At least for me, Halloween kicks off the holidays season. Who’s with me?
Here are some seldom known Halloween facts for you. All Hallows’ Eve or All Saints’ Eve, is celebrated today the 31st of October. The Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day starts the three-day observance of Allhallowtide, it’s the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs and all the faithful departed.
You may know that many of the Halloween traditions originated in Britain and Ireland from Celtic harvest festivals which may have pagan roots and that this festival was Christianized as Halloween. Many believe that Halloween began as a Christian holiday dating to about 1745 with the origin meaning hallowed or holy evening.
So tuck that away somewhere in your useless trivia details.
Anyway, as you take in all the decorations and begin the takedown remember to keep the Christmas lights handy. One more question; how many set-up decorations for Thanksgiving? Speaking of which nobody can ever be too thankful for all the blessings they have received. Things we take for granted are pie in the sky in other parts of the world.
Is everybody working for the weekend? Especially if it’s for a holiday weekend the answer would be a strong yes. This year the 4th of July fell on a Wednesday breaking up the week without the three or four day weekend we’re accustomed to. I couldn’t remember the last time but it wasn’t that long ago as it happened in 2012.
This mid-week holiday was not only tough on us but was equally tough on the businesses that count on holiday weekends as their Black Friday sales event. So do you plan on celebrating the holiday on the days leading up to it or after including the weekend? Of course, everyone did some celebrating on the 4th but not to excess if you had to work the next day.
For those planning travel to see relatives and friends to celebrate the holiday together they had to make their arrangements and decided in advance. For those that had vacation days, they had to decide sometimes a month in advance to get off.
Regardless of your plans remember what Independence Day stands for. If it’s taken for granted or you need a refresher course here you go. As a little kid, I remember Red Skelton, though I don’t remember this clip on the Pledge of Allegiance. It’s so apropos for today. Enjoy.
It seems every birthday many of us take a retrospective look at our lives. That was the case for my wife and I who celebrated our birthdays this past Memorial Day weekend. Today is also time to take a retrospective look at all of the Daily Prompts as this is the final day.
I for one have really enjoyed the Daily prompts seeing how others put their spin on the word of the day. It was also a motivation for me to write a new blog entry. I’m not sure where I will look now for inspiration. At least they are keeping an archive of the past entries online.
If you saw the picture above of birthday balloons in our front room; my wife’s associates were going to fill her office with balloons but fortunately they went this direction instead. Seeing the big cat balloons I commented that I haven’t seen balloons that large since the Macy’s parade.
Wherever she’s worked her staff has always shown that kind of appreciation for her on special occasions. She’ also stayed in touch with many of these people years later. Some of these people are now spread across the country.
As a kid, I thought it was really neat that my birthday was often so close or even on a national holiday. In fact, we were in Williams, Arizona on my birthday about ten years ago having lunch at a Route 66 restaurant watching the Memorial Day parade go by when it started snowing! Now that was a day to forever remember.
Today, the observation of Good Friday when our Lord was nailed to a cross for our sins is a solemn occasion. On this day well over 2000 years ago thousands were in mourning because they killed an innocent man. But within three days Jesus Rose from the dead.
The prophets foretold the entire scenario from the betrayal to the resurrection. Davinci’s Last Supper painting only had 11 of the disciples pictured because Judas Iscariot was off betraying Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
The great news for all believers is Christ conquered death as celebrated with Easter Sunday. For many Easter at least as important as Christmas. We’ve all experienced betrayal and backstabbing but our experience cannot compare to the biggest in history.
You may ask yourself what or which inner compass? That’s a good question. When you think about it there are different compasses or direction meters that aid you in your decisionmaking. Perhaps the most important compass that perchance would be better termed an alarm is your moral compass.
These are the moral values that have been instilled in you, or possibly have not in some cases, by your parents and was cultivated by teachers and society in years gone by. These mores, customs, laws, and taboos are the subculture that dictates behaviors. These were very strong in America only forty years ago and were based on Judeo-Christian beliefs, on which this country is based, like treat others as you would have them treat you. “To educate a person in the mind but not in morals is to educate a menace to society.” President Teddy Roosevelt.
Have these principles been compromised or eroded over the past several decades? Not only compromised they have been attacked by other worldviews, some of which place no value on human life, and less value on women.
You have many other compasses that direct your decisions. For example, what influences you in the direction you choose for your vocation? That subject is addressed in my forthcoming book on careers.
Going forward into a new year remember that inner compass that sets your course. Remember the quote from Thomas A. Edison, “What you are will show in what you do.”
Once again the holiday season is upon us. The stores have been decked out in some cases for months already and this year it seems many homes are already set aglow. When you speak of the holidays you are reminded that it’s a time for friends and family with an emphasis on family.
Thanksgiving, actually the day before is the most traveled day of the year but others like Christmas are still on the horizon. As we plot out our trips to see relatives often times around the country we schedule one-way trips to get it done. Depending on the number of relatives and locations we can have a couple or a few one-way flights and/or car rentals.
