Valentine’s Day began as St. Valentine’s Day, a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. February 14th first became associated with romantic love during the High Middle Ages as the tradition of courtly love was then flourishing. During 18th century England, this day evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery and sending Valentine cards.
Mixed opinions prevail regarding who or what was celebrated in mid-February. Some point to martyred saints by the name of Valentine or Valentinus. The most popular story tells of the saint who defied a decree by Emperor Claudius II who outlawed marriage for young men because he believed single men made better soldiers. St. Valentine, preferring young lovers to be wed than have them sneaking around (or believing in the power of love), would marry them in secret. However, it may have been another Valentine who performed the marriages. Either way, at least two of them were beheaded for their actions.
Another possible origin for Valentine’s Day takes us back to a pagan festival called Lupercalia. As a way to discourage participation in the fertility festival, the Christian church placed St. Valentine’s Day in the middle of February.
Since the Renaissance, we’ve been exchanging Valentine’s cards. These handmade missives of romance grew into a more commercial venture by the Victorian era. Today, school children exchange Valentine greetings, too. They prepare for the day by making unique boxes to receive their many hearts, cupids, and pun-filled rhymes.
Chocolates and candy have also become a part of the celebration. While couples tend to be the focus of the day, singles celebrate being single, too. Friends take each other out or reject the overall notion of Valentine’s Day. Dinner and a movie, candlelight, and flowers also fit the bill for couples. It’s one of the busiest days of the year for florists.
HOW TO OBSERVE #ValentinesDay
You can surprise your special someone with flowers, chocolate or a card. Bring a smile to their face with an original poem or homemade meal.
Get Recipes that will impress without spending days in the kitchen. Many can be done at the last minute if needed.
Get something special for your Valentine and use #ValentinesDay to post on social media.International Book Giving Day
VALENTINE’S DAY HISTORY
Credit is traditionally given to Pope Gelasius for declaring February 14th as Saint Valentine’s Day around the year 496 to separate the church from the Roman celebration of Lupercalia, an ancient pagan fertility festival which occurred on February 15th.
Celebration of Life Day on January 22nd honors the children and grandchildren who bring joy to our lives. The day is a reminder that each child and each life is to be held as a precious gift with the highest respect and dignity.
Children grow up so quickly. They’re constantly learning new things and changing daily. Each day they delight us with their simple wisdom and observations. By spending time with children and demonstrating the care and love they deserve, we celebrate their life.
HOW TO OBSERVE #CelebrationOfLifeDay
Celebrate the children in your life. Share the day with a child, grandchild, niece or nephew. We’ve provided several suggestions.
- Read a book with a child.
- Get down on the floor and put a puzzle together.
- Build something with your child.
- Invite all the cousins to play board games.
- Bake cookies and decorate them. Even the smallest child will learn something.
- Make popcorn and watch a movie.
- Tell the story of how Grandma and Grandpa met.
- Get out the art supplies and create.
- Visit a museum.
- Show a teen how to change a tire.
- Give a driving lesson.
- Paint your fingernails together.
- Everybody give the dog a bath.
- Go swimming.
- Make balloon animals.
- Sing Karaoke
Use #CelebrationOfLifeDay to post on social media.
Happy New Year! If your bleary eyed and looking for Asprin, that was an energetic whisper instead of a yell…
Well 2020 is officially here. Now if I can just train myself to write that year, on important things like billing, receipts and checks. If you haven’t adjusted your organizer, calendars, and yearly to-do lists, it’s a good day to spend quietly preparing to rejoin the world. (If you’re lucky enough to have time off to do so.)
First make it a point if you’re not totally digital to transfer any dates, notes, or important information to this tears planner. Sync the digital, worlds of desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile so you have your information handy. You should do a complete backup of your contacts, calendars, and any other vital information.
For digital media burn real back up disks. I know, it sounds old fashioned today, but that thumb drive, external hard drive, micro sd card can all be wiped out. The wrong delete command can undo all your hard work. What would you do if you lost all those irreplacable photos?
Ok, like most of us I have cloud storage. So why do I need to do anything physical like a real disk? Cloud storage has gotten better but, experts still agree if you go with this method, you need more than one. A physical disk also lets me keep my private files…Private!
Data breaches happen all the time. Google, Banks, Stores where we shop, they appear in the news all the time. Sensitive information like credit cards, financial records, taxes, contacts, and any photos, you don’t want out there don’t store it anywhere that has network access. Yes, it makes it easier for you to get to your files but internet security is really only good until the next hacker breaks it. Do you really want to learn through social media that “That” photo is out there. With identity theft rates going higher, do not want to take chances with your sensitive information?
Staying on Track
As a blogger, and in charge of the family finances, I safeguard this information. I use a variety of both physical and virtual tools to make my life easier. To keep my days on track and remember appointments I still use a paper planner. Everything from holidays, birthdays, and planning for both my family and my blog go here. I find it easier to stay focused, complete tasks in a timely manner and use things like alarms on my phone for special reminders.
Outside of that and a secret stash of sensitive login information I’m fully digital. We use app named Prism to keep track of paydays, bills, credit cards and so on. It let’s me track and make payments easily with an easy to understand interface that covers everything. It reminds me when the water payment is due. Keeps my bank balance, tells me the car insurance is next week and keeps up with my automatic payments. With bank-level security and automatic locking features even if I lose my phone no one else can get in.
