Let’s Talk About the Real Saint Nicholas!

Dec 6th

Sorry I missed yesterday. There are just some days things do not go as planned. We didn’t miss much, but you can see what it was below, if you are interested.

It’s Friday! Yippee!  The first weekend of December and for us it will be filled with family Christmas fun. I’ll fill you in after we are finished, so I can share pictures with you. Besides some cleaning up of some miscellaneous Christmas ornament boxes, and a few tweaks here and there to the decorations, everything is decorated and ready for the rest of the month!  It’s time to get out the Christmas cards and wrapping paper and finalize a few last gifts. How fun! Baking, wrapping, Christmas movies – I’m getting excited!

  

Verse of the Day

December 5, 2019

Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.

Ephesians 5:3

 Thoughts on the Verse of the Day

“Not even a hint!” Hmmmm! Don’t you wish it were true? The church I attend and the person I see most often in the mirror don’t quite measure up to this directive. If sexual temptation doesn’t get us, greed often does. In a culture of conspicuous consumption, greed concerns me more than the immorality and impurity. Not because I am unconcerned with impurity, but because we have become so calloused to our own greed. In this season of giving, let’s honestly examine our hearts about our “wanting,” “getting,” and “possessing.”

December 6, 2019

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12

Thoughts on the Verse of the Day

Are you walking in light or darkness? Can you clearly see your path, or do you find yourself stumbling along an uncertain path? Jesus wants us to boldly follow him. The way may not always be easy, but the destination is assured, and your way can be certain. Most of all, you won’t ever have to have a night light — you’re assured that even in the deepest darkness, you will have his light, the only light that gives life.

www.verseoftheday.com

 

Christmas Traditions

The timing on this couldn’t be more perfect since I was going to talk about St. Nick/Santa Claus anyway!  Happy Saint Nicholas Day! So, the first thing I had to ask, was there really a St. Nicholas?  The answer is yes.  He lived in Greece just a couple hundred years after the birth of Christ.  He became a priest, and later a Bishop, of the early Catholic church.  He gave up all of his belongings to follow God.  He was known very well in his community for giving to the needy, and especially focused on giving to children in need.   Hanging stockings by the chimney? That started with Saint Nicholas!  The ancient legend says that he would throw small bags of gold coins into the open windows of poor homes.  After one bag of gold fell into the stocking of a child, the news got around.  Children all soon began to hang their stockings by the chimney “in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there”.   It really wasn’t until the 1800’s that the spirit of St. Nicholas’ life began to evolve into the creation of Santa Claus, and that happened in America.  Santa Claus began to grow from the stories and legends of St. Nicholas, of being a kindly soul who was generous to children, but unlike “St. Nick”, Santa Claus is fairly non-religious.  Saint Nicholas Day has been celebrated for hundreds and hundreds of years, and commemorates the death of this very special person, who brought much happiness to a lot of people.  Because record keeping was not perfect at the time, his death is believed to have been in either 345 A.D. or 352 A.D.  What it all boils down to, is that yes, the original Santa Claus, or Saint Nicholas, was indeed very real, and I’d have to say that the modern-day Santa Claus, who encourages children to behave themselves and be nice to each other, is a lovely story that brings out the best in many of us.  As long as the mistake isn’t made of putting him in front of Jesus, it really doesn’t – in my opinion – do any harm to appreciate his contributions to the Christmas season.

 

Thursday – December 5

Bathtub Party Day – With the temperature dropping outside this one sounds wonderful. Today is the day to have a little personal bathtub party!  It’s such an easy one to celebrate that I think we should all give it a go – well, for those of us with a tub.  Just fill a tub with wonderful hot water, add some bath oil beads or bubbles, and you’re ready to get in and soak all of your cares away.  The peace, quiet and serenity of a hot bath is exactly what many of us need to relax and let go of the stress of the day.   Turn off your phone, put in a quiet CD, pour a glass of wine and light some candles.  You are ready for the most relaxing minutes of your day. If you happen to have a hot tub, maybe invite some company to join you, and even have snacks on hand while you visit in the bubbling water.

 

 

 

Repeal Day – Today we commemorate the day the 18th amendment to the Constitution was repealed.  Once again Americans were free to buy, sell and drink alcoholic beverages.  In the 1900’s, many of the people in American thought that alcohol was the root cause of many social ills in the country.  Prohibition on a national scale was promoted in part by the American Christian Women’s Temperance Union.  As the movement grew in popularity, it pressed the United States Congress to pass the 18th amendment on January 16, 1919, which prohibited the manufacture, transportation, sale and consumption of alcohol. In spite of their best intentions, the ban on alcohol did little to improve the social conditions of the country, or to reduce crime.  Instead, crime increased as racketeers started making and selling alcohol, turning it into BIG business.  As the popularity of the 18th amendment faded, more and more people sought to repeal it.  On December 5, 1933, Congress passed the 21st Amendment, which effectively repealed the 18th Amendment.   This is a perfect example how Big Brother telling individuals what they can and cannot do, especially in their own homes, doesn’t work.  It violates our right to make our own choices.  There’s a lot of this going around lately, as our government spins out of control.  Individual groups of people mandating what others do, say, think, eat and buy.  It’s ridiculous, it’s offensive, and the fact is that it won’t work in the long run and will only lead to more hate and more discontent.

