Monday, January 1, 2007

January 1

Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year!

I am kind of sad today. Sad to see this journal go. I have been with you here every day for longer than a month (with my healper Val). I have enjoyed spending time with each and every one of you, reading your comments, and learning from you as I hope you have learned something from me also. I also have met a lot of new folks. What a treasure. I don't want to lose you as friends. Perhaps I should tell you where my other journal is.

You can find me here:
Sometimes I Think

**edit on 10/31/08: My blog address changed on 10/26/2008
Plaese find me at my new blog here:
Sometimes I Think

And here is Val's journal:
There is a Season

**edit on 10/31/08: Val's blog address changed on 10/17/08
Please find her at her new blog here:
There is a Season

I hope you won't make yourself a stranger. Now let's get on with a little bit about New Year's Day. I hope you are having a good one!


New Year's Day

The Rose Bowl
Today, following the Rose Parade, the 93rd Rose Bowl Game, will feature an exciting match up between two championship teams, featuring USC and Univ. of Michigan. The Rose Bowl will be broadcast exclusively on ABC and on ESPN radio.

The Tournament of Roses Parade
The Tournament of Roses Parade dates back to 1886. In that year, membersof the Valley Hunt Club decorated their carriages with flowers. It celebrated the ripening of the orange crop in California.

The Tournament of Roses
Although the Rose Bowl football game was first played as a part of the Tournament of Roses in 1902, it was replaced by Roman chariot races the following year. In 1916, the football game returned as the sports centerpiece of the festival.

Official Tournament of Roses Site


Food traditionally eaten on New Year's Day

Traditional New Year foods are thought to bring luck. Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolizes "coming full circle," completing a year's cycle. For that reason, the Dutch believe that eating donuts on New Year's Day will bring good fortune.

Here are some foods that people around the world eat on New Year's Day:

~ A German/Pennsylvania Dutch tradition is to eat pork and sauerkraut on New Year's day for good luck. Cabbage is considered a "good luck" food because it represents paper currency!

  • In the southern United States, it is believed eating black eyed peas on New Year's eve will bring luck for the coming year. The peas are often accompanied by either hog jowls or ham. The hog and it's meat symbolize prosperity.

  • ~ Also from the south comes the custom of eating greens such as cabbage, collard greens, mustard greens, kale or spinach to bring money.

  • One more from the Southerners: eating cornbread will bring wealth.

  • ~ Eating pickled herring as the first bite of the New Year brings good luck to those of Polish descent.

  • The Southern custom of eating greens can be found in other cultures as well, although the cabbage can take many forms, such as sauerkraut or even kimchee.

  • ~ German folklore says that eating herring at the stroke of midnight will bring luck for the next year.

  • It is a Cuban tradition to eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight. The 12 grapes signify the last twelve months of the year.

  • ~ In the Philippines, it is important to have food on the table at midnight in order to insure an abundance of food in the upcoming year.

  • Boiled Cod is a New Year's Eve must in Denmark.

  • ~ It is the tradition of Bosnia & Croatia (both of former Yugoslavia) to eat what is called "Sarma" or beef wrapped tightly in cabbage to bring good luck in health and wealth for the upcoming year.


    Gospel reading: Luke 2:16-21

    Happy New Year and all my love, Krissy :)

    Sunday, December 31, 2006

    December 31


    Auld Lang Syne (lyrics and MIDI - both popular and original version)


