Blogs / Life

I am Proud to be an American.

Happy Independence Day Everyone!

(More commonly referred to as the 4th of July)

I am an American and I declare that proudly.

Does my country have its own set of issues? Well, yes obviously, but every country does.

Is my country perfect? Goodness, no! But that does not negate my love for it.

I am proud to be an American. I support my country and I pray for it’s future often. I think that lately in our efforts to “improve” our country, we have forgotten how wonderful she is. Today, I encourage all Americans to put aside your differences, your anger, and your hurt and celebrate the country that we have and think positively about her future.

American Flag

Need a 4th of July joke?

Why are there no knock-knock jokes about America? Because freedom rings!

Need a 4th of July song?

Although I love the original version of “God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood, I also really love this rendition and thought some of you might enjoy it also:

Blogs / Life

New Years Eve: History and Traditions

Happy New Years Eve!

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If you’re anything like me, you might be interested in the history of things. So here we go about a brief history of New Years Eve!

  • In 46 B.C. Emperor Julius Caesar introduced the Julian calendar which included January 1st as the first day of the new year. Caesar chose January partly to honor the month’s namesake: Janus – the Roman god of beginnings. This god was most known by his two faces, one that looked into the past and one that looked into the future. Even back then, Romans celebrated by exchanging gifts, decorating their homes, hosting wild parties, and offering sacrifices to Janus (I’m glad we don’t do that one anymore).

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  • It was Pope Gregory XIII that firmly establish January 1 as New Year’s Day in 1582.

Traditions

  • In Spain people eat a dozen grapes to symbolize their hopes for the new year right before midnight.
  • In many places legumes are considered to resemble coins and foretell financial stability. That’s why people in Italy eat lentils and people in the United States eat black-eyed peas. (While I don’t believe that black-eyed peas will actually do anything for me, my great-grandma did and so every year we eat some to honor her memory).
  • In the United States, the most famous tradition on New Year’s Eve is the dropping of a giant, fabulous, lit-up ball in New York’s City’s Time Square at midnight.

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  • In places such as Cuba, Austria, Hungary, and Portugal people eat pigs because they represent progress and prosperity.
  • Other nations such as Mexico, Netherlands, and Greece eat ring-shaped cakes and pastries to signify that the year has come full circle.
  • In Sweden and Norway, people hide an almond in rice pudding and whoever finds the almond expects to have a fantastic New Year!
  • Are you making New Year’s Resolutions? You can thank the ancient Babylonians for that! They were the first to make promises in order to earn the favor of the gods.

 

Well, there you have it, a brief history and some really interesting traditions! What are YOUR family traditions? Are you making any New Year’s resolutions?

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Please remember to be safe tonight and if you are drinking, do not drive. Buzzed driving IS drunk driving. And that is not a way to start the New Year.

For more on New Year’s Eve History, click here.