on sale!

It’s just a cheap tinsel tree, but it’s the Christmas spirit that counts, right? I snatched it up, because it looked like it should go home with me. It really reminds me of the Charlie Browns tree, just with more tinsel.

But I bought it with a smile on my face and plans in my head. Today, I dug in my closet and found the Christmas ornaments I knew I had. I dug in another cupboard for the punch bowl I had, though I never drink punch or have used it for that purpose.

My plan called for both.

I cleaned off my kitchen table, washed it down till it shone. Then put my Christmas tree plans together.

This is the result! What do you think?

O' Christmas tree!
O’ Christmas tree!
My Charlie Brown tree
My Charlie Brown tree

 

 

 

Posted in Blogging, Humor, nonfiction, postaday, strange holidays, writing

What Day is It? ~~ National ReGifting Day! ~~ Dec 19

Hello once more people! Getting closer to Christmas! This is the last weekend to spend all your hard-earned money on gifts. Just make sure it’s something they really want or need.

And if you are having any Christmas parties, please be careful out there. But have fun! You don’t need to get drunk or high to have fun people. Believe me. Do NOT drive drunk. Let someone else drive sober or call a cab. That’s my lecture for today.

Personally I never went to ‘office parties’. I only went to one, that was given at my very first job. Oh wow, after that one I never went to another no matter what job I was at. People are mean-spirited sometimes and crazy the other. Or maybe it was the witches I worked with. Anyway, I learned my lesson. Plus I’m not a party person. I hate them and I’ve never liked big gatherings where there was booze present. Reminds me too much of family reunions. Ha-ha!

So just be careful if you party is all I’m saying. Now on with the celebrations!

funny-dog-Christmas-tree-egg-nog

 

National ReGifting Day ~~ Every year the Thursday before Christmas is National Re-Gifting Day. There are re-gifting rules also. I think this could be a fun thing. Have a re-gifting party! There is even a website called Regiftable.com. It seems most office parties are scheduled on the Thursday before Christmas and it is becoming quite the thing to give re-gifts at these parties. It’s the theme! According to their website, “We’d like to suggest that you bring regifting out of the supply closet and turn your gift exchange into a regifting party.  In case you are hesitant to break tradition, you can rest assured that the majority (60%) of people thinks that regifting is becoming more accepted; the top two reasons are to save some green.

  • 25% believe that regifting is becoming more accepted because it is a way to save on holiday expenses.
  • 14% believe that regifting is becoming more accepted because it is a method of recycling.

Also stated in their website are ‘rules’ for regifting. I like this one : Is this going to work?  Successful regifters use common sense.  If you are going to regift, be sure you know who gave you the item, so you don’t return something to the original giver.  Only regift items to people who are not likely to see the original giver.

So if you were feeling guilty about thinking of regifting a present go to their website and enjoy your  recycling efforts!

Look for an Evergreen Day ~~ I couldn’t find who started this holiday. My guess is someone who had a tree lot. If you haven’t bought or put up your Christmas tree yet, today is for you! Go out and get that perfect evergreen tree today. If you all ready have your tree up and decorated you could just sit with a good cup of coffee or tea or drink of your choice and admire your tree. There isn’t much time left to find that perfect tree. You wait much longer and you’ll likely have a Charlie Brown kind of tree.

(Via Wikipedia) The tree was traditionally decorated with edibles such as apples, nuts or other foods. In the 18th century, it began to be illuminated by candles, which with electrification could also be replaced by Christmas lights. Today, there are a wide variety of traditional ornaments, such as garland, tinsel, and candy canes. An angel or star may be placed at the top of the tree to represent the angel Gabriel or the Star of Bethlehem from the Nativity.

The custom of the Christmas tree developed in early modern Germany with predecessors that can be traced to the 16th and possibly the 15th century, in which “devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes”. Christmas trees are hung in St. George’s Church, Sélestat since 1521.  It acquired popularity beyond Germany during the second half of the 19th century.  The Christmas tree has also been known as the “Yule-tree”, especially in discussions of its folkloristic origins.

Oatmeal Muffin Day ~~ Again I wasn’t able to find the source of this holiday. But it’s no reason not to celebrate it by making or eating an oatmeal muffin. Why not enjoy a muffin that is good for you? It’s a healthy treat that can help lower your cholesterol. Celebrate this food holiday by enjoying a muffin that is delicious but has many health benefits such as helping to control weight, and is full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. I love muffins, so maybe  I’ll go find me a muffin recipe and make some.

