New Year’s Eve

Do you have a New Year’s Eve tradition that you do every year? I mean something more than setting resolutions that we know we won’t keep (or well I know I won’t keep them anyways).

New Year's Eve

I know that I do like most and start the new year off with the best of intentions. After a few weeks though, routine sets in again and I mean last year’s routine, not the one I have worked so hard on for the last two weeks.  So this year, I am not setting any resolutions. I will be plotting out my goals for the year ahead instead. I tend to actually achieve those. The resolutions not so much.

As for my goals for next year, tonightI will be working on putting them down on paper. I know a few things that I will continue to work on from this year such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Followers
  • Weight loss
  • Slowing down

Other than that, at the moment, I’m sure what other goals I will need yet. I will be working on this tonight though.

New Year's Eve

I am looking forward to the start of the new year. Are you?  I hope so. This year has got to be better than last year was. We dealt with so many things it was ridiculous.

  1. My Dad in the hospital started the year out.  a
  2. Aarron’s broken leg
  3. Kira’s moving out.
  4. Kira’s moving back in.
  5. Kira’s pregnancy.

Should I keep going? Yes, it’s been a rough year and I’m glad to see it go. All negativity aside though, a lot of good things happened too. Aarron’s projects are moving along nicely (finally). Hopefully we can get a few of them done this year. My garden is still growing well in the greenhouse Aarron got me this year. I am hoping to have some pumpkins soon.

Sorry, a little jumbled today. lol. I wanted to talk about traditions for New Year’s Eve. Do you have any traditions that you do every year at this time. We usually have black eyed peas and ham with cornbread for dinner.  This is supposed to bring you luck in the new year. Here’s to hoping it works.

What are your traditions?

Have a great day!

Renee

Christmas Day

Have you ever wondered where Christmas Day came from? Would you believe that it really isn’t the day that Jesus was born?

Where did our Christmas day traditions come from? Well, the holiday started as a Pagan holiday. The winter solstice was a time to celebrate the rebirth of the sun. As the days begin to get longer and the land reawakens in spring.  Of course, no one really knows when Jesus was born. However, some clues given in the Bible seem to suggest summer or fall as travel during winter in that time was very difficult.

So, how did Christmas come to be? Well, the Romans celebrated Saturnalia around this time of year. Would you believe this is where the Christmas tree came from?  It was customary for Saturnalia, to bring a tree inside and adorn it with stars and and suns. One would also hand greenery around windows and doors. Again this was a celebration of to honor the God of Sowing, Saturn.

Krampus http://homeandlovingit.com

The Germans celebrate Krampusnacht. A horned devil, Krampus, punishes the children who have been naughty with a switch.  It is thought that this was a celebration of a horned god of the Pagans. Some stories say that Santa Claus gave gifts to the good children and Krampus punished the naughty children.  I don’t know about you, but I think with the image above, I would have been a good child growing up.

Santa Claus http://homeandlovingit.com

Yule, is celebrated by the Vikings. The yule celebration was to celebrate Odin. Odin would ride around the world on an 8-legged horse to deliver presents. This is where Santa’s 8 reindeer came from. The Christmas ham represents the boar that Freya rides.

Odin, do you see the resemblance to Santa Claus?

St. Nicholas was a bishop in Turkey who would give presents of gold to the poor. One story states that he dropped the gold down the chimney and it landed in a stocking that had been hung to dry (this is why we hang stockings at Christmas). This story, over the years morphed into “Sinterklaas” which later became Santa Claus.

When Christianity began to take hold, Christmas was actually banned because it was a Pagan holiday. However, the priest’s found that if the holidays overlapped, people would be more likely to convert to Christianity. So, Christmas is actually a Pagan holiday and not the day that Jesus was born. Who would’ve thought?

So anyways, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday, no matter what you celebrate!

Happy Yule

Renee

References:

http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/saturnalia/a/saturnalia.htm

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yuletraditions/p/Krampusnacht.htm

http://www.whychristmas.com/customs/fatherchristmas.shtml

Christmas Eve

What are your Christmas Eve traditions? I would love to hear them. We usually all get together for dinner and do a present exchange with just my immediate family. I would love to say this is a small intimate gathering, but I have too many brothers and sisters for that…lol.

