Many countries in the Americas and Spain celebrate the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Americas, which happened on October 12, 1492, as an official holiday. The landing is celebrated as Columbus Day in the United States, which will be observed Monday, October 14th this year (2013). It is also the Canadian Thanksgiving Day.
According to Wikipedia, Canadian Thanksgiving coincides with the U.S. observance of Columbus Day since the United States implemented the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1971 (most countries in the Western Hemisphere fix Columbus Day to October 12). As it is, U.S. towns with high amounts of Canadian tourism will often hold their fall festivals over Thanksgiving/Columbus Day weekend in part to draw and accommodate Canadian tourists.
This leads me to my next topic: gratitude. a state of being appreciative or thankful.
This is a wonderful time of the year to start counting blessings and expressing gratitude. After the long weekend, starting Tuesday, October 15, between Columbus Day and the U.S. Thanksgiving Day (November 28), I intend to write daily (Monday – Friday) about all the things for which I feel grateful. That is 32 blessings I will count, appreciate, and share with you between the 2 holidays.
This is my opportunity to publicly open my grateful heart and share with everyone the top 32 things I am most grateful, the blessings in my life I most appreciate. I hope you will join me by either keeping a private journal or publicly sharing on your blog, on Facebook, Twitter or in the comment section below. Let us be thankful together. And, as a bonus challenge, let us go out and say thank you to at least 32 different people in the next few weeks. And, please feel free to share your experiences.
God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?” ~William A. Ward
- Canadian Thanksgiving, a history (wiredwednesdays.wordpress.com)
Ah, yes, we are in the Christmas season that kicked off yesterday, December 25 and continues until the evening of January 5 with the eve of Epiphany. It is unfortunate that the first day of Christmas ends the Christmas marketing season for merchants, as shown by the number of “after-Christmas sales” that launched today, December 26. The commercial calendar has encouraged an incorrect assumption that the Twelve Days end on Christmas Day and must begin on 14 December (Wikipedia).
I still celebrate the liturgical seasons of Advent and Christmas accordingly. Many people who observe the Twelve Days may give gifts on each of them, with each day of the Twelve Days representing a wish for a corresponding month of the new year. They feast and otherwise celebrate the entire time through Epiphany morning. Other traditions include: lighting a candle for each day, burning a Yule Log on the first night (Christmas night) and let it burn some each of the twelve nights, and having traditional foods served each night (Wikipedia).
For me and my family, we enjoy our time together listening to Christmas Carols, sharing conversation and leftovers, and reminiscing over Christmases past. We also partake in the “after-Christmas” sales and plan for the New Year. For some, Twelfth Night (January 5th) remains the biggest night for parties and gift-giving. Some households exchange gifts on the first (25 December) and last (5 January) days of the season. As in olden days, Twelfth Night to Epiphany morning is then the traditional time to take down the Christmas tree and decorations (Wikipedia).
Truth be told, our Christmas tree often stayed up until my sister’s birthday, which is just before mid-January. And, since we use an artificial tree, we could theoretically have the tree up all year and simply change the decorations to reflect the changing seasons (Valentine tree, St. Patrick’s day tree, Spring tree, Easter tree, and so on). We can choose to celebrate Christmas, love and light anyway we wish; but, the best way to keep Christmas and love in our hearts, is to give a bit of ourselves to others everyday of the year with the gift of kindness and compassion, whenever the opportunity presents itself. Merry Christmas!
- Twelve Months in Twelve Days (averygrandpressigny.blogspot.com)
The Day Before Christmas
by: Dr. Angela Kowitz Orobko
It was the day before Christmas
and all through the land.
People trying to complete
their last-minute Christmas plans.
Goodwill is around us,
if you open your eyes;
See people acting kindly;
it is Jesus in disguise.
Smiles and laughter
will rule this day,
With Christmas carols
playing along the way.
However, keep in mind
that a few souls will be
Not as much into Christmas
celebration as you and me.
A hole in their heart from a past
event that brought them despair.
Let us create for them new memories
and fill them with love and tender care.
Appreciate and value every
person that crosses your way,
Know them or not, express love
and kindness; make their day.
Christmas can be a magnificent
and marvelous time to bring
A new season of compassion and love,
let every bell chime and every voice sing.
“Merry Christmas to all and to all Love and Thanksgiving!”
- A warm greeting to you on Christmas Day (smartntrendymom.wordpress.com)
- Have Yourself a Merry Christmas! (feetfirstbook.wordpress.com)
- Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all! (stjohnswortmontessori.wordpress.com)
- Merry Christmas (cupcakesandwanderlust.wordpress.com)
- Merry Christmas 2012! (cherokeebillie.wordpress.com)
- Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! (ngnrdgrl.wordpress.com)
- Merry Christmas! (ruthiedean.com)
- Merry Christmas (foodnerd4life.com)
Take the time to enjoy the splendors of Christmas and other winter celebrations. It truly is the most magical time of the year. My blogs in the next few days will be short, sweet, and related to Christmas as I spend more time with my friends and family. Have a wonderful holiday weekend! Merry Christmas!! (P.S. The photo I used for Norman Vincent Peale’s quote are the Christmas lights down my decking staircase.)
- Merry Christmas (aditixpictures.wordpress.com)
- Merry Christmas (bitebymichelle.com)
- The Magic Of Christmas (thecarlosshow.com)
Tonight begins the Jewish eight-day festival of light and purity, Chanukah (Hanukkah). This is a celebration of triumph of light over darkness, of purity over adulteration, and of spirituality over materialism. The history of Hanukkah begins more than twenty-one centuries ago. The Holy Land was ruled by the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks), who sought to forcefully Hellenize the people of Israel. Against all odds, a small band of faithful Jews defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth, drove the Greeks from the land, reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to the service of God.
