Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Have A Happy

This is it! At midnight December 31st we say goodbye to the old year and welcomed in the new. We've been celebrating endings and beginnings since ancient times.

The tradition of New Years Eve celebrations also stem from old beliefs and superstitions. Noise making goes back to the ancient custom of using loud noises to drive evil spirits from a house during the times of festive celebration.

Many nationalities and cultures still use noise to celebrate. America has her ratchet rattles and noise makers.

Denmark smashes in the New Year.  People go to friend’s houses and throw bits of broken pottery that they have collected throughout the year at the houses.  They also bang on the doors to make noise.

The Dutch love to celebrate New Years.  It was one of their favorite holidays when they settled New Amsterdam in the mid-17th century.

When the English took over the city in 1674 and called it New York, British custom at the time called for celebrating the New Year on the Vernal Equinox, March 25th.  The Dutch populace so loved the holiday on January 1st, they convinced the British to move their New Year celebration.

Traditions have to start somewhere. The ball dropping tradition at New York's Times Square began in 1904 when the times tower was constructed.  At the time it was New York cities 2nd tallest building, rising to a height of 375 feet.

Adolph Ochs, the then young publisher of the New York Times, moved his paper into the new building on New Year's weekend and decided to celebrate the event with a New Year's Eve rooftop fireworks display.

It was spectacular, but it was dangerous.  The following year the fireworks were replaced by the descending brightly lit ball.

A tradition begun.  Have a Happy!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Meadering Thoughts

This is the time of year of great introspection for some, guilt for others, and ennui for a few. The rest of us muddle through the holiday season with jubilations of joy, prayer, protestations of cheer and genuine good will toward humankind because we feel love or are with loved ones for the holiday season.

So what does this do for each emotional aberration that some choose to embrace?

I have many friends. I am lucky to have them in my mortal and hopefully in my after life.

This year some of my friends are dealing with spouses who are ill, the loss of a loved one during the year or the aloneness that wells when a loved one is away on business or duty when celebrating this festive time of year.

But what about those folks who are far less fortunate than my friends and whom we do not know and probably never will?

It seems to me that if we, the fortunate, truly feel compassion for those who are the have not’s, then we must not only comfort our friends, but embrace the stranger who hurts.

It isn’t easy folks.

Monday, December 29, 2014

The New Year

With the New Year a few days away, beginnings always have an expectation.

What happens next, where do we go from here.

There is an old saying that says we attract to us what we fear the most. If that's true, then it is time to acknowledge that within each of us is an immense creative energy that can find a way out of the fear, the sadness, the despair, the negative conditions for which we often blame others.

Perhaps it is time we see ourselves as creators. Not only the creator of things, but also of attitudes and personal conditions.

We often constrict our creative self by placing limits. We often inadvertently deny those in need by believing security is having more. Sometimes we delude those we say we love by only loving ourselves through them and not honoring their choice and sacred self.

Perhaps it is time to listen to the life force of our hearts, for it lets us hear the trees, the oceans, the plants and animals and even strangers when they speak to us.

That life force is unconditional love, which translates to respect, courtesy and kindness.

It has never been tried on a mass scale.

It seems to me we have nothing to lose.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Gifts Return Day

Have you ever noticed that nobody returns the liquor or wine they've received as a gift?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Night Before...

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

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