 

This has always been my favorite time of year. The Christmas spirit is strong within me. I love the music, I love getting together with my family (no matter how crazy we are), and I just love the general feeling of the time of year. I am all for giving this time of year. I have tried to instill in my children that this time should be about what you can do for others rather than what you get.

I know with the way of the world now, this is not an easy task to complete and I have had many challenges over the years in trying to instill this in my kids. Of course, like every other child here, my kids always wanted the biggest and best, newest things on the market. I think that now that my kids are older, they really understand the meaning behind Christmas.

As for the meaning, I am not talking about the birth of Jesus here. I am talking about the good will toward men. I only wish this could be something we see all year round now. Any how, I hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday!

Again, what are your traditions for this Christmas season? I’d love to hear them.

Have a great day!

Renee

Veteran’s Day

Veteran’s Day is a day to remember and thank those who have served in any branch of the military for our country. My father is one of them.

Veteran's Day My Dad

The picture above is of my father now and the picture below is when he was in the Air Force. He sent this picture home to his mom when it was taken. My Aunt sent it back to him when his mom passed away some years ago. Of course he served many years ago, I am still very proud to call him my father. I care for my father now that he is getting older and I love to hear his stories from when he was in the Air Force.

Veteran's Day My Dad

 

I want to thank every man and woman who has taken the risk of standing up for our country. These are very brave people. Please take a moment today to remember those who have passed and to thank those who are still among us. They made the biggest sacrifice by serving our country. They deserve our respect. Veteran's Day

So on this day, I say Thank you to every man and woman who has served our country.

Veteran's Day My Dad

 

I would love to see people you know that have served our country or to hear your stories. I hope everyone has a wonderful Veteran’s Day.

Have a great day!

Renee

Halloween/ Samhain – What is it?

Halloween started as the Pagan holiday Samhain. This is the celebration of the new year in Paganism. However, it’s slowly be changed into a wonderful children’s holiday here in the United States.

Samhain/Halloween

Samhain

So, how did this holiday come about? Well it appears to have started as Celtic Pagan tradition of celebrating what is the new year. The harvest should be done by now so everyone would come together to have a feast and celebrate the ability to rest a little bit over the winter months. Treats came about because the veil between the living and the dead is at it’s thinnest on Samhain and treats are put out to appease these spirits.

Samhain/halloween-decorations

This became the tradition of giving out treats to the children that we follow today. During this time, one could possibly see and/or talk to ancestors much easier than most nights because the veil is so thin on this night. This is one of the major Celtic holidays or Sabbats of the year for the Pagan tradition.

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In this Celtic tradition, started in what is now Ireland, feasts were held to honor the dead and celebrate the end of the harvest. It is also believed that Celtics would dress up in costumes to scare away the evil spirits. So, how did Samhain become Halloween as we know it today?

Halloween

pumpkins

On Samhain, people would go door to door collecting food that would be repaid on All Soul’s Day. This practice was called “souling” and it is this practice that turning into trick or treating. This change occurred because Christians felt that converting some of the holidays of the Pagans would help their transition to Christianity rather then just banning their rituals outright. The Jack-o-Lantern became a tradition because it was used to scare away “Stingy Jack’s” spirit on Halloween. Stingy Jack, according to the legend sold his soul to Satan, but in the end tricked him and he kept his soul. However, when he passed, God would not let him into Heaven so it is thought that Stingy Jack is stuck between Heaven and Hell.

And that is how Halloween came to be. It is a mix of Pagan and Christian rituals.

Have a great day!

Renee

Resource:

https://www.bu.edu/today/2013/how-did-halloween-get-started/

https://www.thesun.co.uk/living/1959803/how-did-halloween-start-what-does-it-mean/

Columbus Day

Is Columbus Day going away? It definitely sounds like it will be. For Americans, Columbus Day celebrates Christopher Columbus and his “finding America”. However, have you ever asked an American Indian what he or she thinks of Christopher Columbus?

