Life Day 25816 – Ding-a-Ling Everyone.

December 12, 2020 at 11:04 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning ding-a-lings. Today is Saturday, December 12, 2020. It is the 347th Day of the year and 19 days remain.

Today’s reasons to celebrate are:

National Ding-a-Ling Day

National Ding-a-Ling Day is celebrated every year on December 12th. In my research on this holiday, my sources offered two distinct interpretations of this holiday – and neither interpretation has anything to do with those Salvation Army bell ringers standing in front of retail establishments ringing bells and seeking donations, as you might assume.
The first interpretation of National Ding-a-Ling Day has to do with those zany, quirky, off-center people we all know and love, who lack the ability to “color inside the lines” and, in fact, aren’t even aware that there are “lines”. According to this source, you should be prepared to encounter all sorts of kooky characters today, including some from whom you normally wouldn’t expect this type of behavior. These ding-a-lings could be anywhere today – on the road, on the street, in stores, and even in your own home, so be prepared. There is an old adage that says “If you can’t beat ’em, join em”. If you choose this interpretation of National Ding-a-Ling Day, perhaps you should celebrate by channeling your “inner ding-a-ling” today as well. That way, you don’t stand out from the crowd of ding-a-lings you’ll find everywhere you go.
The other interpretation of National Ding-a-Ling Day has to do with reaching out to people with whom you have lost contact (give them a ding-a-ling on the telephone). In this interpretation you should call friends and relatives with whom you have lost contact over the years. It may be an old classmate, a former co-worker, a former Comrade-in-arms, or a neighbor from years ago. There are all sorts of people in our lives who somehow manage to fall by the wayside because of our hectic lifestyles. If you choose to celebrate this interpretation of National Ding-a-Ling Day, simply call people from whom you haven’t heard in a while.

International Shareware Day

International Shareware Day is observed annually on the second Saturday in December. It was created to remind shareware users about the value they have gained through their use of shareware programs and is celebrated on the second Saturday of December. The secondary purpose of this holiday is to perhaps to entice shareware users to quit freeloading and actually pay for the use these programs.
Unlike open source software, ‘shareware’ is a proprietary software model – the author retains ownership of the program and the code, and often scaled down versions of commercial software applications are released as shareware. While you can use the software without paying, the idea is that if you find it useful, you should pay, or upgrade to the full, non-free version of the software. Some shareware is also only made available for a limited trial period, after which users are expected to pay to continue using it.
Another concept closely related to shareware is ‘freeware’, where the software is made available for free without an expectation of payment, except perhaps for donations to the author.
The first piece of software called ‘freeware’ was PC-Talk, a telecommunications program created by Andrew Fleugelman in 1982. The term ‘shareware’ was first used with the program PC-Write (a word processing tool), released by Bob Wallace in early 1983.
Very few shareware and freeware downloads are ever paid for, meaning that the chances of sustaining yourself on shareware income remain fairly slim. This is sad because this mode of software production has resulted in some wonderful software tools being made available to users around the globe – virus protection software, all kinds of computer utilities, and much more. Lack of financial returns also means that many shareware and freeware projects are abandoned, not updated or not supported.