 

Friday – December 6

 

Faux Fur Friday – This one has very little information floating around about it, but it’s pretty easy, at least in my mind, to conclude that the creator wanted to encourage people to wear faux fur instead of real fur. I get the sentiment, and it makes sense.  Easy way to celebrate this one is to wear faux fur!

 

Miners’ Day – Today is the 10th annual National Miners Day.  In 2009, Congress proclaimed that each December 6th would be the day of remembrance of the 1907 Monongah coal mine disaster, which resulted in the deaths of 362 miners and became the worst industrial accident in American history.  American miners play a much larger role in our lives that most people know.  They mine a variety of raw materials that are components in products we use every day, like coal, copper, phosphate, silver, limestone, iron and zinc.  Coal, and the electricity generated by coal power, is used by many homes, businesses and communities.  Miners produce the gravel, crushed stone, tar, asphalt, road salt and cement used to build the roads we travel on and to make them safer.  The thousands of everyday goods we use that are from the hard work of miners is mind boggling.  The miners put their lives on the line every day to do their jobs and deserve to be protected from workplace hazards that have killed tens of thousands of them, and injured hundreds of thousands more throughout our history.  Today I hope that the American people will pause to remember the miners, both those who have been lost to this dangerous job, and those who are currently performing it.  Say a prayer for their safety and if you know a miner, thank him or her for their contribution to our nation.

 

Mitten Tree Day – I’m not exactly sure what this holiday was intended to be, but I do like what has been done with it.  This is a wonderful holiday to celebrate with, and for children!  Set up a Christmas tree and have people donate new mittens by hanging them on the tree, then donate them to a shelter, or anywhere taking this kind of donation this winter!  How wonderful is that?

 

Food Celebration of the Day

December 5

Comfort Food Day – Although the concept has been around for ages, the term “comfort food” wasn’t officially added to the American dictionary until 1977!  We all have our favorites.  What would yours be?  I have several, depending on my mood.  The one thing that always makes me feel better when I’m bummed out though, is oatmeal cookies – from the recipe that my Grandma used to use.  There’s something about them that fills my heart with happy feelings

 

Sachertorte Day – Today we celebrate a very specific type of chocolate cake, or torte, that was invented by Austrian chef Franz Sacher in 1832 for Prince Wenzel von Metternich in Vienna, Austria.  It is one of the most famous Viennese culinary specialties. There are recipes similar to the Sachertorte that appeared as early as the 18th century, with one example being in the cookbook of Conrad Hagger in 1718.  In 1832, Prince Wenzel von Metternich ordered his personal chef with creating a very special dessert for some important guests.  The chef became very ill and gave the job to his 16-year-old apprentice, Franz Sacher. What a lot of responsibility!  Today’s kids of that age would go running for a “safe place” from the challenge and whine that it was too much!  OK, maybe not ALL kids, but so many of them! Sad, isn’t it?  Franz was in his 2nd year of training in Metternich’s kitchen.  The Prince declared that evening “Let there be no shame on me tonight!”  The torte is reported to have delighted the Prince’s guests but didn’t get further attention right away.  Sacher finished his training as a chef and afterward spent time in Bratislava and Budapest, coming to settle back in his hometown of Vienna, where he opened a specialty delicatessen and wine shop. Sache’s oldest son Eduard followed in his father’s culinary footsteps, completing his own culinary education, taking the time to perfect his father’s recipe and develop the torte into its current form.  The cake was first served at the Demel and later at the Hotel Sacher and remains among the most famous of Vienna’s culinary specialties.  I found this recipe for a Sachertorte as interpreted by Wolfgang Puck from www.foodnetwork.com.  May be worth giving a try since it’s a delicacy created for royalty! We all deserve to be royal from time to time, right?

 

 December 6

Gazpacho Day – Hailing from Spain, gazpacho is basically classic tomato soup served cold. Pair it with crusty bread on the side or go traditional and add a few chunks into the pot.  I’ve never had Gazpacho, but to be honest, all of these pictures really remind me of salsa!  If any of you have ever had it, can you tell me if it’s similar?

Gotta run – Friday can’t be over until the workday is done! God bless you. I will try to get a weekend post up for you tonight.

 

Celebration list sources:

www.verseoftheday.com   www.brownielocks.com   www.holidayinsights.com   www.thenibble.com   www.foodimentary.com

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