Tag Archive | good health

It’s Time to Say Thank You

Every fourth Thursday of November, families gather around tables to share a special meal which usually involves turkey. This ONE day was declared a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln so Americans could give thanks for their their blessings. But in recent years, Thanksgiving has lost its punch because the holiday now finds itself buried under “Black Friday” shopping ads. Some stores even open on Thursday afternoon with their door buster sales. Am I  nuts to think this is nuts? Are we Americans really that eager to join throngs of frantic people rushing from store to store before the leftovers are even refrigerated?

Personally, I like to give each holiday its due. Face it, we only have one Easter, one 4th of July, one Memorial Day, one Labor Day, one Veteran’s Day and one Halloween per year. Why rush it all?

It seems holidays in general have become little more than a day off for over-worked employees, except of course, the poor people who have to work on the holidays because heaven forbid the stores might lose a couple of bucks in revenue if they shut their doors. Bah Humbug!

I’m old enough to remember when stores were NOT open on Sundays. We took twenty-four hours to just relax. If we needed a gallon of milk, well, we stocked up on Saturday or waited until Monday to refill the frig. Nobody died because we didn’t have enough milk. But that was before companies studied the 40-hour week and found it was more efficient to put people on 4-day work schedules for ten hours and rotate them during the rest of the month. Luckily, I didn’t ever have to work such crazy hours, but my daughter now does. And I tell you, she looks tired all of the time.

We also waited for every holiday and enjoyed the festivities connected with each. The world was slower than, and frankly, speeding up the pace of living has turned most of us into nervous wrecks. I jumped off that merry-go-round about seven years ago with a premature retirement and to tell you the truth, I haven’t missed the helter-skelter world at all.

I just think it isn’t too much to ask to take one day out of the year and make a point of looking at your life and finding things to be thankful for. I understand sometimes when the bottom has dropped out of your world, this task can be more challenging. We’ve all been there. But I suggest if you don’t go hungry, have a roof over your head, and don’t have to fear a bomb will hit your house, bow your head and say “Thanks.”

 

 

Understanding the Chinese New Year

chinese dragon animatedLiving in Wisconsin, the Chinese New Year comes and goes with little fanfare. But across the world, it’s a really big deal. I got to wondering about this two-week celebration and went out into the Internet-land for a little research. I’m sure all of you are teeming with curiosity, too, right?

This year, the Year of the Water Dragon is celebrated from January 23, 2012 – February 09, 2013. The Water Dragon is a symbol of good fortune and a sign of intense personal power. In my book, it should be a great year.

In my research, I found a wonderful website called, “Mirth and Motivation,” and found a wonderful article about the yearly celebration. Here’s an article that Elizabeth Obih-Frank posted: http://eof737.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/happy-chinese-new-year-ten-blessings-ten-things-to-know/. I thought it to be most interesting.

If you don’t have time to read the article, here’s the “Cliff Notes.”

  • The tradition of the holiday is to forget and forgive old grudges you’ve been lugging around for the past year. Then you SINCERELY wish peace and happiness to EVERYONE. How cool is that if everyone could do it? After all, there would be no more war if there were no grudges, right?
  • The color RED is very important in Chinese culture. Is it a symbol for prosperity. (Makes me want to go out and buy a completely red wardrobe. Maybe that will bring some prosperity into my life instead of his ugly brother poverty.)
  • One of the most important tradition of the holiday is to have a special meal with friends and family. I find this very interesting that throughout human history, sitting down and sharing a meal is an integral part of our holidays. Just try to think of one where eating together is not important. Even Jesus had a “Last Supper.”
  • Finally, firecrackers are lit to drive away the evil spirits because the bad guys don’t like loud noises. I think firecrackers would also drive away pesky, bothersome critters. (Perhaps I should pass this tip along to my friend, Bob, who is battling neighborhood squirrels because the little varmints are eating his gourmet bird seed.)

So to all, I wish you peace and happiness for the Chinese New Year–but I don’t need a holiday to do that. I do that everyday.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!