Oatmeal muffins are made with the primary ingredient of oatmeal.  Additional ingredients can just about anything, however the most common are raisins, nuts, and chocolate chips depending on your preference.  The level of sweetness can also vary greatly. So go ahead and find that old family recipe for oatmeal muffins! Enjoy!

National Hard Candy Day ~~ Now who doesn’t enjoy a piece of hard candy now and then? Well today is the day to pay tribute to Hard Candy! Hard candy is of course available all year, but it’s around Christmas time that it sells the most. I can understand that given how many candy canes and lollipops are sold this time of year.

(Via Wikipedia)  A hard candy, or boiled sweet, is a candy prepared from one or more syrups boiled to a temperature of 160 °C (320 °F). After a syrup boiled to this temperature cools, it is called hard candy, since it becomes stiff and brittle as it approaches room temperature. Hard candy recipes variously call for syrups of sucrose, glucose, or fructose. Once the syrup blend reaches the target temperature, the confectioner removes it from the heat source, and may add citric acid, food dye, and some flavoring, such as a plant extract, essential oil, or flavorant. One might then pour the syrup concoction (which is now very viscous) into a mold or tray to cool. When the syrup is cool enough to handle, one can fold, roll, and mold it into the shapes desired. Hard candies and throat lozenges prepared without sugar employ isomalt as a sugar substitute, and are sweetened further by the addition of an artificial sweetener, such as aspartame, or a sugar alcohol, such as Xylitol. Among the many hard candy varieties are stick candy (such as the candy cane), the lollipop, the aniseed twist, and the bêtises de Cambrai.

So go ahead and enjoy a piece of your favorite hard candy to celebrate!

 

That’s it for today, but I’ll be back tomorrow with more! Enjoy your day!

Source
Source

 

 

 

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

Little Known Christmas Facts

Trying to get into the Christmas spirit is hard lately. Tragedies and family problems have made this a difficult time this year. I haven’t even decorated for Christmas! But, enough of the sad things for a while.

My sleuthing Elf did some more work and came up with some little known facts about Christmas that the Elf and I thought we would share with you today. I love my sleuthing Elf! 😉

my xmas Elf
my sleuthing Elf

Each year more than 3 billion Christmas cards are sent in the U.S. alone.

According to the Guinness world records, the tallest Christmas tree ever cut was a 221-foot Douglas fir that was displayed in 1950 at the Northgate Shopping Center in Seattle, Washington

Christmas trees usually grow for about 15 years before they are sold.

cardtree

Many European countries believed that spirits, both good and evil, were active during the Twelve Days of Christmas. These spirits eventually evolved into Santa’s elves, especially under the influence of Clement C. Moore’s The Night Before Christmas(1779-1863) illustrated by Thomas Nast (1840-1902).

Bolivians celebrate Misa del Gallo or “Mass of the Rooster” on Christmas Eve. Some people bring roosters to the midnight mass, a gesture that symbolizes the belief that a rooster was the first animal to announce the birth of Jesus.

Mistletoe (Viscum album) is from the Anglo-Saxon word misteltan, which means “little dung twig” because the plant spreads though bird droppings.

Ancient peoples, such as the Druids, considered mistletoe sacred because it remains green and bears fruit during the winter when all other plants appear to die. Druids would cut the plant with golden sickles and never let it touch the ground. They thought it had the power to cure infertility and nervous diseases and to ward off evil.

Christmas stockings allegedly evolved from three sisters who were too poor to afford a marriage dowry and were, therefore, doomed to a life of prostitution. They were saved, however, when the wealthy Bishop Saint Nicholas of Smyrna (the precursor to Santa Claus) crept down their chimney and generously filled their stockings with gold coins.

In Germany, Heiligabend, or Christmas Eve, is said to be a magical time when the pure in heart can hear animals talking.

cardsanta

The earliest known Christmas tree decorations were apples. At Christmastime, medieval actors would use apples to decorate paradise trees (usually fir trees) during “Paradise Plays,” which were plays depicting Adam and Eve’s creation and fall.

ROBINS on cards were a joke 150 years ago when postmen wore red tunics and were named after them.

cardrobin

THE abbreviation Xmas isn’t irreligious. The letter X is a Greek abbreviation for Christ.

