Category Archives: “The Night Before Christmas”

December Wonders

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Making your spirits bright and your home fires warm,

makes me think of our Winter’s blustery cold and the

upcoming holidays. There are several directions your

faiths and belief systems may go- Kwanzaa, Chanukah,

Christmas or other ways. You may not be living in a cold

climate, you may be in the exact opposite of my location,

being greeted daily with warm sunshine, gentle breezes.

Wherever you are, I try to write a monthly newsletter to

keep up with various customs, cultures and faiths.

Please feel free to add in the comments section, a special

family tradition to make this interactive and meaningful.

 

Thomas Kinkade’s ‘healthy habits’ message for December is:

“Take care of your body, keeping your

body running the way it is supposed to

can be effective in lifting your spirits.”

(12/2001)

In a December issue of Prevention Magazine,

there was a list of “7 Foods to Keep You Healthy.”

I took the list and added a few personal favorite

ways to use these in the Season of Peace:

1. Eating almonds over the holidays will add some

much needed Vitamin E.

2. Serving different peas or beans, not only add

extra fiber to our diets, fill you up more, but also

give you a great source of Zinc.

3. The special addition to carrots, sweetens your

salads or grated can be added to various casseroles

(even mac and cheese), along with Vitamin A.

4. Mushrooms, cooked or raw give you Selenium.

They can be used in dips, stuffed caps or in gravies.

5. Drinking tea, either black or green, boosts your

antioxidants. Over a warming cup of tea, sprinkle a

dash of cinnamon or nutmeg to create some festive

flavorings.

6. Tomatoes give you Vitamin C, which can be so great

at fighting off colds. I like to have them in salads, but

also enjoy the way you can stuff them with crushed

croutons and Italian flavorings. Nutritionists advise

heating tomatoes releases more of its healing power.

7. Yogurt, which you can include in desserts, sauces and

dips gives you those probiotics that we all need, especially

as we get older.

 

DECEMBER

Birthstone:  Turquoise or blue peridot gemstone

Flower: Narcissus

I think of Poinsettias, when I think of December.

 

There are so many new and old books of Christmas,

along with other December holidays. This is a book

which can bridge any personal choices: “Rabbit’s Gift,”

by George Shannon and Laura Dronzek

(Harcourt Children’s Books) Snowfall, blue skies with

the beautiful effect of snowflakes and a message of hope.

 

December 6-

Full Cold Moon.

Full Night’s Moon.

 

December 7-

Pearl Harbor Day

and

Remembrance Day:

Wherever you live, take some moments to

honor your heroes. Those who serve and

protect us and our freedoms deserve our

meditation and gratitude.

 

“Believe in a Higher Being.

Believe in others and yourself.

Believe in miracles and wonders.”

(Author Unknown)

 

December 14- Quarter Moon.

 

15- Bill of Rights Day.

 

December 16th (sundown)- 24th:

Happy Hanukkah!

 

18-

This is the 50th anniversary of the Pink Panther

theatrical short featuring Pink Panther harassing

his foil/enemy. These characters are the creations

of Fritz Freleng. This won the 64th Academy Award

presentations in the department of “Animated Shorts.”

 

Definitely, this is a reminder that December is the time

to enjoy, laugh and be playful. Pink Panther was so silly

and fun.

 

22- New Moon.

 

December 25th- Christmas Day.

Many religions celebrate Christ’s Birth,

Rejoice and Follow the Stars wherever your faith

takes you.

“December is a time

of celebration and joy.

A time of promises kept

and Love reborn.”

~ Flavia, 2003.

 

26th- First Day of Kwanzaa.

This is a festive celebration of African American

community, culture and faith. This continues

until January first.

Boxing Day- Canada, U.K., Australia and NZ.

 

Many people shop for the following holiday

season (2015), finding bargains and gifts for

the coming year.

 

28- First Quarter Moon.

 

December 31st-

New Year’s Eve.

“Another fresh new year is here. . .

Another year to live.

To banish worry, doubt and fear,

To love, laugh and give.”

~ William Arthur Ward

(American Writer, 1921-1994)

 

May you and your family enjoy many experiences of

happiness. This final month of the year arrived far

too quickly! I hope you find ways to make December

stretch, savoring these special moments. Include some

meditation to help you to relax and not get too stressed.

For me, nostalgia arrives as I take out the ornaments

and decorations of Christmas past.

May this lovely time of year fill your senses with joy and

wonder in the simple things.

Most of all, wishing all of you to experience feelings of

Hope and Peace.

 

 

 

A Very Famous Christmas Poem

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“The Night Before Christmas” was written by Dr. Clement C. Moore.

This is considered a book of verses that tell a story about the titled

plot. The author was born in New York City in 1779. He was the son of

Bishop Benjamin Moore. He became a classical scholar. Dr. Moore was

appointed, in 1821, to become a professor of Hebrew and Greek literature

at the Protestant Seminary in New York.

Most of Dr. Clement C. Moore’s fame is due to the poem, which he wrote

one Christmas for his own children. It was published first as “A Visit from

St. Nicholas.” It was translated in all foreign languages and also, one of

the first to be translated into Braille early on.

Dr. Moore’s words paint pictures that are part of our cultural memoriess,

having heard this poem so many times in your lifetime. If you are from

another country, don’t believe in Santa Claus nor like stories that are

about Christmas, you may still like the way the words flow off the pages.

When he describes the “sugar plums dancing” in the children’s dreams

or the phrasing, “more rapid than eagles his coursers they came,” you

know which poem this is coming from.

When the sleigh flies off into the cold, winter’s night,

“Away they all flew like down of a thistle.”

My edition is a threadbare copy in a burgundy red which has the lovely

illustrations of a more ‘modern’ illustrator. (He was not born in the

1700’s!)

Arthur Rackham, an English illustrator, was enlisted to draw for my

edition or version of the poem. He was born of a middle class Victorian

family and was proud to be a “cockney.”

His biography, in the back of my book, mentions in quaint language, that

he had a “precocious talent for drawing as a child” and used watercolors

“since his first day of school, was given as all little boys and girls are,

a shilling paint-box… this craft has been his constant companion.”

This Arthur Rackham has been credited for influencing Walt Disney’s

art style.

In the book, “Rip Van Winkle,” (1905) he was considered the foremost

decorative illustrator of the Edwardian period.

His last illustrations that many of my blog readers will recognize more

likely than not, were in “The Wind and the Willows.” I just loved those

drawings and how they went so well with the way the story was told.

What are you very favorite seasonal, holiday books called? What are

some of your memories of your family reading a special story during

the winter months? Do you have a favorite illustrator?

As Dr. Clement C. Moore closes his book with the words,

“But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight–

Happy Christmas to all  and to all a good night.”