~★~♥~♥~★~ El Morno! ♥~★~★~♥ ~
December 21, 2012
In the heart of every person on this Earth
burns the spark of luminous goodness;
in no heart is there total darkness.
May we who have celebrated this winter solstice,
by our lives and service, by our prayers and love,
call forth from one another the light and the love
that is hidden in every heart.
★~ Winter Solstice:
The celebration of the Winter Solstice is one of the oldest spiritual observances known to man. Ancient people were hunters and farmers and as such, the seasons and weather played a very important part in their lives. Winter was a very difficult time for inhabitants of the northern latitudes. As the growing season had ended, the tribe had to live off of stored food and whatever animals they could catch. Marking the progression of the sun, so that they could prepare for winter was both the foundation of their religion and a survival tool. Because of this, many ancient people had a great reverence for, and even worshipped the sun, the moon and nature. Their methods varied and their different cultural elements found in the traditions we uphold today.
The Norsemen of Northern Europe saw the sun as a wheel that changed the seasons. It was from their word for this wheel, houl, that the word Yule is thought to have come. At mid-winter the Norsemen lit bonfires to light the longer nights, told stories and drank sweet ale.
Another comes from the Romans. They also held a midwinter festival to celebrate the rebirth of the year. It was called Saturnalia ran for seven days starting the 17th of December. Their festival also involved decorating houses with greenery, lighting candles, holding processions and giving presents.
Before Christianity came to the British Isles, the Celts also celebrated the shortest day of the year. Celtic priests would cut the mistletoe that grew on the oak tree and give it as a blessing. Oaks were seen as sacred and the winter fruit of the mistletoe was a symbol of life in the dark winter months. It was also the Celts who had a the tradition of the Yule log, which was lit to conquer the darkness, banish evil spirits and bring luck for the coming year.
★~ Bah Humbug Day:
Everybody is entitled to 12 “Bah Humbugs” to vent your frustrations at this time of the year. . .
★~ Hamburger Day:
Have a Hamburger with your Bah Humbug today! . Hamburgers and cheeseburgers have been a staple of the American diet for decades! Though hamburgers were invented in Hamburg, Germany, eating the burger in a bun is actually an American innovation. The hamburger sandwich is said to have been invented in Seymour, Wisconsin. Evidence of Seymour’s history with the burger: each year the city hosts an annual hamburger festival called Burger Fest. The city also holds the record for the world’s largest hamburger. In 2001, a 8,266-pound burger was cooked at Burger Fest!
★~ Today in History:
♥~ 1913 – The first crossword puzzle was compiled by Arthur Wynne and published in a supplement to the New York World.
♥~ 1937 – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs film premiere anniversary. America’s first full-length animated feature film (and also the first Technicolor feature) premiered on this date at the Carthay Circle Theater, Hollywood, CA. The labor of love from Walt Disney—who for years wanted to create a feature-length cartoon—involved more than 750 artists and 1,500 colors in four years of development. The film features the classic songs “Some Day My Prince Will Come” and “Whistle While You Work.” Walt Disney received a special Oscar for Snow White—along with seven miniature Oscars. Can you name the seven recipients of the miniature Oscars?
♥~ 1966 – The Beach Boys received a gold record for the single, Good Vibrations. A-one, and a-two and… “…I’m pickin’ up good vibrations. She’s givin’ me excitations…”
♥~ 1967 – The Rolling Stones LP, Their Satanic Majesties Request, was released. It cost $50,000 to produce and came complete with a 3-D photograph of the Stones on the cover.
♥~ 1985 – Bruce Springsteen’s album, Born in the USA, passed Michael Jackson’s Thriller to become the second longest-lasting LP in the top 10. It stayed there for 79 weeks. Only The Sound of Music, with Julie Andrews, lasted longer: 109 weeks.
♥~ 1935 – Phil Donahue TV talk show host: Donahue; married to actress Marlo Thomas
♥~ 1937 – Jane Fonda Academy Award-winning actress: Coming Home , Klute ; Barbarella, The China Syndrome, Cat Ballou, They Shoot Horses Don’t They, On Golden Pond; ex-wife of Time-Warner’s Ted Turner; daughter of actor Henry Fonda; sister of actor Peter; exercise videos; Vietnam-era peace activist
♥~ 1940 – Frank Zappa musician, songwriter, singer: group: Mothers of Invention; Valley Girl [w/daughter Moon]
♥~ 1954 – Chris Evert tennis champion
♥~ 1955 – Jane Kaczmarek actress: Malcolm in the Middle
★~ Did You Know: It’s been one week since the massacre in Newtown, and Ann Curry’s #26acts campaign continues to zoom around the internet. Here are a few of the ways people from across the country (and the world) have made a difference in Newtown, Connecticut.
♥~ Tom Cavanaugh is a 911 dispatcher in Northridge, CA. On Monday morning, he called Newtown General Store to donate 100 cups of coffee to residents of Newtown. After he tweeted the General Store’s phone number, manager Peter Leone says that calls for donations came flooding in and haven’t let up. “One person sent a food platter to the funeral home staff,” and another ordered 600 teddy bears — one for the desk of each student at Sandy Hook Elementary for when classes resume in January. “It’s like a 180 from the way people felt last week after the tragedy. Our hearts are so full.” Leone says that he thinks the town needs prayer the most right now, but if you’d like to help in a tangible way, he suggests ordering gift cards: “We can take care of them quickly, and people can use them at their convenience for anything they need.” To donate a Newtown General Store giftc card, call the store directly at 203-426-9901.
♥~ One way the Connecticut PTSA is helping students in the wake of the school shooting relies entirely on the assistance of generous and crafty donors: they’re transforming Sandy Hook Elementary into a Winter Wonderland for returning students. So far, hundreds of handmade snowflakes in every shape and size have arrived at the state’s PTSA office, but they’re taking them all through January 12. For more information on the Snowflakes for Sandy Hook project or to make a monetary donation to the Connecticut PTSA, visit ctpta.org or call 203-281-6617.
♥~ DOrazio Sisters Bakery, a local business in Newtown that deals in Italian sweets and dinners has received — and is still receiving — an incredible amount of money for food to be delivered to the families of Sandy Hook victims, first responders, and staff and volunteers at various local groups. “It’s overwhelming,” she said; the store took in “a couple thousand dollars just yesterday” and the donations are “still coming every minute.” Those donations will be put to good use, too; the DOrazio sisters say they’ll “keep going until the money runs out, probably in January or February.” DOrazio Sisters Bakery will continue accepting donations and providing “meals and goodies for anyone in need” as long as there’s money coming in. You can help by donating a dollar or one hundred dollars, or anything between or beyond, to provide food for area families.
♥~ Project Linus is a beautiful charity that donates handmade blankets to children in need. The blankets themselves are usually donations from warm-hearted knitters and quilters, and dozens of people have tweeted about their donations to the project. But they aren’t the only few; a Project Linus representative told me that the incoming blanket donations were so vast and immediate that there is no longer a need for blankets in Newtown — by Monday, more than 800 children had received a handmade gift from the charity “because the donations came in so fast, we were already there.” However, don’t let that dissuade you from being involved. Project Linus, according to their rep, “always falls short on monetary donations,” which allow chapters to “ship the blankets to children and supplies to areas in need.” If you would like to help Project Linus with shipping and delivery costs, you can make a donation on the organization’s website. And if you would like to send a handmade blanket to any other chapter, those donations are always welcome, as well.
Odd Loves Company,