    New Year's Resolutions

    How to Make a New Year's Resolution

    1.  Be realistic by setting achievable goals.  For example, "winning the lottery" is not an achievable goal.
    2.  Describe your resolutions in specific terms. Instead of "I don't want to be lazy," go for something like "I want to exercise regularly" or "I will cut down on my television watching."
    3.  Break down large goals into smaller ones. For instance, instead of saying, "I will lose weight", make your goal to join a gym or Y, and to improve your eating habits.
    4.  Find alternatives to a behavior that you want to change, and make this part of your resolution plan. So you want to quit smoking but you smoked to relax yourself? What other forms of relaxation are available to you?  Make a plan.
    5.  Above all, aim for things that are truly important to you.
    How to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions
    1.   Don't aim higher than what is achievable.  You are only setting yourself up for failure and will quit.  For instance, don't say, "I will lose 35 lbs. by April 30th."  Set a realistic goal instead.
    2.   Don't overload yourself with too many Resolutions/Goals.  You'll only feel overwhelmed.
    3.   Tell others your Resolution.
    4.   Take baby steps.  Set a small goal, make it, then set another one.  For instance, if you want to lose weight, consider losing ten pounds at a time.
    5.   Reward yourself (in some way other than breaking the resolution!) with little rewards from time to time.
    6.   Don't worry if you have a setback.  Pick yourself up and try again!
    7.   If you are tempted to give up, remind yourself why you started in the first place.
    8.   Consider using a buddy system.  Find a friend who wants to work on the Resolution/Goal with you.
    9.   Consider joining a support group of like minded people.  (ie, AA, the gym, a class, etc) 
    10.  If you can't find a group in your area with goals similar to your own, consider going online and finding a chat room, or even starting one.
    What is your New Year's Resolution?  Take the time to make one if you want to!
    Quitting Smoking
 (an interactive community smoking cessation site)
    Gospel reading:  Luke 2:41-52
    Krissy :)

    Saturday, December 30, 2006

    December 30


    A few ideas for New Year's Eve

                               Photo by REUTERS
    Gospel reading:  Luke 2:36-40
    Krissy :)

    Friday, December 29, 2006

    December 29


          Facts About New Year's Eve
    New Year's Eve is celebrated on December 31st every year by those who use the Gregorian calendar.  The main regions of the world welcoming in the New Year on this day are the United States, Australia, the British Isles, North and South America, Europe, Scandanavia, and the countries comprising what was the former Soviet Union.
    At the stroke of midnight a new year is rung in.  Celebrations may be parties or times of prayer, depending on what part of the world you live in.  In the United States, people dress up in silly hats.  The seconds are counted down till midnight, and as the new year comes in, everybody turns and kisses the one they love.  Then the noise begins!  Noisemakers are used to express the excitement and hope in the year ahead.  Some people bang pots and pans at midnight.  Others set off firecrackers.  The point is to make as much noise as you can to celebrate. 
    At parties Auld Lang Syne is sung.  The custom of singing Auld Lang Syne at midnight goes back to the British Isles from the 18th century when guests ended a party standing in a circle and singing this song.  The custom first was rooted in Scotland, because the lyrics were written in 1788 by Robert Burns, their favorite folk poet of the time. 
    What does this song mean?  In the Scottish language, "auld lang syne" means "old long since", or as we would say - "the good old days".  The song starts with the words "Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind...".  The entire song's message merely means to forget about the past and to look ahead to the new year with hope.  But many of us sing it without really knowing what we are saying, but just to be part of the group.   
    Another tradition is for Americans to gather in New York City's Times Square to watch the "ball drop".  Some go to Atlanta, Georgia, USA to watch a giant Peach being dropped.  This started as a competition to New York's (Big) Apple that was being dropped at Times Square.  Of course Times Square no longer has an Apple that is dropped, but instead a ball that is cut by hand and by laser.  It is made of crystal. 
    In London crowds gather in Trafalgar Square to count down the closing of the old year and welcome in the new.
    Sometimes New Year's Eve celebrations get too rowdy, due to excessive drinking.  That is how a popular trend called "First Night" got started.  In the United States, many cities now hold First Night celebrations.  They are outdoor community-oriented gatherings that are geared towards the whole family.  First Night events include cultural events, performances by singers and musicians, non-alcoholic beverages, and food.  Often ice sculptures are viewed throughout the town that have been carved several days beforehand.  Also a walk or run usually takes place throughout the town.  The length can be as short as a mile or as long as a 5K Walk/Run.  By the way, the first First Night was in Boston in 1976.   Find out if there are First Night activities in your town or city, they are cultural and lots of fun.
    Many who prefer to have a very quiet New Year's Eve stay at home.  They watch fireworks and the "ball drop" on TV.  They watch what is going on in their own country, as well as celebrations going on in other countries.
    However you bring in the new year this year, please be safe, and have fun!
    Gospel reading:  Luke 2:22-35

    Thursday, December 28, 2006

    December 28


    I'm sorry that I'm posting at such a late hour.  I'm feeling sick today.  But I wanted to add something for today to this journal, because I have posted every day this month.  So I thought I would show you the picture of the Madonna and Child above.  I found it to be such a beautiful picture. 

