Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Today is celebrated as Presidents’ Day in the US. It’s actually, technically, still called Washington’s Birthday, but no one outside of the National Archives uses that name.

Washington’s Birthday (Presidents Day) | National Archives

On the third Monday in February, we honor our first President, George Washington, whose birthday is February 22. We also traditionally honor President Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday is February 12. 

How did we even get this holiday? Here’s an interesting recap by a presidential scholar.

President’s Day Is a Weird Holiday. It Has Been Since the Beginning. – The Bulwark

In 1968, Congress passed and Lyndon Johnson signed legislation changing the holiday to the third Monday in February. Ironically, this means that the federal holiday still formally called Washington’s Birthday can mathematically never fall on Washington’s actual birthday—although the choice of date has the happy benefit of always falling between Lincoln’s and Washington’s birthdays (respectively Feb. 12 and 22).

And from the random fun department:

Curious as to what George was up to before he became President Washington? Brewing beer, for one thing.

Recipe for Small Beer · George Washington’s Mount Vernon

And after the presidency? Washington seems to have spent a not-inconsiderable amount of effort evading paparazzi;)

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Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

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Happy You

Happy Valentine’s Day to you, fair reader. I made a batch of candy hearts for you. Enjoy!

“Love is many things, none of them logical.”

― William Goldman, The Princess Bride

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Original Photo by Jill Wellington

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So, I understand that there’s a game of some sort on today? A Big game? What’s that, you say? It’s a Super game?

Just kidding. Go Eagles!

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Photo by Dave Adamson on Unsplash

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I’m trying to deal with an online renewal and it is taking forever.

Click, load, spinning wheel, error.

Click, load, spinning wheel, error.

Click, load, spinning wheel, error.

Over and over again. It’s like it’s Groundhog Day.

I check the calendar. Wait, it actually is Groundhog Day!

Photo by Scenic States via Unsplash

Here’s some holiday history (and a little movie-related fun).

Groundhog Day – Wikipedia

Groundhog Day (Pennsylvania German: Grund’sau dåk, Grundsaudaag, Grundsow Dawg, Murmeltiertag; Nova Scotia: Daks Day)[1] is a popular North American tradition observed in the United States and Canada on February 2. It derives from the Pennsylvania Dutch superstition that if a groundhog emerges from its burrows on this day and sees its shadow due to clear weather, it will retreat to its den and winter will go on for six more weeks; if it does not see its shadow because of cloudiness, spring will arrive early. 

While the tradition remains popular in the 21st century, studies have found no consistent association between a groundhog seeing its shadow and the subsequent arrival time of spring-like weather.[2]

Groundhog Day- the perfect comedy, for ever | Groundhog Day | The Guardian

“What’s so remarkable about it,” Jones observes over a pint in a north London pub, “is that normally when you’re writing a screenplay you try to avoid repetition. And that’s the whole thing here, it’s built on repetition. That’s so bold.”

Whatever is happening in your day, I hope it’s a good one!

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

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Last Thoughts

We’re enjoying the holiday but our time this week has included a funeral. It left me with a thin veneer of sadness, and what better time to shake that off than the last day of the year? And so, a haiku to siphon those thoughts away and make room for the new.

Your first accident

first break first loss first body

and if becomes when.

Now, on to better days.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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A lot of things surprised me when I moved north of the border. In Canada, it’s more Tim Hortons than Dunkin Donuts. Milk comes in bags. Elections can happen any old time. There is a lot less information on your average label, because they need room for both French and English. And Smarties are still candy, but not at all what I’m used to.

And what, I asked, is this event called Boxing Day, a.k.a. December 26th? In modern Canada, this Commonwealth holiday is typically associated with Black Friday style sales, but it’s also a day for holiday fun and generosity.

What Is Boxing Day? The History, Purpose, and Name Meaning

The BBC explains that Boxing Day got its name when Queen Victoria held the throne in the 1800s, and is borne out of the tradition of wealthy families boxing up gifts to give to the poor. Since servants of aristocrats were required to work on Christmas, the following day became the time when their employers filled up boxes with gifts, money, and Christmas leftovers for them, much like a holiday bonus. 

So today I think I’ll drink some eggnog, enjoy the snow, drink more eggnog, and donate to some of the local organizations I like. 

Because Santa took care of Christmas, and now the rest is up to us.

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Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

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Merry Merry

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.”

― Laura Ingalls Wilder

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Photo by Ben Weber on Unsplash

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One of the secrets, and pleasures, of [creating] is to learn to correct something if it goes awry; and one of the lessons is to grin and bear it if it cannot be fixed.

— Julia Child

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Photo by Zachary Kyra-Derksen on Unsplash

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It’s December and starting to feel like the holidays; I am behind on presents, and the tree we’ve had up since before Covid is finally seasonal again, so situation normal. I’m also planning my end-of-year donations, to food banks, animal welfare groups, medical and other help for those who need it, and more.

We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light a candle that can guide us through the darkness to a safe and sure future.

— John F. Kennedy

This video of the Children’s Choir of Ukraine is helping me get into the holiday spirit.

They also gave another performance in Grand Central: Ambassador Bridget A. Brink on Twitter: “Light amid darkness…

For more on the choir and the Ukrainian origins of the song itself, check out this article.

100 years ago, ‘Carol of the Bells’ came to America — from Ukraine : NPR

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Photo by Rob Wicks on Unsplash

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Confession time: We did not celebrate Thanksgiving yesterday.

For scheduling and supply reasons, it’s often odd to celebrate the holidays of a country other than the one you are in. Mr Man was at the office all day yesterday, I was working too, and it all seemed like a bit much.

Today, however, it’s turkey time! Well, not actually turkey, because apparently it’s impossible to find fresh turkey outside of Canadian Thanksgiving (in October) and the frozen variety requires far too much planning. So, roast chicken. Also mashed potatoes and acorn squash and cranberry sauce and stuffing and other dishes that say Turkey Day to me.

Because I want to take time to be thankful, even if I can’t be thankful for turkey.

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The turkey is totally fine with this. Photo by Chris Henry on Unsplash

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