Happy Holly Daze

December 19, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning and Happy Holly-daze friends. Today is Monday, December 19, 2013. The holidays today are:

Holly Day

With Christmas just days away, many people are still decorating their homes for the holidays. One of the most recognizable Christmas decorations is holly – a flowering plant in the Aquifoliaceae family, a group of about 400 species of shrubs and trees belonging to the genus, Ilex. The fruit of the holly is referred to as berries, and range in color from black to bright red.
While the prickly leaves and berries make lovely additions to any holiday decor, eating holly can be bad for your health. Eating the leaves and/or berries of holly can cause nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and other issues and consuming 20 or more berries can actually be fatal to children. The leaves and fruit of holly are also toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. So, while it might be quite festive and appealing to look at, keep your holly wreaths well out of reach of children and pets.

Look for an Evergreen Day:

Look for an Evergreen Day was originally established by the National Arborist Association to create a day to appreciate the beauty of these trees. Evergreens have played an important role in many societies throughout the ages, due to their seemingly eternal nature. Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest were entirely reliant on the red cedar for many aspects of their culture· Different parts of them were used to make clothing, fishing line, ropes, or to build their homes or canoes.
While conducting my research, I questioned the timing of this holiday. December 19th seems a bit late in the season to be celebrating a holiday of this nature. If you are like most families, you have already purchased and decorated your Christmas tree by now.
To some people, only a fresh-cut real tree will do for Christmas. The scent of fresh pine helps to capture the feel of the holidays. Nothing looks more real than a real tree, each one with its own character and appearance. Although dwindling in popularity with each passing year, selecting and cutting their own Christmas tree is still a tradition for some families. They derive pleasure from the family outing to the woods, traipsing around, finding a few likely candidates, then deciding as a family on “the” tree for that year.
The most popular varieties of Christmas trees have changed over the years, but traditionally they are firs, spruces, and pines. Personal preference for long or short needles is usually the deciding factor.
As a side note, many people traditionally refer to the first or the second Sunday in December as “Christmas Tree Sunday”, as that is the most popular time to buy your Christmas tree.
I guess that the gist of Look for an Evergreen Day is that if intend to have a Christmas tree this year, it’s time to put one up.
Factoid: Hemlock is a type of short-needled evergreen.

National Hard Candy Day:

National Hard Candy Day is a celebration of all types of hard candies—everything from lollipops to candy canes to butterscotch to lemon drops to mints. Who doesn’t love a piece of hard candy now and again? Its sweet, sugary taste literally causes your mouth to salivate.
Hard candy can be traced back to Ancient Egypt, Arabia, and China. Archaeologists ina these regions have found traces of “candied” fruits and nuts that had been dipped in honey, which is a preservative. There is also evidence that people stuck sticks into their candy treats to keep their hands from getting sticky as they ate them; just like our modern lollipops.
To celebrate this holiday, simply have a piece (or two) of your favorite hard candy today.

Oatmeal Muffin Day:

Evidently, Oatmeal Muffin Day is not stepped in tradition. My research revealed no history about this holiday. Nonetheless, it is listed in two of my sources, so I feel compelled to cover it.
Oatmeal muffins, in and of themselves, are a healthy treat. They have been shown to lower cholesterol, boost your immune system, stabilize blood sugar and help prevent breast cancer. A typical oatmeal muffin has 132 calories, 14 percent of our daily value of dietary fiber, and 6.1 grams of protein. Common additions to oatmeal muffins include raisins, nuts, and chocolate chips. The sweetness of oatmeal muffins varies from recipe to recipe. Some call for more sugar than others and some use honey or syrup as a sweetener.
To celebrate this holiday, make a batch of oatmeal muffins for yourself and your family today.

On this date in:

  • 1732 – Benjamin Franklin began publishing “Poor Richard’s Almanac.”
  • 1776 – Thomas Paine published his first “American Crisis” essay.
  • 1777 – General George Washington led his army of about 11,000 men to Valley Forge, PA, to camp for the winter.
  • 1842 – Hawaii’s independence was recognized by the U.S.
  • 1843 – Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” was first published in England.
  • 1871 – Corrugated paper (cardboard) was patented by Albert L. Jones.
  • 1887 – Jake Kilrain and Jim Smith fought in a bare knuckles fight which lasted 106 rounds and 2 hours and 30 minutes. The fight was ruled a draw and was halted due to darkness.
  • 1903 – The Williamsburg Bridge opened in New York City. It opened as the largest suspension bridge on Earth and remained the largest until 1924. It was also the first major suspension bridge to use steel towers to support the main cable.
  • 1907 – A coal mine explosion in Jacobs Creek, PA, killed 239 workers.
  • 1918 – Robert Ripley began his “Believe It or Not” column in “The New York Globe”.
  • 1932 – The British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) began transmitting overseas with its “Empire Service” to Australia.
  • 1957 – Meredith Wilson’s “The Music Man” opened at the Majestic Theatre in New York City. It ran for 1,375 shows.
  • 1957 – Air service between London and Moscow was inaugurated.
  • 1959 – Penn State’s Nittany Lions beat Alabama, 7-0, in the first Liberty Bowl football game.
  • 1959 – Walter Williams died in Houston, TX, at the age of 117. He was said to be the last surviving veteran of the U.S. Civil War.
  • 1961 – “Judgment At Nuremberg” opened in New York City.
  • 1972 – Apollo 17 splashed down in the Pacific, ending the Apollo program of manned lunar landings.
  • 1973 – Johnny Carson started a fake toilet-paper scare on the “Tonight Show.”
  • 1984 – Ted Hughes was appointed England’s poet laureate.
  • 1984 – Britain and China signed an accord returning Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty on July 1, 1997.
  • 1985 – ABC Sports announced that it was severing ties with Howard Cosell and released “The Mouth” from all TV commitments. Cosell continued on ABC Radio for another five years.
  • 1986 – The Soviet Union announced it had freed dissident Andrei Sakharov from internal exile, and pardoned his wife, Yelena Bonner.
  • 1986 – Independent counsel Lawrence Walsh was appointed to investigate the Iran-Contra issue.
  • 1989 – United States troops invaded Panama to overthrow the regime of General Manuel Noriega.
  • 1990 – Bo Jackson became the first athlete to be chosen for All-Star Games in two sports; football and baseball.
  • 1996 – The school board of Oakland, CA, voted to recognize Black English, also known as “ebonics.” The board later reversed its stance.
  • 1998 – President Bill Clinton was impeached on two charges of perjury and obstruction of justice by the House of Representatives.
  • 1998 – A four-day bombing of Iraq by British and American forces ended.
  • 2000 – The U.N. Security Council voted to impose sanctions on Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers unless they closed all terrorist training camps and surrender U.S. embassy bombing suspect Osama bin Laden.
  • 2003 – Images for the new design for the Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center site were released. The building slopes into a spire that reaches 1,776 feet.
  • 2008 – President George W. Bush signed a $17.4 billion rescue package of loans for ailing automakers General Motors and Chrysler.

Noteworthy Birthdays:


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