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Several places are beginning to move away from Columbus Day because most indigenous people don’t much care for Christopher Columbus. And who can blame them. They were here, living happily (for the most part) until Christopher Columbus showed up.  Christopher Columbus landed in America bringing with him diseases that these people had not encountered before and war and death.

Is there any wonder why they don’t like Christopher Columbus? He came and changed their whole way of living. Well not him per say, but people who came here after him.

Places are switching to Indigenous People’s Day instead to honor those who were here before us. In doing this we are no longer celebrating a time of genocide for the Native American’s but rather honoring their sacrifice and way of living.

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After all, they were here first.  This was their land first. We need to support Native American’s and help them when and where we can. Only some places are making this switch though. I think it’s great personally that we can celebrate their culture and way of life. It’s about time.

How will you be celebrating today? Are you in a place that is celebrating Indigenous People’s Day? How did your city or state celebrate it?  I’d love to hear from you.

Have a great day!

Renee

Reference:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/09/living/columbus-day-feat/index.html

 

What is Labor Day

So, over the years I have heard many reasons for why Labor Day came into existence. I’ve heard that it had something to do with the military or that it was just a day given for all to have a day off and several other suggestions as well. So, I decided to do some research to see what this holiday is really for.

Photo from: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwicgMe88fbOAhUI_WMKHQCOCkkQjB0IBg&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.publicdomainpictures.net%2Fview-image.php%3Fimage%3D188437%26picture%3Dlabor-day&bvm=bv.131783435,d.cGc&psig=AFQjCNG6QCpvF-_c-hT6jVvwouYkO_Skcg&ust=1473118839002923 Photo from: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwicgMe88fbOAhUI_WMKHQCOCkkQjB0IBg&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.publicdomainpictures.net%2Fview-image.php%3Fimage%3D188437%26picture%3Dlabor-day&bvm=bv.131783435,d.cGc&psig=AFQjCNG6QCpvF-_c-hT6jVvwouYkO_Skcg&ust=1473118839002923%5B/caption%5D

According to The United States Department of Labor, Labor day began in New York on September 5, 1882. By 1885, it was being celebrated in many other towns across the country. However, it was not made a federal holiday until 1894. Also according to The United States Department of Labor, this is a “working man’s” holiday. So, I guess my next question would be, why are there still places open on Labor Day? Yes, I know the answer to this. Money!

Photo from: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.someecards.com%2Fusercards%2Fviewcard%2FMjAxMy1lNThiMGRiODE5NTYwNmIx&bvm=bv.131783435,d.cGc&psig=AFQjCNG6QCpvF-_c-hT6jVvwouYkO_Skcg&ust=1473118839002923 Photo from: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.someecards.com%2Fusercards%2Fviewcard%2FMjAxMy1lNThiMGRiODE5NTYwNmIx&bvm=bv.131783435,d.cGc&psig=AFQjCNG6QCpvF-_c-hT6jVvwouYkO_Skcg&ust=1473118839002923%5B/caption%5D

So, keep this in mind if you do go to a restaurant on Labor Day. Remember this is supposed to be a holiday for ALL working men and women, but because these places know they will make good money on this holiday, they are open. Personally, we are going to do a cookout here with hambergers and hotdogs rather than make someone else work for us.

How do you plan on spending your Labor Day? I would love to hear how you will spend or did spend the day.

Have a great day!

Renee

P.S. I got my information from The United States Department of Labor

Memorial Day

 

Photo from Bing Images
Photo from Bing Images

Memorial is for the dead, not the living. What I mean by this is that Memorial Day is a day set aside to remember those who lost their lives while serving our country. Some service men will become upset when someone wishes them a “happy Memorial Day” because the is Veteran’s day is for, to remember and thank those living who have or are serving their country. I know that I have already seen my son post this on Facebook that Memorial Day is to remember those who lost their lives serving the country and not those serving today or who served in the past.

Last year I had the opportunity to visit the Moving Vietnam Memorial Wall. I could not believe all the names on that wall. It was a wonderful trip and I hope that anyone would go if the chance arises because it is an experience I will not likely forget.

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I remember walking up to the wall and thinking that it was so quiet there even though the road was only about 100 yards or so away. It was very peaceful. People were leaving pictures and mementos for their loved ones who had been lost during the Vietnam War.