Poinsettia Day 

Poinsettia Day is celebrated each year on December 12th. As you might expect, it celebrates the poinsettia – a blossoming plant most commonly associated with the holiday season because of its beautiful red and green foliage. The Aztecs considered poinsettias a symbol of purity because of their brilliant red color.
Although it is native to Mexico, 90% of all poinsettias are exported from the United States. Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico, introduced these gorgeous flowers to the United States in the 1820s. While visiting Taxco, Poinsett found the flowers growing on a hillside and sent some of them to his home in South Carolina. The flowers grew well in his greenhouse and Poinsett began distributing them. The name “poinsettia” soon became the accepted name of the flower in English-speaking countries, but botanically, the plant is known as Euphorbia Pulcherrima. This holiday is celebrated annually on the anniversary of his death on December 12, 1851.
Although Mr. Poinsett is credited with bringing the poinsettia to North America and had the plant renamed after him, it is Paul Ecke Jr. who is considered the father of the poinsettia industry. It was Paul Ecke’s discovery of a technique which causes seedlings to branch that allowed the Poinsettia industry to flourish. It was his son, Paul Ecke Jr. however who advanced the sales of the poinsettia through shipping and marketing. The Ecke’s technique remained a secret until the 1990s when a university researcher discovered and published the formula. Both Paul Ecke Sr. and Paul Ecke Jr. worked tirelessly to promote the plant and its association with Christmas. Today their ranch, in Encinitas, California is run by Paul Ecke lll.
In July of 2002, the House of Representatives passed a Resolution creating Poinsettia Day, honoring Paul Ecke Jr. for his contributions to the poinsettia industry. They also specified that the holiday will be celebrated on December 12th – the date that Joel Roberts Poinsett died. Below are a few Poinsettia Facts:

  • The poinsettia industry contributes over $250,000,000 annually to the United States economy – at the wholesale level.
  • Poinsettias are the best-selling potted plant in the United States and Canada.
  • The showy colored parts of Poinsettias are actually modified leaves. The actual flowers are the little yellow blooms in the center of those leaves.
  • It is a myth that Poinsettias are poisonous.
  • There are more than 100 varieties of Poinsettias commercially available.

Gingerbread House Day 

Gingerbread House Day is celebrated annually on December 12th. Oddly enough, it celebrates gingerbread houses – as well as the fun involved with decorating them with your family.
The art of gingerbread house making seems to have originated in Germany, where gingerbread tends to be a harder consistency. German settlers brought gingerbread to America, where the construction of gingerbread houses continues to be popular today.
Making a gingerbread house with your children has become a time-honored Christmas tradition in many households in America. Elaborate or simple, big or small, nothing gets the little ones into the holiday spirit like designing and building their very own homemade gingerbread house.
You don’t need to be an architect, or a pâtissier to celebrate Gingerbread House Day. Whether you make your gingerbread from scratch, cheat a little and use graham crackers, or buy one of those Gingerbread House Kits available at your local market,  simply make and decorate a gingerbread house today.
Author’s Note:
It was the German fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel, by the Brothers Grimm, that introduced the witch with a house made of gingerbread, that inspired and popularized the tradition of making gingerbread houses.

National Ambrosia Day 

National Ambrosia Day is celebrated annually on December 12th. Although not specified in this holiday’s name, it was not difficult for me to determine from reading my sources that it celebrates ambrosia salad – a fruit salad enjoyed during the holiday season and at pot lucks and picnics as well during the rest of the year.
Although the recipe varies slightly from family to family, Ambrosia is a delightful fruit salad tossed with whipped topping, miniature marshmallows, and grated coconut.  Recipes for Ambrosia began to appear in American cookbooks in the late 1700s. A simple ambrosia salad from the late 1700s was made with citrus fruit, coconut, and sugar. A genuine ambrosia salad should be served the same day it is prepared, though, because of modern-day food preservation techniques, most modern recipes suggest overnight refrigeration so the flavors can mesh. Other ingredients often added to modern-day Ambrosia Salad include pineapple, nuts, cherries, apples, bananas, whipped cream or yogurt.
According to Greek mythology, ambrosia is known as the “Nectar of the Gods”; which is from where this delightful salad derives its name. I don’t know if I would classify ambrosia salad as God-like, but it certainly is a Heavenly treat. No matter what ingredients your family recipe includes, no special family gathering would be complete without at least one version of this classic dessert. Also according to Greek mythology, ambrosia endows those who partake with strength and immortality, so make an Ambrosia Salad today and share it with your family in celebration of National Ambrosia Day. Feel the Power!

Other Holidays

Below are some other holidays that are celebrated on this date and worthy of mention.

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