I’m so fascinated by the various iterations of Christian gift-giving days, which stretch from about December 6, St. Nicholas Day in parts of Europe (it’s flexible) to January 6, Three Kings Day. Those dates, BTW, are the very earliest AND the very latest I’ll play what’s come to be known as Christmas music. Also intrigued by the guy who, at least partially, inspired Santa Claus.
From the Wikipedia:
“Saint Nicholas of Myra is the primary inspiration for the Christian figure of Santa Claus. He was a 4th-century Greek Christian bishop of Myra in Lycia, now in the Antalya Province of Turkey. Nicholas was famous for his generous gifts to the poor, in particular presenting the three impoverished daughters of a pious man with dowries so that they would not have to become prostitutes. Continue reading St. Nick, the Real One
I think Thanksgiving is my happiest and saddest holiday. I have spent it, dumped at the last minute, home eating Chinese food and watching football, alone. I have spent it with 20+ people, only two of whom I knew before that day. I’ve gathered with a handful of other “orphans”. I’ve hosted family meals. But I haven’t celebrated it with my birth family since 1972.
I have no Thanksgiving tradition. Continue reading Thanksgiving 2011
Interesting thing about about my mother’s interment this year is that it became the first time that my daughter had had the opportunity to see where my father was buried. She has seen pictures of him, and she talks about him fairly regularly, surprising considering the fact that she never in person. Continue reading Father's Day 2011
I’ve long had a certain affection for the Jewish holiday of Purim. Partly, it’s because it always seems to fall somewhere around my birthday, or at least during Pisces. This year, it’s today (or last night), which, like Easter, et al., is particularly late in the season; next year, it’ll be March 8 (or the night before). You can find out when it falls each year here.
But it’s also because it’s based on a story from the Old Testament book of Esther, one of only two books in the Bible named for a woman, the other being Ruth. I always liked the story of palace intrigue involving Esther, though secretly Jewish, getting to marry king Ahasuerus. Meanwhile, the king’s prime minister, Haman, gets ticked off with Esther’s cousin Mordechai, and plans to get all the Jews killed. Through some clever strategy, which you can read about Purim here, it is Haman who ends up being executed. The Jews’ deliverance led to the celebration of Purim.
In a church miniplay about 20 years ago, I got to be the evil Haman. Always more fun playing the bad guy.
Continue reading Hamantashen
Thanksgiving: thanks to the Census Bureau.
The “event became a national holiday in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a national day of thanksgiving. Later, President Franklin Roosevelt clarified that Thanksgiving should always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month to encourage earlier holiday shopping, never on the occasional fifth Thursday.”
We are thankful that FDR provided that extra shopping period. Otherwise, Thanksgiving would have been a week later in 2000, 2006 and 2007, and would be a week later in 2012, 2017, 2018, 2023, 2028, 2029…
Seriously, I am thankful for all sorts of good things, not the least of which is music:
Sam & Dave – I THANK YOU.
Led Zeppelin – THANK YOU.
Sly and the Family Stone – THANK YOU FALETTINME BE MICE ELF AGIN.
My daughter’s current favorite joke:
Why did the turkey cross the road?
Because it was the chicken’s day off!
I predict that, no matter what the outcome of the election:
*members of the Republican Party will claim that the vote was the rejection “by the American people” of “the failed policies of the Obama/Pelosi/Reid” cabal.
*the Democrats will talk about opportunities for bipartisanship.
*some bills that should have passed between January 2009 and October 2010, will get passed in November 2010, without much, or any Republican support, which will lead the Republicans to complain that the Democrats “rammed” the bill “down the throat of the American people”
As for the vote today Continue reading Election Day predictions
Just got my performance review this week, which went all right. I purloined a good portion of my self-evaluation from this blog. Seriously. It made it so much easier to write, since I tend to dread it.
I saw this article 10 Things You Wish You Could Tell Your Boss, but are afraid to lest you get fired. And in this economy, that’s a legitimate fear. At the end of the article, the author asked readers to throw in other pieces of advice.
For me, it is not to tell me I’m “empowered” to do something for which I have been given no resources whatsoever. Yes, there’s a particular job that I have in mind.
Also, to amplify one of the choices given, Don’t take credit for my work. You MAY say, “We designed this,” if I designed it, as we are part of a team. However, you may NOT say, “I designed this.” You will really tick me off if you do. Continue reading Laborious Day