When they sought to light the Temple’s menorah (the seven-branched candelabrum), they found only a single cruse of olive oil that had escaped contamination by the Greeks; miraculously, the one-day supply burned for eight days, until new oil could be prepared under conditions of ritual purity.
To commemorate and publicize these miracles, the sages instituted the festival of Chanukah. At the heart of the festival is the nightly menorah (candelabrum) lighting: a single flame on the first night, two on the second evening, and so on till the eighth night of Chanukah, when all eight lights are kindled.
On Chanukah the Jewish people also add the Hallel and Al HaNissim in their daily prayers to offer praise and thanksgiving to God for “delivering the strong into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few… the wicked into the hands of the righteous.”
Chanukah customs include eating foods fried in oil — latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiot (doughnuts); playing with the dreidel (a spinning top on which are inscribed the Hebrew letters nun, gimmel, hei and shin, an acronym for Nes Gadol Hayah Sham, “a great miracle happened there”); and the giving of Chanukah gelt, gifts of money, to children. Click here for the complete story of Chanukah.
(My gratitude to Chabad.org for the information posted.)
- Happy Hanukkah! (bluemountain.com)
- Lighting the Darkness (sarasmusings.wordpress.com)
- Santa Claus, A Dreidel, and the Easter Bunny? (momwithlotsofthoughts.wordpress.com)
- Happy Hanukkah (deanaohara.com)
- Hanukkah for Beginners (coffeeshoprabbi.com)
- Happy Hanukkah! (lisapavelka.typepad.com)
Create new traditions to bring more joy and unity into the lives of you and your loved ones! ~ Dr. Angi K. Orobko
In December we celebrate love, joy, generosity, charity, Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, rebirth, return of light, and so much more. How we choose to celebrate the holiday is entirely up to us. We can choose to create new ways to celebrate the season. The possibilities are endless. Take the opportunity to invite input from your loved ones when you create a new tradition or two. Ask yourselves, how can you best celebrate? What will make this season for you and your family more meaningful?
My loved ones and I celebrate Christmas each year. Yes, we usually put up a Christmas tree and exchange gifts; but, more importantly we honor the birth of Jesus Christ, as well as, prepare our hearts for the second coming of our Lord. This preparation can be in many forms, but ultimately it is being Jesus and Love for others, whether it is in the spirit of giving gifts and/or sharing time and talents.
I love the idea of creating care packages filled with necessities and goodies for people in need. I love the idea of doing deliberate and anonymous acts of love and kindness each week in the name of Jesus and Love. These can become new traditions in my family. There are countless other things we can do and I am open to receive any ideas my loved ones have in mind. How about you? Are you going to create a new tradition this December?
- The View Today (babiesincommon.wordpress.com)
- Intentional Christmas (journeyofsteps.wordpress.com)
- Giving From the Heart for the Holidays (mystiblu.wordpress.com)
- What does Christmas mean to you? (responsiveuniverse.wordpress.com)
- Christmas Traditions (myblogexactly.wordpress.com)
- The Journey to Light (janetsunderland.wordpress.com)
- Holiday Month! (findinghealthafterillness.wordpress.com)
- Finding Christmas In Christmas (greatdaneservicedog.wordpress.com)
- 7 Ways to Reclaim Holiday Joy and Overcome Stress (psychologytoday.com)
- Celebrate a Vegan Hanukkah (sunsetdaily.wordpress.com)
Anticipation. Is it a positive or negative emotion? Well, I suppose it depends on how the word anticipation is used because anticipation generally conveys an act of looking ahead or forward with delightful expectation. Anticipation is also a visualization of a future event or state of being. This is also a benign definition. Anticipation, or being enthusiastic, is an emotion or feeling that involves delight, pleasure, excitement, but at times a small amount of anxiety (tension, worry, fearful concern, or uneasiness) can be associated with it when considering an expected event. So, anticipation can be negative if the expected event is not necessarily desirable such as a visit to a doctor or dentist.
Let us focus on the positiveness of anticipation like a brand new year. A new year brings with it a clean slate of time, a whole 366 days unscathed with events, good or bad. Yes, 366 days instead of our standard 365 days because 2012 is a leap year. We get an extra day. That is exciting, is it not? Of course, we have to wait until February 29. Anticipation, enthusiasm, looking ahead…do those in any way take away from now? Does it take away from being in the moment? I suppose it could especially if you are anticipating something neutral or negative like a doctor’s appointment or tax day? Hey, but we get that extra day in February, right?
Looking ahead with enthusiasm can be enriching as you live in the moment because right now you can see yourself in a state of bliss doing any future event or activity as you choose, like vacationing on a beach of your choice or having your book accepted by a renowned publishing house. Do we not live in anticipation of each new moment? Or do we dread the next moment? I propose that is totally up to you. For me I look forward to each and every moment where I can choose to do and feel whatever I choose. Why not anticipate? Anticipate the joy of the next moment as you enjoy this moment…and this moment….and this moment. It does go on and on does it not?
Anticipation can be fun. I propose that even those future events in our lives that seem less positive can be visualized with joy. For example, anticipating a session with the dentist can be visualized as seeing yourself with a clean, bright smile with minimal amount of probing and prodding because you followed through everyday (hopefully after each meal and before bedtime) taking care of your teeth that is brushing and flossing with enthusiasm in anticipation of going to the dentist so your appointment would be more pleasurable. Hey, how amazing is that? Do you see how your anticipation prepares you and guides your actions? You can do things now that will influence and create your anticipated future. Happy anticipating 2012!