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So I want everyone to remember that today is to remember those who lost their lives protecting and serving for us. Have a cookout or a picnic, but take the time to thank those who lost their lives defending the freedom we have today.

Have a great day!

Renee

Letter to my Mom

Mom,

First I want to say Happy Mother’s Day! I love you!

mom

I know we haven’t always gotten along the greatest, but you are my Mom and I do love you. I miss the way we used to get along when I was younger. I’m sure I was much easier to handle back then, before I found my mouth. Dad says we don’t get along well because we are too much alike. I don’t think that is the case because you are so strong, I am not.

I know that things have gotten better between us these last years, and I am so thankful for that. I hope that we continue to get better with each other as the time goes. I guess I wish that you call more often just to see how things are going ( I know that goes both ways). I just never know when a good time to call is.

 

From left to right: my brother Aaron, My mom, and Mike (her husband)
From left to right: my brother Aaron, My mom, and Mike (her husband)

Anyways, I just wanted to make sure you know that I am thinking about you today and wish you the best Mother’s Day. I love you Mom!

Love always,

Renee

Beltane

I’m pretty sure everyone has heard of May Day which occurs on May 1st, but did you know that this day is also known as Beltane to the pagans? This day falls in between the winter and summer solstice. The May Day or Beltane festival is basically a party to celebrate the union of the God and Goddess. It is a time of fire and fertility.

 May 1, 2013 in Glastonbury, England. Photo from: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/beltanemayday/ht/MaypoleDance.htm
May 1, 2013 in Glastonbury, England.
Photo from: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/beltanemayday/ht/MaypoleDance.htm

This is when the earth begins to wake up and be renewed. This is the time of planting so there is available food for the year. The celebrations usually start on the night before with huge bonfire. The Maypole dance begins around sunrise on the 1st of May.

It appears that this custom started in Britain and lasted for many years until the Puritanical leaders decided this was not the way to celebrate the rebirth of life. In the nineteenth century, the tradition itself had a rebirth of sorts. A man by the name of John Ruskin brought the tradition back by placing Victorian Maypoles for the church festivities of May Day.

<> on May 1, 2013 in Glastonbury, England. Photo from:http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/beltanemayday/ht/MaypoleDance.htm
<> on May 1, 2013 in Glastonbury, England.
Photo from:http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/beltanemayday/ht/MaypoleDance.htm

However, this time around, there was still dancing around the May Pole, but not with the wild abandon of years before. The dance was more organized and structured this time so as to be more family friendly.

For Pagans, this celebration is about life! The earth is awakening, and we give thanks to the God and the Goddess in hopes of strong crops, healthy animals, and new life all around.

Heck what better reason to hold a bonfire! I believe in the Southern Hemisphere this holiday is in Oct 31-Nov 1 due to the seasons being different from us here in the Northern Hemisphere. This is a celebration of new life and renewal of the earth. The union of the God and Goddess bring about this change and this holiday celebrates that union. It’s a fun day full of festivities and dancing and good food. What more could a person ask for?

Have a great day!

Renee

It’s St. Patrick’s Day!

Photo from: http://meddic.jp/shamrock
Photo from: http://meddic.jp/shamrock

Have you ever wondered how St. Patrick’s started? Well it appears that St. Patrick’s Day actually started as a roman catholic holiday to recognize St. Patrick (who died on the 17th of March) who entered the priesthood at the age of twenty after escaping from slave traders (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/st-patricks-day-2016_us_56e99e81e4b0b25c91842a6b).

Photo from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Saint_Patrick_(window).jpg
Photo from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Saint_Patrick_(window).jpg

 

This holiday celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish. Celebrations include parades, the wearing of green, and for some going to church. The Shamrock became the symbol of St. Patrick’s Day because it is said that St. Patrick used the three leaf plant to help explain the Holy Trinity: The Father, The Son, The Holy Ghost. I can see how hard this would be as one would try to explain the three as one. The use of the three leaf clover would help those to understand how this could be.

