Two Great Days Rolled Into One – January 1st and 2nd – Lots To Celebrate!

Jan 2nd

Thank you everyone, for all of your understanding about me being late on day 1 of the year! We had a wonderful time with my parents, and two of my uncles and their wives.  I honestly can’t remember the last time all of us were together at the same time – probably not since I was in my early 20’s.  I hurried home and finished the celebrations from the 1st, and added today’s celebrations to it.  Happy reading!

 

 

 

 

 

New Year’s Day (1st) – Last night was when all of the fun and festivities hit (if you were young and energetic enough to actually stay up), when everyone sees the old year go by, and rings in the new.  I admit it.  I was sleeping when the New Year was born . . . but I did wait until it was 2014 on the east coast, so I hope that counts.  Today though, is a time to enjoy the start of a bright and promising new year.  We have a clean slate in front of us and the possibilities are wide open.  This is the time to know that we can put the past behind us and start out fresh.  Yes, each day is a new day, and we have each week as a fresh beginning to the week, and we have new months . . . but there’s nothing quite like the start of a new year.  If you are a resolution setter (I prefer goals or intentions over resolutions), then today would be the day to put those in motion.  So far so good for me, but it isn’t even 10:00 yet.  We’ll see how I do with carrying these forward.  Happy New Year to all of my wonderful readers.  May we paint a beautiful picture on the canvas of the year in front of us. 

Copyright Law Day  (1st) – This isn’t exactly an exciting one to celebrate, but it does have its practical purposes.  Without copyright laws there would end up being a lot of fighting over who owns what, what is fair usage of someone else’s ideas, and who owns what intellectual property.  I honestly think that people do take this way too far though.  I’ve heard of lawsuits where a company of person sues another company or person to stop using a certain picture, name or motto because it is SIMILAR to one used by the company doing the suing.  Seriously?  Because it is similar?  Get over yourselves! If your product, concept or whatever you have is worth it, people will remember no matter that other company uses something similar or not.  Geesh!  So, yes, we need to protect our ideas, logos, etc. but let’s not take things so far that we forget that there are a lot of people in the world and just because someone comes up with something close to yours, doesn’t mean they are actually going after your idea.  They very likely never even heard of you and thought their idea was new and original.

 

Ellis Island Day (1st) – There is no way that I can briefly do justice to this topic, especially not in a short period of time.  Ellis Island served as a gateway from other parts of the world to the United States from 1892 to 1954 – bringing over twelve million immigrants through just a small island in New York Harbor.  It is located in the upper bay, just off of the New Jersey coast, right in the shadow of the Stature of Liberty!  It started out 3.3 acres big, and over the years, after bringing in landfill and excess earth from the ballast of ships and the construction of the subway system, it grew to be 27.5 acres!  Before it was designated as the first Federal immigration station by President Benjamin Harrison in 1890, Ellis Island was known by more than one other name.  The local Indian tribes called it “Kioshk” – or Gull Island.  Because it had rich and abundant oyster beds, and profitable shad runs, it was known as Oyster Island for many generation during the Dutch and English colonial periods.  In the 1770s the island became the private property of Samuel Ellis, and it had already been known as not only Kioshk and Oyster Island, but Dyre island, Bucking Island and Anderson’s Island.  I couldn’t find a reason for those other names, at least not without taking longer for the research.  The island developed over time from a little sandy spot that barely rose above the high tide mark, into a hanging site for pirates, a harbor fort, an ammunition depot named Fort Gibson and eventually into an immigration station.  There is SOOOO much more to tell you, but honestly I just don’t think I can do it justice.  If you are interested in reading into this further, please check out this site, it has a lot of information that is fascinating about such an important piece of U.S. History.


 
 


First Foot Day (1st) – This is fascinating! I’ve never heard of this one, and don’t remember seeing it from last year.  See? They are always updating my resource lists!  First Foot Day marks the beginning of the New Year and it is said to bring luck.  This was a tradition that started in Scotland, and from what I’m reading there are families in the United States who celebrate it too, but I’m wondering if this is more prevalent on the east coast than here.  If anyone has ever celebrated this, I’d love to read your comments on it.  Anyway, for those of us who had never heard of it before, this is what this celebration is all about : The term “First Food” or “First Footing” comes from the first person to cross the threshold of a home on the first day of the New Year.  Years ago, for good luck, the first person to enter a home should have been a dark haired man.  When he knocked on your door he would have with him symbolic gifts of a silver coin, coal, shortbread, salt, and whiskey – for prosperity, warmth, food, flavor and good cheer.  Now the dark haired man could be a member of the household, but he had to be outside before midnight, and come back AFTER midnight.  If he goes out and back in after midnight, he’s just wasted a trip.   Apparently the dark haired part comes from the time of the Vikings – it wasn’t very good luck when a blond haired stranger arrived on your doorstep with a big axe.  And I can’t find out why, but apparently a female first foot is bad luck.  Go figure, right?

 

 

Mummer’s Parade (1st) – What’s a Mummer?  I had to answer that question before I could proceed!  Simply put, Mummers are entertainers in costume welcoming in the New Year!  OK, that’s easy enough.  Some of the earliest mummers date back to early Egypt, pagan Rome and Greece, England, Germany and France.  Every nation has had its festivals, each having parades and displays of fanciful costumes.  These have influenced customs and started many interesting traditions that have been passed down in each culture, from generation to generation. Eventually these traditions were brought to America by immigrants.  Now, the Philadelphia Mummery tradition started in the late 17th century – continuing Old World customs of bringing in the New Year.  Mummery in America is as unique to Philadelphia as Mardi Gras is to New Orleans.  In the beginning different neighborhood celebrations, all independent of each other, would go on everywhere o celebrate the new year.  By the 1870s though, those groups turned their celebrations into an area-wide parade with two main groups participating – Fancy Dress and Comic clubs.  The City of Philadelphia finally organized and sponsored the first official Mummers Parade on January 1, 1901!  How fun!

