For me, the holidays are filled with memories of special foods and fun activities. These memories remind me of the people who are a part of my life – past and present.
I remember waiting eagerly to see what St. Nick left in my stocking (a.k.a. sock). On December 5 my brother and I hung a sock on our bedroom doorknobs certain St. Nick would fill them with goodies during the night. Of course, we always looked for the biggest of our socks to make sure there was plenty of room for candy and small toys. And if you weren’t good, St. Nick just might leave a lump of coal in your sock. So, we were really well-behaved in the weeks leading up to St. Nick’s. Even now, my brother, sister-in-law and I exchange silly little gifts for St. Nick’s.
This year, like no other, marks a time when we must find new ways to celebrate old holiday traditions. As I write this, the coronavirus pandemic is raging. Getting together to celebrate the holidays is something many health experts suggest we forgo this year to limit the risk to ourselves and those we love. So as resourceful Americans, we are finding ways of making new holiday traditions.
Wishing you a healthy, safe, and joyous holiday season!
Artist Websites - many local artists have their own websites or Etsy stores where you can view and purchase an array of items. You may even have the item shipped directly to the recipient; particularly helpful if you're unable to travel to be with them.
Local Artists - if you've purchased from local artists in the past and have their contact information, call or email them. Many may be willing to have you visit their studio or direct your to places displaying their art.
Local Galleries - many are open, some with reduced hours and many requiring face masks and physical distancing. Buying from a local gallery supports both the artists and the gallery owner. You're sure to find work by wonderful local artists. Check local directories to find a gallery in your area.
Craft Shows - there may be a few shows before the holidays. If you go to any, please wear a face mask, try to stay physically distant, and use hand sanitizer. Doing so not only protects you but also the artists and crafters. Craft shows usually provide a wide range of items and prices.
On one special day each year, children let their mothers know how much they're loved and appreciated. But did you ever wonder how that custom started? Read on for a little Mother's Day history.
When Anna Jarvis's mother died in 1905, Anna missed her greatly and realized children often neglected to appreciate their mothers while they were still alive. She started a national campaign to recognize mothers - living and dead. Anna's dream came true on May 9, 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May was to be observed as Mother's Day to honor all mothers.
While Mother's Day is celebrated in most parts of the world, it is not celebrated on the same day. For example, Mothering Sunday is celebrated on the fourth Sunday in Lent in the UK and Mother's Day on May 10 in Mexico.
There are all kinds of February holidays that may not be as famous as Valentine's Day or President's Day, but I think they're definitely more fun. This year, I'm focusing on food-related holidays with jewelry to match - enjoy!
Chase the winter doldrums away by observing these yummy holidays. Have a fun February!
A wonderful, special crazy time of year! Over-the-top decorations, twinkling lights, good food enjoyed with family and friends, shared laughter, and silent moments of wonder in the still of the night all make the holidays a extraordinary time of year.
Thanksgiving also marked the day on which I could begin playing Christmas carols on my piano. Now, Christmas carols are about the only thing I play on the piano and I do so purely for my own enjoyment. That was also the day we pulled out the Christmas record albums - Bing Crosby, The Andrews Sisters, and Frank Sinatra to name just a few..
Wishing you a magical holiday season!
It's holiday shopping season! And if you're looking for unique gifts, look no further than arts and crafts shows, galleries and the websites of individual artists.
This year look locally for unique and interesting items for those on your list and yourself. You'll contribute to a happy holiday for the artists and keep the money in your community.
Make handcrafted gifts part of your holiday tradition!
February wasn't always the second month of the year. It started out as the last month in the Roman calendar. January and February were added to the Roman calendar about 713 BC. Prior to that time Romans considered winter to be a monthless period. About 450 BC the Roman calendar was re-arranged, and February became the second month of the year. At certain intervals, February was truncated to 23 or 24 days and a temporary 27-day month was inserted immediately after February to realign the year with the seasons. The reforms that created the Julian calendar in 45 BC did away with the temporary month and created leap years which occurred every four years. During leap years, February gained a 29th day. the Julian calendar was replaced by the Gregorian calendar in 1582 which further refined how leap years and leap centuries are handled. The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used calendar today.
Februarius, the Roman name for February, comes from the festival of ritual purification Februa held on February 15 (full moon) in the old Roman calendar. The festival celebrated Spring washing or cleansing. The festival of Februa was later incorporated in to Lupercalia, a fertility festival dedicated to the Roman god of agriculture. Lupercalia was deemed un-Christian in the fifth century when Pope Gelasius replaced it with St. Valentine's Day. Over the years Valentine's Day became the day to celebrate love and romance
February's birthstone is amethyst which symbolizes piety, humility, spiritual wisdom and sincerity. Amethyst, from the Greek amethystos meaning "not-intoxicated," was believed by ancients to protect against drunkenness. It is also believed if you place an amethyst under your pillow you'll have pleasant dreams - perhaps about the one you love!
The holidays are filled with traditions from special foods to fun activities. As we age old traditions are modified and new traditions are added. But all traditions, old or new, have one thing in common: they connect us to family and friends.
My mom began taking me to see Santa when I was one. She didn't drive. So, we took the bus downtown to Famous-Barr one of the three major department stores in St. Louis at that time. We walked around the building oohing and aahing at the fabulous Christmas windows. One had a huge train set in it. Then we went up to the top floor where Santa sat in all his glory. My last photo with Santa was when I was six. I was three in the photo below.
Another family tradition was making ornaments and other decorations. I was particularly adept at making paper snowflakes. Now, I create jewelry from wire and gemstones and craft wire angel ornaments. I enjoy making things and learning new techniques, so the styles of jewelry and ornaments are continually evolving.
And of course, I adorn myself with holiday jewelry and clothes. Wearing Grinch socks or snowman earrings just makes my day more festive.
Whatever your holiday traditions, have a wonderful joyous holiday season!
Lynn's musings about all facets of jewelry.