Tag: Christmas

How to celebrate the Winter Solstice

I’ve always wanted to celebrate the winter solstice because of the religious symbolism. It’s the day of the year with the least amount of daylight, which usually falls on  Dec 21 —  for those of us that live in the northern Hemisphere. The earth’s axis is tilted the furthest away from the sun and hence we get the least amount of light. After the winter solstice, each day is a little brighter. If you live north of the arctic circle — towards the north pole, you won’t t have any daylight at all today — no sun. Poor Santa, he should...

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The Thin Man on Christmas morning

Well, I don’t know what to say about this Christmas morning shot, but I love the Thin Man movies with William Powell and Myrna Loy and that dog, Asta. I love that Nora obviously bought her own Christmas gift. I have a friend that does that (you know who you are!) Nora is so calm. It’s a cute scene — I’m sure you want to know what kind of gun Nick Charles is using for target practice on the Christmas ornaments. 1870  Swiss Tell 1 Air Pistol:   “It’s not true, he doesn’t come anywhere near my tabloids…”    ...

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What is this Baby Gift called Frankincense?

I’ve always liked to mix up potions and collect herbs. One year, I bought some frankincense for Christmas. I was teaching my kids about the three wise men and their gift of frankincense to Jesus. To kids, this seems like an odd baby gift in today’s world. I ordered some  from my favorite herb shop and it arrived in a small brown paper bag with the name stamped in red across it...Frankincense.  It looked like beads of dried sap. And that’s precisely what it is:  What is Frankincense? Frankincense is called olibanum or in Hebrew, levonah. It is a resin from...

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Was Christ born on Christmas?

There’s always been some conflict about the date of Christ’s birth. In fact, as a Mormon I thought He was born in the spring, on April 6, in the year 4 or 5 BC. New research points to the birth of Christ sometime in December of 5 BC. That would certainly help the spirit of Christmas. BYU professor, Jeffrey R. Chadwick, Jerusalem Center Professor of Archeology and Near Eastern Studies, published his research in BYU Studies, “Dating the Birth of Jesus Christ” which definitely challenges the April 6 date. Looking at all the research, and documents available — scriptural, historical,...

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History of the candy cane

I was curious about the candy cane. How did we get this tradition for Christmas? Turns out that a long time ago — in 1670 — in a cathedral far away — a choirmaster wanted to keep a bunch of wiggly kids quiet during Christmas church services. The kids couldn’t sit still during the living creche celebrations in the Cologne Cathedral. So, the choirmaster persuaded a local candy maker to make their traditional white candy sticks into a shepherd’s crook. He handed them to the kids to keep them quiet during the Christmas ceremonies. I wonder how he felt about those sticky...

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Vintage Christmas photos

Christmas in the past is visually recorded in these vintage Christmas photos: “Nation’s Christmas tree ready to be lighted. Washington, D.C., Dec. 22, 1938. The Nation’s community Christmas tree across from the White House in Lafayette Square, is now in readiness for President Roosevelt to push the switch on Christmas Eve to set it aglow with gayly colored lights. Miss Mable White is pictured feeding the pigeons before the tree today, 12/22/38” Vintage Christmas photos: house decorations, 1937. “White House takes on Christmas dress. Washington, D.C., Dec. 19, 1938. Workmen were busily engaged today putting the Christmas decorations on...

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25 Christmas Movies

I’ve got my favorite Christmas movies that we watch every year. But sometimes a I need a new one. Back in the day before video and DVD, we had to watch whatever the networks chose to run, and whenever they broadcast. When video players came on the market it was a better option — but you still had to set a timer to record the movie to watch later.  We get more choices now. Here’s a list to welcome the season: 1. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946, Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed): 2.  Miracle on 34th Street (Maureen O’Hara, Natalie Wood,...

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Christmas tree traditions

We buy a live, potted pine for our Christmas tree. We started this tradition the first year we were married — 1977. Once Christmas is over we move the tree outside, still in its pot for the rest of the year and continue to water it. When December rolls around we haul it in again — a larger than last year tree, but still healthy and green. We used the same tree for Christmas for many years and then finally, we’d plant it in the yard.  And buy a new potted pine tree for a new Christmas season. Somehow,...

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Ghost Story of Christmas

My favorite Christmas story is the Ghost story of Jacob Marley. We never pair ghosts with Christmas, that’s more of a Halloween thing. Yet, Charles Dickens wrote this ghost story for Christmas. I remember reenacting the play in sixth grade; I was a ghost. I can’t seem to remember which one though. The story has been made into movies, cartoons, plays, painted, drawn, and illustrated — but have you read the original?  “A Christmas Carol”  was published on Dec. 17, 1843.  It was titled: A Christmas Carol  in Prose  Being A Ghost Story of Christmas   When Charles Dickens wrote the...

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The return of the sun

It’s a dark rainy day as I sit to write about the return of the sun — the winter solstice — the shortest day and the longest night of the year. The sun will be at its lowest point in the sky on December 21st. I miss the sunshine after a few dark days. “Light” is so often symbolic of a good mood, that we use that word to describe our feeling of being unburdened. We need the sun. I need the sun. But don’t get me wrong, too much sun at 100 degrees does not agree with my...

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Kissing under the mistletoe

A few years ago, I had no idea that I had decorated my Christmas Day dinner table with the product of bird dung on a twig. We sat around talking about the mistletoe I had snipped out of the tree on my hike through the oaks. Our discussion evolved into the source of my mistletoe — Where does it grow, how does it grow way up there in the tree; is it really poisonous? Where are it’s roots?   Mistletoe is associated with the winter solstice, Christmas, and New Years probably because it is an evergreen in the dead...

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