National Haiku Poetry Day

December 22, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning poetry lovers. Today is Thursday, December 22nd. Today’s holidays are:

National Haiku Poetry Day:

This is the second of, apparently, two holidays centered around the Japanese form of poetry, Haiku, this year. As far as I can determine, they are not related, but both are called National Haiku Poetry Day.
Haiku is a form of highly structured Japanese poetry. Introduced to the West in the 1950′s, the haiku grew into a phenomenon and was embraced by beat poets like Jack Kerouac. Traditional haiku is made up of 17 syllables over three phrases (5-7-5), and usually, contains a “season” word and the juxtaposition two different elements. In a westernized haiku, these markers are flexible, and the haiku, while still retaining a 5-7-5 syllable structure, has inspired many pseudo-haiku variations.
Below is an example of a westernized variation of the Japanese haiku format because it does not contain a “season” word.

Haiku poetry
Is more difficult to write
Than you might expect.

In the haiku below, the topic is winter and it contains a “season” word, so it is a true form of Japanese haiku.

Winter brings the snow
It is far too cold for me
It makes my bones ache.

Neither of the above examples, by any stretch of the imagination, is an example of a “good haiku”, but they are the best that I could come up with on the spur of the moment. To celebrate National Haiku Poetry Day, try writing a few haiku poems of your own; then share them with me in a comment.

National Regifting Day

National Regifting Day is celebrated on the Thursday before Christmas each year. It was created by Regiftable.com.
Not coincidentally I believe, according to my unscientific research, the Thursday before Christmas is also the most common day for office/employee Christmas parties. According to a more scientific research study, 41% of regifters target coworkers as the recipients of their “regifts”.
Regifting is becoming more and more popular. Over 60% of regifters say they regift because they think the item is something the recipient would really like anyway. About 40% say that they regift to save money. Regifting is also becoming more and more accepted by society. About 40% of regift recipients said that they don’t really care that they were given a regift.  Another 18% of regift recipients said they felt happy or amused to receive a regift, and less than 10% of regift recipients said they felt cheated or angry to receive a regift.
Believe it or not, there is proper etiquette to follow when you regift.

  • Re-gift only when you are certain the recipient will enjoy your (unwanted) gift. If at any time you referred to it as junk, clutter or dust collector, it’s probably not regiftable.
  • The gift is brand new (aka unused!) and in its original packaging. No, hand me downs.
  • Don’t hurt anyone’s feelings. If the gift had special meaning to the original giver, don’t re-gift.
  • Don’t re-gift if the item is handmade or personalized. If Uncle Joe spent his spare hours whittling that panic whistle, you should keep it.
  • Be careful not to re-gift something to the original giver. If you aren’t sure who gave it to you, don’t re-gift.
  • On that same note, to avoid embarrassment, re-gift only when you are sure the new recipient won’t tell the original giver what they received from you.
  • Re-wrap all gifts and remove any tags or other evidence that may suggest you didn’t shop for the re-gifted item yourself.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about the gift. Questions such as “Where did you find this? I’ve been looking everywhere for one!” may expose the fact that the item is a regift unless you aren’t able to give a convincing answer.

What are your feelings regarding “regifting”? How do you feel about being the recipient of a “regift”?

National Date Nut Bread Day:

Date nut bread is the perfect treat for the holiday season. It is delicious, healthy, and easy to make.
The first date nut bread recipe appeared in print in 1939, but dates are one of the world’s oldest fruits. Date seeds have been found in archaeology excavations of sub-tropical areas around the world. Historians believe that the ancient Moors brought the date to Spain; who later introduced it to America. Dates are notorious for their high sugar content, so it is no surprise that most date nut bread recipes do not call for any additional sweeteners.
To celebrate National Date Nut Bread Day, try your hand at baking a homemade loaf of this festive treat. Enjoy it plain, or if you prefer, top it off with a little cream cheese frosting.

National Cookie Exchange Day

On this date in:

  • 1775 – The first Continental naval fleet was organized in America under the command of Ezek Hopkins.
  • 1807 – The Congress passed the Embargo Act, designed to force peace between Britain and France by cutting off all trade with Europe.
  • 1864 – During the American Civil War, Union Gen. William T. Sherman sent a message to President Lincoln from Georgia. The message read, “I beg to present you as a Christmas-gift the city of Savannah.”
  • 1877 – The “American Bicycling Journal” went on sale for the first time.
  • 1894 – The United States Golf Association was formed in New York City.
  • 1894 – French army officer Alfred Dreyfus was convicted of treason in a court-martial that triggered worldwide charges of anti-Semitism. Dreyfus was eventually vindicated.
  • 1910 – U.S. Postal savings stamps were issued for the first time. They were discontinued in 1914.
  • 1939 – Gloria Jacobs became the first girl to hold a world pistol record when she shot 299 out of a possible 300 points. She was 17 years old at the time.
  • 1943 – Sporting goods manufacturers received permission to use synthetic rubber for the core of baseballs.
  • 1941 – British Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrived in Washington D.C. for a wartime conference with President Franklin Roosevelt.
  • 1956 – Colo, the first gorilla to be born in captivity, was born at the Columbus, Ohio zoo.
  • 1956 – The last British and French forces evacuated Egypt.
  • 1961 – James Davis became the first United States soldier to die in Vietnam, while U.S. involvement was still limited to the provision of military advisers.
  • 1984 – New York City resident Bernhard Goetz shot four black youths on a Manhattan subway. Goetz claimed they were about to rob him.
  • 1989 – Romania’s hard-line Communist ruler, Nicolae Ceausescu, was overthrown in a popular uprising.
  • 1990 – Lech Walesa was sworn in as Poland’s first popularly elected president.
  • 1991 – The body of Lt. Col. William R. Higgins, an American hostage murdered by his captors, was found along a highway in Lebanon.
  • 1996 – A car bomb exploded in Belfast, injuring a known IRA supporter. Police suspected that Protestant loyalists were responsible for the attack.
  • 1998 – A unit of RJR Nabisco pled guilty to attempting to smuggle cigarettes into Canada.
  • 2001 – Thirty Afghans, including two women, were sworn in as part of the new interim government in Afghanistan. Hamid Karzai was the head of the post-Taliban government.

Noteworthy Birthdays:

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