 

 



New Year’s Dishonor List Day (1st) – This one is awesome!  New Year’s Dishonor List was created by a group of people called the Unicorn Hunters and they sit around all year deciding which words and phrases are dishonorable to the English Language and should be deleted from it completely.  Now, personally I feel that such things live their short lifespans as fads and eventually fade away, so it would seem that it would be a bit of a waste of a year.  However, because there are so many truly annoying words and phrases, I can understand why someone would do this!  I couldn’t find the current list for this year quickly, but here are some words and phrases they decided were unworthy in the past.  Not sure I agree with all of them, but to each his/her own:

  • “partly sunny” — Apparently “partly sunny” does not always mean “the sun is partially covered by clouds”… It can also mean that there is a solar eclipse. Therefore, this phrase is dishonorable to the English language. (?)
  • “shower activity” — Rain is not the same thing as a shower. You shouldn’t encourage people to bathe in rain. *cough* Right.
  • “turned-up missing” — Something that has “turned-up” can’t be missing…. I guess….
  • “colorization” (coloring the classic black-and-white movies) — Why must there be a term like colorization? Why can’t we simply call it “coloring films”? (I, personally, think colorization is a really fun word and is preferable over “coloring films” any day. =D)


Run It Up The Flagpole And See If Anyone Salutes (2nd) – is an expression that literally means to put an idea out there and see what other people think about it, or if they even notice that you’ve done something.  Often you’ll hear people use this expression in advertising, or in the print media.  I don’t think I have personally ever heard someone use it, but someone, somewhere, thought it was an important enough expression that they set up today as the day to celebrate it.  Use today to try out something new in your life – doesn’t have to be limited to business – something you haven’t tried before.  See if anyone notices!  And even if they don’t, if you like it, stick with it.  It might just catch on. 

55-MPH Speed Limit Day  (2nd) – Today is the anniversary of the lowering of the speed limit nationwide to 55 mph, in 1972.  President Richard Nixon signed a bill into law that required every U.S. state to reduce speed limits to a maximum of 55 mph.  The bill came about because the federal government needed to spend federal highway money, or risk losing it.  The country was going through an energy crisis at the time, and there was fear that we would have fuel shortages.  People were told that a reduction in the speed limit would reduce the amount of fuel needed to run the cars.  With the way cars were built in 1972, this was theoretically true.  Now, with today’s cars it would end up burning MORE fuel because the vehicles wouldn’t be driven in at their optimal efficient speeds. 

National Buffet Day (2nd) – I enjoy a nice buffet as much as the next person, but I can’t help but think this one lands way too close to many people’s New Year’s resolution to lose weight!  BUT for the folks out there who are OK for having a food free-for-all, today is  YOUR day!  This one is about either hosting, or attending a buffet  of epic proportions – enjoy a spread that has enough food to keep anyone full for the entire day!  Sort of like our house at Thanksgiving!  I’ll pass on this one, since I’m trying to behave, but let me know how it goes for you, if you decide to indulge!

National Motivation and Inspiration Day (2nd) – After the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Congress passed House Resolution 308 on December 18, 2001 officially became National Motivation and Inspiration day.  The founder of the observance, Kevin L. McCrudden, said that he created it after 9-11 because in all of the loss, despair and sadness, he saw Americans working side by side to accomplish amazing things.  He said he has traveled all across the country over the past decade and has spoken to a lot of people and found out that many of them do not set up personal goals for themselves.  He felt it wasn’t right, that in a country as great as America, where truly almost anything is possible, that everyone should have their own personal goals or ambitions, and the beginning of a new year is a great time to start that process.  I have to say, I agree with him!

 

National Science Fiction Day This one is unofficially celebrated by many science fiction fans in the United States on January 2nd.  This date was chosen because it is the birthday of the famous science fiction writer Isaac Asimov.  It isn’t an official holiday, but it is recognized by organizations like the Hallmark Channel and by the Scholastic Corporation – so it’s at least a justifiable one for the science fiction buffs to celebrate, right?  I’ve never been a huge fan of reading science fiction books, but the occasional movie in that genre is a fun thing. 

This Day In History (1st) –

1735 – Paul Revere was born.
1878 – Emma M. Nutt became the first woman telephone operator.   1908 – The ball was first dropped at Times Square in New York City.

Food Celebration of the Day –

1st – National Bloody Mary Day – Welcome to a new year! What better way to embrace a red-eyed morning after a blowout night than with a tall glass of everyone’s favorite morning-after elixir?  This is my lovely daughter, serving my hubbies “Step-Dad Special”  Bloody Mary with Bacon to him for father’s day.  Her Bloody Marys are like a salad in a glass!

2nd – National Cream Puffs Day – Cream puffs, gougeres and eclairs come from the French dough called choux paste. Perfect the paste (or cheat a little) so you can enjoy light-as-a-cloud pastries.  (New diet – cream puffs day – OH MY GOODNESS!)

As we start in on the 2nd day of the month, I pray for each of us that we set our goals and reach them, that we have peace in our hearts, lives, families and jobs, and that we look forward to celebrating each new day with enthusiasm, hope and joy.  God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow!

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