Life Day 24273: National Thank You Note Day

December 26, 2013 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Today is Thursday, December 26, 2013. Good morning my grateful friends.. The holidays today are:

National Thank You Note Day:

Way back in ancient times, before people became so self-absorbed and developed such an exaggerated sense of entitlement, there used to be a thing called courtesy. People used to actually say “please” and “thank you”, and mean it. National Thank You Note Day, celebrated annually on December 26th, attempts to bring back those days of yore and encourages people to show gratitude for the gifts they received yesterday for Christmas.

The presents have been unwrapped and put away. It’s official: the holidays are winding down. It’s time to write those thank you notes. This holiday is meant to recognize the importance of expressing appreciation for the effort your friends, family, and loved ones put forth in finding you “that perfect gift”.

Renowned etiquette expert Emily Post offers these suggestions regarding the writing of “thank you” notes.

* Handwritten notes are more personal than phone calls or emails

* Write thank you notes for holiday gifts within two or three days of receiving them

So, sit down with pen and paper and write those “thank you” notes today; after you finish reading this Blog, naturally.

National Whiners Day:

I contrast to the holiday above, National Whiners Day, which is meant to be “tongue-in-cheek, gives you permission to complain about the aftermath of Christmas.

So, you didn’t get what you wanted. Your living room is still a mess. You dipped a little too far into the ‘adult’ holiday eggnog bowl. You ate a few too many of aunt Betty’s sugar cookies and now you feel like crap. Go ahead and complain about it today; that’s what this holiday is all about. Whine to your heart’s content. Having a little cheese with your ‘whine’ is optional.

Kwanzaa:

Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 to honor African American heritage. It reflects upon and celebrates seven principles: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.

On each day of the celebration, a candle is lit on the Kinara. Today, on the first day of Kwanzaa, a black candle is lit to symbolize the people. To the left of the black candle are three red candles, representing the people’s struggles. To the right of the black candle are three green candles, symbolizing the people’s hope for the future. The candles are lit from left to right, one candle for each day of the celebration.

Boxing Day:

The name of this holiday is deceptive. It has absolutely nothing to do with any form of pugilism. In fact, Boxing Day is an expression of appreciation and thanks. Celebrated in England, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and other former British commonwealth countries, it is a legal holiday in these countries.

The roots of the holiday goes back to the Middle Ages. On this day, members of the merchant class would take boxes, fill them with food and fruits, and give them to servants, tradespeople and the less fortunate. In the case of servants, they would work on Christmas Day, so it was only fitting that immediately after Christmas, they would be given a day off to celebrate.

Boxing Day is usually celebrated the day after Christmas, unless Christmas falls on a Friday or Saturday. In that case, some celebrate it on the following Monday.

These days, the giving of boxes includes filling boxes with food and clothing for the needy and performing volunteer work. Monetary gifts to charity are also common.

National Candy Cane Day:

Candy canes were created in 1670 in Germany, by the choirmaster of the Cologne Cathedral. He created sugar sticks for the young singers in the choir, to keep them quiet during the long Living Crèche ceremony. He bent the sugar-sticks to represent a shepherd’s staff.

At this point, candy canes were all-white and had no flavoring. They remained this way for more than 330 years. White candy canes can still be seen on Christmas cards dating to 1900.

Shortly after then, the first red-and-white striped candy canes appeared. The name of the innovator is lost to history. At about the same time, confectioners added peppermint and wintergreen flavors to create the “modern” candy cane.

A candy cane can be more than just a snack or holiday decoration. Here are some other uses for them:

1)  Use them as a stirrer for hot chocolate.
2)  Mix crushed candy canes into brownie batter, chocolate cookie batter, or other favorite recipes.
3)  Make peppermint ice cream. (You can do it from scratch, or soften a container of vanilla ice cream just enough to stir in crushed candy cane pieces).
4)  Make peppermint whipped cream to use as a garnish for hot chocolate, ice cream, chocolate cake or other dessert. (Grind to a fine powder in a food processor or spice mill. Beat cold heavy cream in a small bowl until soft peaks form and fold in the peppermint powder).
5)  Use them as dinner table decor: Fold a candy cane into each napkin or tie it with a ribbon.

Can you think of any other uses for candy canes?

Where the Heck Did I Put that Receipt Day:

Many of you probably wonder if I just don’t make up some of the holidays I cover in this Blog. Let me assure you that, aside from Make Up Your Own Holiday Day on March 26th, that is not the case…until now!