As today is also Make Up Your Mind Day, I have some fun and delicious ways to ring in the New Year! I took the initiative and made up this awesome menu to enjoy in style.
Pensacola, Florida drops a Pelican every year. So while I am no longer able to join the downtown crowds for the festivities ill settle for watching The Pelican Drop and fireworks at home. So our menu tonight will hopefully reflect the health, happiness, love, and prosperity, we are hopeful for in 2020.
Individual Beef Wellingtons made with tender ribeyes, Blue Chese, carmalized onions and Spinich. All wrapped in a delicate flaky puff pastry shell.
Winter Salad made with Bosc Pears, dried Cranberries, Pistachios, and fresh Parmesan. With mandarin oranges and a light yogurt dressing.
Followed by bubbly and my take on a Loaded Brownie. Chocolate chunks and chips mixed not the super fudgy brownies. Topped with Chocolate frosting, diced pecans, Reese’s chips, Salted Carmel Drizzle, and a touch of rich Hershey’s chocolate sauce.
Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.
WikipediaDate: Wednesday, December 25, 2019
TrendingCelebrations: Gift-giving, family and other social gatherings, symbolic decoration, feasting etc Significance: Commemoration of the Nativity of Jesus Observances: Church servicesAlso called: Noël, Nativity, XmasObserved by: Christians, many non-Christians
As we celebrate this Festive holiday(s), we remember that not everyone can be home. A special seasons greetings to our Deployed military and families, first responders and those whose job keeps them away from their family. We are truly thankful for the job you do. So to our first responders let’s hope it’s a Silent Night. For our troops, no creature us storing not even a mouse. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
Since 2011, National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day has grown to be an international event. Now occurring on the third Friday of December, the celebration gives holiday lovers worldwide a chance to wear their ugly Christmas sweaters.
In 2014, they partnered with Save the Children in their “Make the World Better with a Sweater” campaign.
Each year, ugly Christmas sweater wearers, decorate, shop, and do their darndest to out ugly last year’s ugliest sweater. Whether they sport the most lights or colors, bells or characters, ugly sweater wearers find the most ribbon and felt ladened sweaters and festoon them with glitter so blinding no Dustbuster invented will capture the wave left behind. The sweaters serve as beacons of light so bright, Rudolph himself will someday be out of a job.
However, don’t be sad. So often Rudolph is featured on many of the sweaters. Elfs, donkeys, snowmen, and many other holiday characters we love and adore find their way to these ugly monstrosities. It’s all part of the fascination with the holiday. So, join in the fun. Celebrate and donate, too.
HOW TO OBSERVE #UglyChristmasSweaterDay
Try these tips to take the prize:
- Animal or cartoon characters with a holiday theme give sweaters a kitsch feel. Think reindeer, snowmen, mice, kittens or elves.
- Select ridiculous colors. The more they clash, the better.
- Embellish. Scratch that. Over-embellish! Pom-poms, bells, felt, tinsel, or any other glittery, jingly items lying around the house.
- Add a collar, dickey, or ruffle.
- Electrify it! Put Rudolph to shame and go to the head of the team with bright, flashing lights!
- Give it some 80s flair with shoulder pads.
Wear your ugliest Christmas sweater. Use #UglyChristmasSweaterDay or #ChristmasSweaterDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL UGLY CHRISTMAS SWEATER DAY HISTORY
In 2011, ugly Christmas sweater lovers created National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day as a way to lighten up the busy holidays and to show off their absurdly, ugly sweaters. The day has grown in popularity and is celebrated worldwide.
December 5 is the Day of the Ninja, a day to honor and celebrate the sneaky and stealthy masked warriors in black garb from ancient Japan.
Legend has it that this unofficial holiday was created in 2003 to commemorate the release of Tom Cruise’s movie, The Last Samurai. We loved this movie!
Ninjas were professional spies in Japan. Active between the 13th and the 19th century, a ninja’s job included infiltration, sabotage, espionage, and even assassination.
While popular culture is full of stories about ninjas, usually featured as cunning, secretive, brave, and skillful fighters, there are very few historical accounts of them. Historians believe that in the Japanese society ninjas were not considered to be part of an elite class of fighters – that place was reserved for the samurais. Because of this, ninjas were often recruited to do unsavory tasks like arson and terrorism.
Did Not Dress in Black
In those days, a ninja, also known as a shinobi, did not wear the all black outfit ninjas are depicted wearing today in films, TV shows, and comic books. After all, one of the main tasks of a ninja as a spy was to infiltrate by blending into his surroundings. They would often dress as the locals to do their job.
The secrecy surrounding ninjas led to the rise of legends about their skills and powers – something that has now become a part of popular culture. Modern day depictions of ninjas show them having superhuman powers such as invisibility, ability to walk on water and shape shift.
How to Celebrate?
- Watch ninja movies or have a Teenage Mutant Ninja marathon.
- Have a ninja themed party. Everyone dresses like a ninja.
- Go to work dressed as a ninja and sneak up on your coworkers and friends.
Did You Know…
…that contrary to popular belief, ninjas were not all men? Women ninjas were known as Kunoichi.
We like the blender set so much this is on our Christmas list.Mary B.