Lent is often lifted on this day as one usually has a grand feast of corned beef and cabbage with green beer. Seeing how this holiday started as a Roman catholic holiday, it came to United States with Irish immigrants as a way of keeping their heritage even though they were no longer in Ireland.

So, make sure you wear your green today so the leprechauns won’t pinch you. I hope everyone has a great day and that there is not much trouble from all the drinking…lol.

Have a great day!

Renee

It’s St. David’s Day!

So, What is St. David’s Day anyway?

Photo from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/wales/12179304/Happy-St-Davids-Day-Who-was-St-David-patron-saint-of-Wales.html
Photo from:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/wales/12179304/Happy-St-Davids-Day-Who-was-St-David-patron-saint-of-Wales.html

From what I can tell St. David is a patron of Wales. He lived there for many years and died on March 1st. This is why the patron is celebrated on this day. It is said that he lived a very simple life and taught people to abstain from meat and beer. It is reported that he lived to be over 100 years old.

St. David founded about 12 monasteries in his time and became the archbishop in Jerusalem. His most notable miracle was during his preaching at the Synod of Brefi. The people in back could not hear him and the ground began to tremble and raised him up on a hill so that all could hear him better.

St. David was poisoned by monks at his monastary and lived. He also restored the sight of his tutor. He is thought to have died on March 1st in 589 AD and was buried at his cathedral in Pembrokshire.

St. David was named the St. patron of Wales in the 12th century and was canonised by Pope Callixtus in 1120.

The Leek became a welsh symbol after the battle against the Saxons because he told all Welsh warriors to wear a leek around the neck so that they could tell the Saxons from themselves. They won this battle.

Today, St. David’s Day is celebrated in Wales with parades and by wearing either the national symbol of Wales, the daffodil or a leek. Many times traditional costumes of Wales are worn and children celebrate through dance, poems, and folk song. Concerts are general held at the schools.

So, what is St. David’s Day? It is a welsh holiday to celebrate St. David who actually lived in the area for most of his life.

Have a great day!

Renee

The information for this post is from: St. David’s Day 2016

Christmas!

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I think this is my favorite time of year! I love Christmas time and it’s not because we get things either. It just seems to me that most people seem to be in a better mood most of the time. This is a blessed time of year. Living in a small camper trailer I don’t have the luxury of a full size tree so I got the Charlie Brown version this year LOL (with a few more limbs on it though).

So this month, instead of a recipe on Wednesday I am hoping to do a DIY gift or decorations for the house. In that spirit today me and my daughter put together a wreath with items from the dollar store. I think the total cost of this was about $5.00.

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This is what I got at the dollar store. To decorate the wreath it’s very easy. Just cut the longer stems off the flowers and picks and stick them in through the branches of the wreath. If you have some that won’t stay in just use green twine, twist ties, or something similar to tie them in.

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This only took about 20 minutes to put together.

Have a great day!

Renee

Halloween

Photo from: www.pioneerfarms.org
Photo from: www.pioneerfarms.org

Happy Halloween to all!

Have you ever wondered where Halloween came from? I know that I have so I had to look it up. I found a lot of different information such as: the Pagans started it, roman churches started it, and children in general started it by performing tricks in return for treats.

However the one that appears to ring true to me is the Pagans started it. Now I’m not talking about wicked witches or devil worship here, but people who consider themselves Pagan. These people are not evil or bad in any way. In fact most of the are just like you and me. This time of year marks the change from the warmer part of the year to the colder part of the year. Pagans celebrate this time of year with rituals. These rituals contain time with family, large feasts with the community, and celebrating the lives of those who have passed on. (I hope that if any find any incorrect information he or she would email me at renee@homeandlovingit.com to inform me of my mistake. I am going by what I have been able to find online).

Halloween marks the day that the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest point. So it is thought that communication with the dead and the celebrations of the dead will be witnessed by those that have passed on. Halloween started as Samhain (pronounced Saah-win or Sah-ween). This holiday was celebrated any time from October 31 to around November 6th. This marked the end of the harvest and the beginning of the colder months. According to Circle Sanctuary, this is the beginning of the new year. It is a time to remember the dead and embrace life. You can find the full article from Circle Sanctuary here.

Renee