    I also wanted to tell you that I will be posting about things to do with New Year's Eve and New Year's Day starting tomorrow.  It may seem a little early, but I thought we would get to talking about Resolutions (or goals) that we want to consider having for the new year.  We will also have some fun and talk about ways to celebrate.  So please continue to visit through January 1st.

    Okay, I must get off now.

    Gospel reading:  Matthew 2:13-18


    Wednesday, December 27, 2006

    December 27


                                    St John The Beloved

    December 27 - Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist, Beloved Disciple of Jesus

    St. John was born in Bethsaida, and like his brother James, was a fisherman.  St. John, the son of Zebedee, and the brother of St. James the Great, was called to be an Apostle by Jesus in the first year of Jesus' public ministry.  He became the "Beloved Disciple" and the only one of the twelve who did not forsake the Savior as He died on the cross.  He stood faithfully at the cross when the Savior made him the guardian of His Mother.  His later life was lived mainly in Jerusalem and at Ephesus.  He founded many churches in Asia Minor.  He wrote the fourth Gospel, and three Epistles, and the Book of Revelation is also attributed to him.  Brought to Rome, tradition relates that he was by order of Emperor Dometian cast into a cauldron of boiling oil, but came forth unhurt and was banished to the island of Patmos for a year.  He lived to an extreme old age, surviving all his fellow apostles, and died at Ephesus about the year 100.

    St. John is called the Apostle of Charity, a virtue he had learned from Jesus Himself, and which he constantly modeled by word and example.  He lived an exceptional life, and we have a lot to learn from him.


    Here is something fun to use in emails!  Just paste the code of the banner you choose in the "Signatures" section of your emails signature setup.

    New Year's2007 Countdown Banners


    Gospel reading:  John 21:1a and 2-8


    Tuesday, December 26, 2006

    December 26


    The Twelve Days of Christmas

    In the Western Church the Christmas season lasts 12 days.  (This includes the Catholic Church as well as some Protestant churches.)  The 12 days of Christmas begin on December 25th and end on January 5th.  January 6th is the Epiphany.  So you see, in many churches, the Christmas season does not end on December 25th.  It starts on December 25th.  That is why I have decided to continue this journal.  I am not going to continue it all the way until January 5th, but I have decided to continue it through New Year's Day.  It just doesn't seem right to end it abruptly today when the holiday season is still upon us.  So I will finish out the year and end on January 1st.  I hope you are enjoying this journal.   

    Sorry I am so late in posting today.  I have not really felt well.  But I wanted to get an entry in today.  Today is a special day.  Today is St. Stephen's Day.  And it is also Boxing Day!  Let me tell you a little bit about both.
    St. Stephen's Day
    St. Stephen's Day, or the Feast of St. Stephen, is a Christian's Saint Day celebrated on December 26th in the Western Church.  St. Stephen was the first martyr for Jesus Christ.  He was martyred (stoned to death) in Jerusalem about 35 AD.  For the success of his preaching and his devotion to Christ, St. Stephen was stoned to death by a mob. As he died, he begged God not to punish his killers. We can read about him in Acts 6-7.
    Boxing Day
    Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated in the UK and Commonwealth countries (Australia, New Zealand, and Canada).  It is celebrated on December 26 (the Feast of Stephen). It is a day of giving.  It is also celebrated by many activities.

    Boxing Day started in medieval times. Priests would empty their charity boxes in church and give the money and gifts away to those who needed it. 

    As time went by, Boxing Day gift giving expanded to include those who had rendered a service during the previous year. This tradition survives today as people give presents to tradesmen (plumbers, electricians, etc), mail carriers, doormen, and others who have helped them. 

    To read more about Boxing Day, including Boxing Day activities and fun, here is an article.

    Boxing Day in England


    Good King Wenceslas

    I thought today we would also talk about Good King Wenceslas.  He is also known as Saint Wenceslas.  While we celebrate his Saint's Day on September 28th, we sing the song "Good King Wenceslas" as a Christmas carol.  That is because Good King Wenceslas "looked out on the Feast of Stephen", which of course is December 26.  Here is a biography of Good King Wenceslas.

    Good King Wenceslas   ~The Real Story ~


    Gospel reading:  Matthew 10:17-22