Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing the Day after Christmas

Hopefully we've all survived the decadent desserts, delightful companions, and dangerous sales. We should all be content in our homes or back about our daily business anxiously awaiting next weekend's ringing in of the new year. Some of us however still have a holiday to share. Hanukkah continues tonight. Kwanza began and today is of course Boxing Day. We all know about boxing day here in the USA. It's a greatly celebrated holiday..oh wait we just call today the Day After Christmas.

Ever Wonder about Good King Wenceslas and the Feast of Stephen?

Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath'ring winter fuel.....

 Well, that song is about the tradition celebrated practically everywhere around the globe of Boxing Day. A day when employers treated their servants to boxes of goodies from the GOOD stores at hand. Imagine an entire holiday dedicated to sharing what you have with those who have not. Imagine if we did that on a regular basis. What a wonderful world this would be. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Dung on a Twig

Mistletoe kisses are common at this time of year. I never questioned it when someone cute was hanging out ready to offer a quick smooch. It's fun and a great way to enjoy time with close friends and of course the one you love. It does make you wonder though how these holiday berries became "seeds of Love".

Those into word etymology  might not be surprised to learn that mistletoe seems to translate into "Dung on a Twig". Hmm, knowing that, I am not sure I would want to be kissed while standing beneath bird dung. Kissing under the mistletoe is one Christmas tradition that at least seems to be more readily traced back to it's origins than others. It happens to have a very cosmopolitan past which works well with the idea of good will towards man. A tradition of peace, good will and pleasant kisses is just fine by me.

 Go get some Mistletoe and have some fun.Happy Kisses Everyone!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday Songs and What Not

Around this time of year no matter how hard you my try to escape, one way or another the music of the season will get to you. We all sing them whether intentionally or subconsciously. I am talking about Christmas Songs (even Hanukkah has catchy tunes these days). We deck the halls on Holy Nights near shining stars and drummer boys. We Jingle bells and Fa la la la la while having a Holly Jolly Christmas. We even dedicate 12 days to gifts that make no sense at all.

Think about it. If your true love gave you a partridge in a pear tree how long would that love stay true? I am not guessing it would last a lifetime if these were the perks. I also wonder, has anyone ever stopped to figure out why we even have 12 Drummers Drumming, 11 Pipers Piping and so forth and so on. In 5th grade my teacher challenged us to figure out the cost of these daily gifts. It was a great game. He never however asked us to find the origin of the gifts. I have spent time of late discovering origins of information we just blindly accept and use. Ask your self do you know where "O K " comes from or why we say it's spic and span when everything is super clean? Most of you I am sure will not know. The same goes for many of our traditional songs.

Of all the Christmas melodies this one is the major mystery. There was a belief that it was a coded religious key to allow those being oppressed to speak freely. The only problem with that is if you were singing this at any other time of year I am rather certain the code would be broken. So what does it mean? No one is 100% certain but our friends at Snopes have wrestled with this question as well.

By the way if your true love gives you 12 drummers drumming,  I am thinking that is a message to you personally and has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas.
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 5, 2011

To Gift Card or not to Gift Card

So I am doing my Christmas shopping and I have the usual suspects covered and then I have the annual problem to solve again. There are some friends that no matter how well you know them they are difficult individuals to figure out when it comes to presents. You don't always want to ask "what do you want?' as that kills creativity and then there's a gift card.

Personally, I love gift cards for places that I know I go. I have point blank told friends should you want to get me something please nothing I have to dust. As time has gone by the need to display items and have items has greatly passed. You discover that stuff is exactly that. The bounty of my world is the friends I have collected along the way but that doesn't mean that you don't enjoy a good gift. Enter the gift card. It's a wonderful invention but not appreciated by all. They make me feel rich. They allow me the opportunity for impulse purchases and they let me shop where I want to shop. I think of them as little magic cards to be used at anytime during the year.

Many people however feel the gift card is greatly impersonal. They feel like there is no effort or thought put into this kind of present. This could be true if it's just a generic visa or american express card. OF course there's a target audience for those too. As long as you take the time to find the perfect gift card and the perfect person to go with the card you are doing well. If the person you are shopping for hates to shop that would Not be an ideal candidate for a gift card. If however, the individual has very specific tastes and tends to return or regift that would be a perfect mate to give the gift of shopping.