Round trips are easy in comparison to one-way trips. Airlines typically charge more for one-way flights and car companies always jump at the chance to make more money. In scheduling one-way flights be sure to plan for extra time going through security as the TSA gives out the most pre-checks on round-trips.
Safety is key in your travels and in your journeys be sure to check for your personal possessions as you exit the plane or car as it will be nearly a miracle to find lost phones, wallets and the like later. Have a blessed holiday season and a very Happy New Year!
Trick or treaters dress up in their ghoulish garb every year. Fads and costumes vary with time as do decorations. Parents with children that are trick or treat age typically dress up in costumes as well and most have somebody handing out candy as well.
What isn’t discussed or even given any thought is how many parents continue to decorate, dress up and still hand out candy? The percentage of empty nesters that have grandchildren is still very high but how many still carry the torch for the holiday even though they no longer have a vested interest in Halloween? i.e. no kids or grandkids.
With the little research I did I couldn’t find any statistics on what now are the “baby boomers”. I believe it all depends on the individual. Many have an abundance of reinforcing memories that keeps the spirit alive. How many are familiar with the Monster Mash? Who can forget Thriller? The Boris Karloff laugh at the end really adds to the classic effect.
As you venture out, remember some of those that have their lights off, aren’t home, don’t care for Halloween or have lost the spirit. Happy Halloween one and all.
No this isn’t a poem just your standard prose regarding the crossing into a new year. Let’s not greet the new year with trepidation and anxiety for after all at least you were here to see it. Alas, this past year we all lost heroes in virtually every sector especially our entertainers like David Bowie. Don’t be too sad at least you have their efforts to be seen and or heard again through audio and video.
The big question everyone ponders is what New Year’s resolutions do we make? Who isn’t looking to make improvements? Considering those resolutions what kind of goals have you set for the short term and the long term? Or, are you saying resolutions are made to be broken? A lot of people do take this laidback approach like well at least my new diet took off several pounds. That was a good thing for wasn’t it the holidays that attributed to the extra weight.
Looking ahead we’ve already crossed the bridge and the new year does present us with new opportunities, new things to do and maybe places to see. Whatever path you choose simply chose wisely and things will work out. Fearing the future; thinking that way is like fearing every breath you take. Taking a confident sure can attitude will help you scale mountains. Think I can and you will. Welcome to 2017.
When I was a kid I heard my parent’s play Jimmy Dean’s Christmas card album every Christmas. I loved how he summed up the history of the song while a guitar softly plays Away in a manger before he sings Silent Night. In 1818 at St. Nicholas a small church in Austria the song was born. The music director Josef Mohr had written a poem about the nativity scene and for the Christmas Eve service, he asked the organist Franz Xaver Gruber if he could come up with a melody to accompany the poem. The church organ was broken so the congregation heard it for the first time on Gruber’s guitar.
Weeks later well-known organ builder Karl Mauracher arrived at the church repairing the organ. He had Gruber test his work and he did so with Silent Night. Mauracher was so impressed with the song he brought the poem and music back to his Alpine village home, Kapfing where two well-known families of singers the Rainers and the Strassers proceeded to add it to their Christmas season collection. Both groups spread the song across Europe and twenty years after it was written The Rainers brought it to the United States. The song has been written in 300 languages around the world where it’s a Christmas classic.
Arizona, Phoenix, in particular, doesn’t have the snow to accompany the Christmas classic but we have enough sun to brighten up your day. The Christmas spirit is well represented here for if you fly over here at night this time of year you’ll see a dazzling display of colors below. Local residents that have relatives (only two hours away)in the higher elevations of 5,000 to over 7,000 feet often visit them to see a snow glistening sight. All is calm, and all is bright.
Thanksgiving has yet to arrive but everywhere you turn you see that it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. What embodies Christmas more than Santa? The question in children’s minds as they grow up is is there a Santa Claus? Here’s my favorite that my parents played for me every year, Yes, Patricia, There Is a Santa Claus by Jimmy Dean.
St. Nicholas was born in the third century between Europe and Asia and his popularity rose to the point where he was the most popular saint when the Renaissance arrived. The legend arrived in America in the 1770’s in New York with the Dutch using Sinter Klaas, a shortened form of Sint Nikolaas (Dutch for Saint Nicholas). Also in the 18th-century German and Swiss Christkind or Kris Kringle was believed to deliver presents to well-behaved children. Pere Noel is responsible for filling the shoes of French children with holiday treats and other countries had their own names for St. Nick.
Other assistants, elves, and Mrs. Claus came about in time and this year Rudolph turns 77 and the song by Gene Autry has endured 67 years while the movie narrated by Burl Ives is played for its 52nd year. Speaking of time, tonight in Chicago the 103rd Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place.
So as you travel about town and you see the Santa figures in the streets or in front of your favorite store remember the Salvation Army has been sending Santa Claus-clad, bell ringing, donation collectors into the streets since the 1890s.The money collected in those kettles is used to pay for the free Christmas meals they provided to needy families. Behold, an opportunity for anyone to serve as St. Nick through the Salvation Army.