Where the Heck Did I Put that Receipt Day does not actually exist; I just it made up. However, I think that there is a definite need for such a holiday.

Keeping track of the receipts for your holiday purchases is important. For instance, unbeknownst to you, Aunt Millie has taken up Pilates, and no longer has to buy her wardrobe from “Omar, the tent maker”; Cousin Billy has settled into married life a bit to well and no longer wears a size ‘medium’ but has expanded to an XXL since you last saw him; That new iPhone you bought for 13 year old niece Tiffani (with an “i”) is the same color as the one her worst ‘frenemy’ has, which, naturally, is simply unacceptable.

If you don’t remember where you put the receipts, it is much harder to return the merchandise when the need arises; such as I illustrated in the scenarios above. Let’s start a campaign to make this a National holiday.

On this date in:

1620 – The Pilgrim Fathers landed at New Plymouth, MA, to found Plymouth Colony, with John Carver as Governor.

1776 – The British suffered a major defeat in the Battle of Trenton during the American Revolutionary War.

1865 – The coffee percolator was patented by James H. Mason.

1898 – Marie and Pierre Curie discovered radium.

1908 – Texan boxer “Galveston Jack” Johnson knocked out Tommy Burns in Sydney, Australia, to become the first black boxer to win the world heavyweight title.

1917 – During World War I, the U.S. government took over operation of the nation’s railroads.

1921 – The Catholic Irish Free State became a self-governing dominion of Great Britain.

1927 – The East-West Shrine football game featured numbers on both the front and back of player’s jerseys.

1941 – Winston Churchill became the first British prime minister to address a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress.

1943 – The German battlecruiser Scharnhorst was sunk in the North Sea, during the Battle of North Cape.

1947 – Heavy snow blanketed the Northeast United States, burying New York City under 25.8 inches of snow in 16 hours. The severe weather was blamed for about 80 deaths.

1954 – “The Shadow” aired on radio for the last time.

1956 – Fidel Castro attempted a secret landing in Cuba to overthrow the Batista regime. All but 11 of his supporters were killed.

1974 – Comedian Jack Benny died at age 80.

1982 – The Man of the Year in “TIME” magazine was a computer. It was the first time a non-human received the honors.

1990 – Garry Kasparov beat Anatoly Karpov to retain the chess championship.

1991 – The Soviet Union’s parliament formally voted the country out of existence.

1995 – Israel turned dozens of West Bank villages over to the Palestinian Authority.

1996 – Six-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey was found beaten and strangled in the basement of her family’s home in Boulder, CO.

1998 – Iraq announced that it would fire on U.S. and British warplanes that patrol the skies over northern and southern Iraq.

2000 – Michael McDermott, age 42, opened fire at his place of employment killing seven people. McDermott had no criminal history.

2002 – The first cloned human baby was born. The announcement was made the December 27 by Clonaid.

2004 – Under the Indian Ocean, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake sent 500-mph waves across the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal. The tsunami killed at least 283,000 people in a dozen countries, including Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Sumatra, Thailand and India.

Noteworthy Birthdays:

Thomas Gray 1716 – Professor, scholar, poet.

Juan Lovera 1778 – Artist.

Laurent Clerc 1785 – Co-founded the first school for the deaf in North America

Charles Babbage 1792- Mathematician and inventor. (pioneer of modern computers).

George Dewey 1837 – Navy Admiral.

Henry Miller 1891 – Author.

Mao Zedong (Tse-tung) 1893- Chinese statesman.

Richard Widmark 1914 – Actor

Steve Allen 1921 – Comedian, actor, composer.

Alan King 1927 – Actor, comedian.

Donald Moffat 1930 – Actor

Abdul “Duke” Fakir 1935 – Singer. (The Four Tops)

Phil Spector 1940 – Record producer

Jane Lapotaire 1944 – Actress.

John Walsh 1945 – TV host. (“America’s Most Wanted”)

Joyce Jillson 1946 – Columnist, author, actress.

Carlton Fisk 1947 – Baseball catcher.

Ozzie Smith 1954 – Baseball shortstop.

Lars Ulrich 1963 – Musician. (Metallica)

Peter Klett 1969 – Musician. (Candlebox)

Jared Leto 1971 – Actor.

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