The 11/25/13 Joy Jar

25 Nov

Thanksgiving should be the OFFICIAL start of the Holiday Season which includes Christmas and Hanukkah. If you have no faith, then just celebrate being alive. Florida’s Natural has an interesting discussion of holiday traditions in Holiday Traditions. Why We Do What We Do:

Ever wonder how fruitcake became a holiday tradition? Why standing under the mistletoe means pucker up? We’ve uncovered the origins of some of the holiday’s most popular traditions.
Issue: December 2009
Why fruitcake during the holidays?
In 18th-century England, fruitcake had become so prevalent, there were laws enacted to restrict its consumption to Christmas, Easter, weddings, christenings, and funerals. Over time, the popularity of the fruity cake waned at the other occasions, leaving Christmas to be the lone holiday it’s associated with.
What’s the story behind the dreidel game?
When the Syrian Greeks prohibited Jews from practicing their religion, Jewish parents painted Hebrew letters on four-sided spinning tops called dreidels (from the German word, drehen, which means to spin) as a way to preserve their faith. The Greeks thought the Jews were just playing an insignificant game. The Hebrew letters on the dreidel stand for the phrase “A great miracle happened there.” This refers to the miracle celebrated at Hanukkah.
Why do people kiss under the mistletoe?
According to Scandinavian folklore, Baldur, god of light, was killed by a dart made of mistletoe. The tears of Baldurs mother, Frigga, became the white berries of the plant. Frigga decreed that mistletoe would never again be used as a weapon and that she would, instead, kiss anyone who passed under it.
How did the tradition of the Christmas tree begin?
Legend has it that in the seventh century a monk went to Germany to spread the Word of God. He used the triangular shape of a fir tree to illustrate the Holy Trinity. The converted people in Germany then began to revere the evergreen fir. By the 12th century, firs were being hung upside down from ceilings at Christmas as a symbol of Christianity. The first decorated tree is said to have been in Latvia in 1510.
Why light a menorah during Hanukkah?
Hanukkah is the “Festival of Lights”. The Hanukkah Menorah commemorates the Jews’ miraculous victory over the Greek-Syrian army (thousands of years ago) and the one-days-worth of pure oil that miraculously lasted for eight days in the Temple. Jewish custom insists that every family should light the wicks of the Hanukkah Menorah each night for eight days of the festival. The Hanukkah menorah contains nine candleholders — eight for each of the eight nights of the celebrations and the ninth, called Shamash, used only for lighting the others.
Why do people kiss at midnight on New Year’s Eve?
A centuries-old legend claims that the first person you come in contact with when the clock strikes twelve sets the tone for your happiness and fortune in the New Year. A kiss with one you love equals good things, but kiss someone other than your true love, or no one at all, and misfortune is said to be heading your way….http://www.floridasnatural.com/lifestyle/household-advice/holiday-traditions-why-we-do-what-we-do

Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the Holiday Season.

“In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it ‘Christmas’ and went to church; the Jews called it ‘Hanukkah’ and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say ‘Merry Christmas!’ or ‘Happy Hanukkah!’ or (to the atheists) ‘Look out for the wall!”
Dave Barry

“Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.”
Erma Bombeck

“Humanity has always conquered the flux of natural time by means of a rhythm between active and passive time-spans. To reconquer his holidays, to establish a new and better time schedule for life, has been the great endeavour of man ever since the days of Noah.”
Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, Out of Revolution: Autobiography of Western Man

“You know if the U.S. Government wanted to boost the economy there’s a simple solution make Black Friday the refund date for your state and federal taxes”
Stanley Victor Paskavich, Return to Stantasyland

I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up – they have no holidays.
Henny Youngman

Holidays are about experiences and people, and tuning into what you feel like doing at that moment. Enjoy not having to look at a watch.
Evelyn Glennie

I celebrate everyone’s religious holidays. if it’s good enough for the righteous, it’s good enough for the self-righteous, I always say.
Bette Midler

All holidays can be good times.
John Clayton

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