The first department store to feature a visit with Santa was the J. W. Parkinson’s store in Philadelphia in 1841. Astonishingly, no other department stores copied this event until 1890 when a store in Boston repeated it. Before long lines of children formed at stores across America to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him their Christmas wish list. The department store Santa has been immortalized in films such as Miracle on 34th Street and Christmas Story.

The most popular Christmas song of all time is Bing Crosby’s version of “White Christmas.” And “Silent Night”-arguably the most recognizable Christmas hymn-was written in 1818, by an Austrian pastor, Joseph Mohr. As Christmas Eve came, that year, the organ in his church was broken, so together with his friend, Franz Gruber, he wrote this new tune for the service that night, and played it on his guitar for his congregation..

Posted in Fiction, postaday, stories, writing

A Christmas Short Story, Kinda

I had a dream last night and this story came about from that dream. It was a strange dream, but for me strange dreams are the normal. So I made a short story out of it. I have no idea where this came from. Hope you enjoy my story.

 

xmastree

 

The Christmas Tree

 

“Is everyone here?” Mika asked. He was the oldest so he tried his best to be a leader. But, when you are only fourteen years old, sometimes it’s a hard thing to do.

“I don’t see Linda”  said little Todd.

“Here I am!” cried Linda as she ran up to the rag tail group.

“What kept you?” Mika asked.

“I was talkin’ to Old Meg in town” Linda told him as she caught her breath. She knew she was late so she ran all the way from town. She loved talking to her friend Old Meg. She always found out what was going on because Meg was a fountain of information.

“We need to get movin’.  We don’t want to be out here when the sun sets” Mika said to the group. He started walking up a slight incline toward the mountains. It was always safer not to be out at night. That’s when the patrols were  the most active.

There were eight of them. Young all of them. Mika being the oldest at fourteen. Todd being the youngest at six years old. Mike was the newest member of the group. He was ten and quiet. He hardly spoke at all. Mika thought if he went through what Mike had gone through he wouldn’t talk either. Then there was John, Rachel, Sara, and Nick.

They were children of the post Big War. They had no family left  and if they didn’t want to be put on work farms they hid in the hills  at night. They had found a cave, well hidden unless you knew where to look. That’s where they camped at night, during the day they snuck into town one by one. They gathered food and medicine or anything they thought might make things easier for their little group.

They avoided most adults, unless they knew for sure that they could be trusted. After the Big War ended hundreds of years ago, there wasn’t much left of the world. All the major countries played their part in destroying the world as it was back then. In the year 2013 every country thought they were the most important. They all built nuclear bombs and bombed each other out. The world pretty much had to start over from scratch for the few survivors that were left. Things became lawless in many parts.

desolation

 

The world never did recover from that final war. Most living things were killed. Two hundred years after the war, life could be hard. The children who had no family to take them in were put to work on farms to work the fields. A lot of them ran away and lived in the mountains in small groups like Mika’s. If they lived to be adults, they moved into one of the towns, where it was finally safe for them or stayed in the mountains.

As they made their  way to the cave Linda asked Mika, “Have you ever heard of Christmas Trees?”

“Christmas Trees? No.”

“Meg was telling me about a thing called Christmas that used to be celebrated years and years ago.”

“Not much to celebrate these days.”

“She said she heard it from her mother, who heard it from her mother, and down through the family.”

“So it’s a story and not real.”

“Used to be real.”

“You can’t believe everything old Meg says.”

“She told me about Christmas trees.”

“Never heard of no trees called Christmas.”

“Meg said people would cut down a tree and put it in their house!”

“Now ain’t that the silliest thing I ever heard! Why would they do a thing like that?”

“They would decorate them.”

“Decorate them?”

“Yup, with balls and lights and shiny silver string.”

“They would cut down a tree and kill it, put it in their house and put balls on them?”

“That’s  what Meg told me.”

“Now why would someone do a stupid thing like that?”

“To celebrate Christmas.”

“Why did people celebrate this Christmas?”

“I asked Meg that too.”

“So what did she say?”

“It was confusing. She said some did it for religious reasons. Some did it because it made them happy.”

“It made people happy to kill a tree?”

“I told you it was confusing.”

“You sure Meg wasn’t drinkin again?”

“She wasn’t.”

Mika shook his head at the crazy idea of Christmas trees. Didn’t make any sense to him. Trees were hard to come by, he couldn’t see someone chopping it down just to put it up again in a house. Old Meg knew a lot of old stories, passed on from her family. This one though was just strange. Not sure he would believe it.

 

tree