1, Issue 6
Names for the Same Thing...
is a month buried under blankets of snow. Everywhere
we look, holiday lights in all colors are twinkling.
Inside, kitchens far and wide are preparing to create
delectable confections to share with loved ones. The
main holidays in December are Christmas, Chanukah, and
Kwanza. Traditionally, these holidays were called the
Winter Solstice, Candlemas, Michaelmas, Yuletide, or
Yule, depending on what region you lived in. This is
a time when the waxing Sun overcomes the waning Sun
and the shortened days begin to grow longer. This seasonal
change is symbolized in many different beliefs systems.
Pagans celebrate the Oak King overcoming the Holly King
in Battle - the rebirth of spring triumphing over the
death of winter. Witches celebrate the Goddess preparing
to give birth to the God. Sound familiar? In fact, modern
day Christianity borrowed most of their Yule traditions
from pagan practices. Christmas trees, wreathes, gift
giving, mistletoe, Yule logs, and even celebrating the
birth of the Son - all came from times before Christianity
even existed. Even Chanukah and Kwanza have similar
roots. They are both festivals of light overcoming darkness
and death. Nowadays, an aging man with a white beard
symbolizes the old dying year in the form of Father
Time or Santa Claus. And the New Year is symbolized
by a newborn babe in the form of Baby New Year or Jesus
Christ. With the world in the state that it is in today,
try to take a moment to realize that all of us essentially
came from the same place and that our beliefs, though
coming with different names, all share the same message.
Let's all try to stop focusing on the differences between
us, and try to see all the many ways that we are the
from 1 to 92"
Full moon in December is called the Oak Moon. Astrologically,
the first two weeks of December are an ideal time for
healing and reconnecting with family. Start a new tradition!
Make a family altar in a prominent place in your home.
Have objects, pictures, etc., to represent all the members
of the family. Add some vanilla candles or other relaxing
scents like lavender. Whenever the hustle and bustle
of the season start to get you down, stop a moment at
the Family Alter and remember what the Holiday are really
about - peace, love, and family. Little ones are getting
very excited and often get underfoot. While older household
members are trying to do a hundred things at once in
preparation for the Big Day. Let the kids help out in
a special way that will make them happy and give you
some peace at the same time! Suggest they make a Milly
Box. They can decorate shoe or plastic boxes with pictures
and symbols of the Holiday, like candles, nativity scenes,
God/dess images, etc. Then, let the kids fill the boxes
with holly and other ever-greenery. Put the boxes in
a high traffic area like by the front door. When visitors
come over, let the kids tell them to leave a coin in
the box and take some greenery to put in their wallets
and purses. When the box starts to look full of coins,
let the kids choose a charity to donate to. This tradition
ensures that all involved experience a very prosperous
easy this time of year to get so wrapped up in shopping and
planning, that we forget to enjoy what we are working so hard
for. Relax! Stop and take a breath. There are so many little
ways we can enjoy the Holiday and make it memorable for our
families. Ways that don't cost much and don't take hours to
prepare for. Take a walk outside. Play with the kids in the
snow. If you can find some clean snow make yummy Snow Cream*!
If you don't have kids, make snowmen or sculptures on your
own (pour water over the sculptures so they will freeze overnight
and last for weeks)! And after the sun sets, get everyone
to dress in cozy PJs, hop in the car, pop in some holiday
music and grab hot cocoa. Then drive around the neighborhood
looking at holiday lights and decorations. If spontaneity
isn't your thing, check your town's local website for ideas
like the PNC
Art Center. They have an annual lights display they do
every year. Some businesses also have free holiday displays,
like the Candyland Christmas Village on Brick Boulevard. Check
with your local churches and see who has craft fairs or even
live nativity scenes. Write a letter to Santa Claus (no matter
how old you are). Stop by malls to see the displays and of
course to see Santa - just leave the credit cards at home.
These are the things you and your family will remember, not
how many packages where under the tree or how many lumps where
in the gravy. More than anything, your family and friends
will remember the warm happy, feelings they get just spending
time with you!
one bowl per person)
1 bowl of snow
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar (to taste)
ingredients but the cream until mushy. Then add the cream
a bit at a time and stir until it looks like a slushy. Serve
immediately and enjoy! Make it even more fun by adding food
coloring or bits of chocolate or pieces of peppermint candy
canes. You are only limited by your imagination!
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If you are looking to create a website or having trouble keeping up
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Model Railroad Club, Inc. (TMRCI)
One of the oldest Model Railroad clubs in the USA. Located
at the A.Paul Mallery Model Railroad Center in Union County, Union,
NJ. It is open to the public on Saturdays from 1pm to 4pm. There
is an admission fee, on Saturdays of $5.00 per adult ($4.00
Seniors) and $3.00 per child. You have to see it!
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