Holly, Evergreens, Hard Candy, and Oatmeal Muffins

December 19, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning and Happy Holly-daze my friends. Today is Sunday, December 19, 2021. December 19th is the 353rd day of the year, and 12 days remain.

Holly Day 

Holly Day is celebrated each year on December 19th. As you can easily surmise from its name, this holiday celebrates holly – easily one of the most recognizable of Christmas decorations, and a plant traditionally used as a decoration during the holiday season.
Even with Christmas less than a week away, many people, due to their hectic lifestyle, are still decorating their homes for the holidays. And, for many families, holly wreaths and holly centerpieces are a traditional part of their decorations.
Holly is 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.
If you decide to celebrate Holly Day, be forewarned. While the prickly leaves and berries make lovely additions to any holiday décor, eating holly leaves and berries can be bad for your health. 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 your festive holly wreaths might be quite appealing to look at, remember to keep them well out of reach of your children and pets during your festivities.

Look for an Evergreen Day:

Look for an Evergreen Day is celebrated annually on December 19th. You needn’t be an arborist to deduce that this holiday celebrates evergreen trees – popular types of trees that are in demand this time of year. This holiday was originally established by the National Arborist Association to create a day to appreciate the beauty of evergreen 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 when you consider that most households decorate some type of evergreen tree for the holiday season. So, 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 you intend to have a Christmas tree this year, it’s time to find one and decorate it – if you haven’t already done so.
Factoid:
Hemlock is a type of short-needled evergreen.

National Hard Candy Day:

National Hard Candy Day is celebrated every year on December 19th. Youi don’t need to be a master confectioner to discern that this holiday is, quite simply, a celebration of all types of hard candies – everything from lollipops to candy canes to butterscotch to lemon drops to mints.
Hard candy can be traced back to Ancient Egypt, Arabia, and China. Archaeologists in 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-day lollipops.
Who doesn’t love a piece of hard candy every once in a while? Its sweet, sugary taste literally causes your mouth to salivate. So, if you opt to celebrate National Hard Candy Day, simply have a piece (or two, or three, or four, or more) of your favorite type of hard candy today.

Oatmeal Muffin Day:

Oatmeal Muffin Day is celebrated annually on December 19th. You needn’t be a master muffin maker to ascertain that this holiday celebrates oatmeal muffins. DUH! My research revealed no information concerning the creation, the history, or the reason this holiday is celebrated today, so apparently, this holiday is apparently not steeped in tradition. Nonetheless, it is listed in all four of my sources, so I feel compelled to cover it.
According to my sources, a typical oatmeal muffin has 132 calories, 14 percent of our daily value of dietary fiber, and 6.1 grams of protein. They have been shown to lower cholesterol, boost your immune system, stabilize blood sugar and help prevent breast cancer.
With that said, personally, I have never heard of oatmeal muffins, but, I guess, they would, in and of themselves, be a healthy treat. However, common additions to oatmeal muffins such as raisins, nuts, and chocolate chips could affect their overall ‘healthiness’. 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, and some of these can also have a detrimental effect on one’s health.
To celebrate Oatmeal Muffin Day, make a batch of oatmeal muffins for yourself and your family today. If, like me, you have never heard of oatmeal muffins, but want to give them a try, I found this basic recipe online that you can use. You cand add whatever other additions you want to this recipe if you want to “jazz it up” a bit.

Below is another holiday observed today that deserves mention.

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