Dec 24, 2015

Wishing All a Very Merry Christmas

I wish all a Merry Christmas from the Old Glory Shoppe, and I would like to remind folks the reason for the season with this quotation:
"2 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Dec 18, 2015

NORAD Continues Tradition of Tracking Santa

At Maggie's Notebook, you can read about the history of NORAD [North American Aerospace Defense Command] that has been continuous since 1955, when CONAD (later renamed NORAD) began receiving phone calls from children to relay their Christmas wish list.
As time went on the tradition continued and today there is a website where anyone can track where Santa is on Christmas Eve and other goodies at the NORAD official site.
Every year they ask for volunteers to perform traditional duties at NORAD for Santa Claus, who has his own website.

Dec 16, 2015

Christmas: It is about Caring and its 'Ripple' Effect

"A simple act of caring creates an endless ripple"
One of my favorite Christmas songs is If Everyday Could Be Christmas. This video was about a birthday present, but it represents the spirit of Christmas, which should be the spirit 365 days.
To pass on good will and have the spirit of Christmas, one need not be a Christian or possess belief in any religion. It falls under the ancient golden rule, of which was encouraged by an influential person by the name of Jesus of Nazareth:
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. - [Book of Matthew 7:12]
The birth of that same person is honored today, continued many centuries later on a day called Christmas (Crissmas).

Dec 15, 2015

"A Soldier's Christmas" by Michael Marks

Got this poem in email from friend, originally published at Lighthouse Journal who found the author, so here it is - a poem about Christmas and pretty good.
Found at Viet Vet site entitled 

A Soldier’s Christmas by Michael Marks.

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light, 
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight. 
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest, 
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest. 
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white, 
Transforming the yard to a winter delight. 


Dec 14, 2015

Have Yourself A Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah

Christmas is not just a holiday, nor is it just a time for Christmas Mass (derived Latin name of Christ Mass), but it is nothing tangible in the gist of this special holiday - it is time of uplifting spirits and hope. It is a time when we put aside the worries and strife of life that continues throughout the year, a time of family festivities and the feeling of good will. It is a spirit above and beyond the trappings of religious doctrine and religious rites. You do not have to even be a Christian to experience this holiday of joy that welcomes in a New Year, hoping it will be better than the last. It is no wonder that people wish that Christmas could be every day of the year.
Some holidays are melancholy, and so Christmas can be for those lonely and far away from home; or expierience an unfortunate tragedy - but the special spirit of Christmas can even touch those hearts - thinking of the good times, past and present.
I salute those military personnel, Christian or not, that have chosen to serve and be in places other than their home and family. I thank them for their service and hope that the next Christmas in the coming year brings them home, safely to their families to enjoy the fellowship that only a family unit can bring. May there be more blessings to all in this coming New Year

Dec 13, 2015

Christmas Turkey, English Style - Gordon Ramsay

Tradition to England and the UK country-states for Christmas dinner has been the goose. Depicted in the Christmas tale entitled A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens with main character Ebenezer Scrooge, the Christmas goose was a must have main dish. Americans have been serving turkey on holidays, especially Thanksgiving, since the 1600s when North America was colonized by the English.
Sometime after the English colonized North America, the American turkey, not found in Europe, was imported and raised for dinner tables. Eventually, the turkey pretty much took the place of the goose for Christmas dinner, especially after the Victorian era. 
The video following the recipe shows how Gordon Ramsay (has 24 restaurants worldwide) prepares and cooks his Christmas turkey that includes how to make his fabulous onion and bacon turkey gravy. Some families have turkey on both American holidays, while others serve lamb, roast beef, or ham for Christmas. In the UK, Thanksgiving Day is not celebrated, making Christmas the big feasting holiday.

Dec 12, 2015

History of the Winter Festival and Christmas

The United States, as a young nation, gathered traditions from the Old World, especially from Mother England and the United Kingdom. As a colony, British, Dutch and German traditions were intertwined in many colonial American communities beginning with the first traditions of Thanksgiving in remembrance of the first colonists and Native Americans. Christmas and New Year traditions is no exception.

In the British Isles, before Christianity became established, as in Rome and Constantinople. the trappings and basic festivity of what became the Twelve Days of Christmas it was the celebration of the Winter Solstice, a Celtic tradition complete with yule logs, holly, and other decorations and festivities. The modern tradition of a Christmas tree comes from Germany, Tannebaum.

Dec 11, 2015

Victorian Era: 1837 to 1901

Queen Victoria
Much has been written about the Victoria Era, a period of history named after Queen Victoria that lasted from 1837 to 1901 in England. It's culture, architecture and fashion extended to America as well. Indeed, it had become an international culture for a time.
It was a part of the Industrial Revolution that jump started Western civilization into the modern world with technology and innovation. Britain and the United States as well as other places in Europe were a part of the beginning of the industrial age. It brought good things and also brought bad things, like child labor. The world was changing and it was occurring quickly in terms of historical events. Science was unraveling mysteries and new discoveries and techniques were part of it in many areas of science that included medicine, archaeology, astronomy, et cetera. It also ushered in a period where people were interested in the paranormal, sometimes fascinated with not just death, but researching life after death.
It was a time of prosperity as well as poverty. Victorian writers wrote about the society, the paranormal, scientific and archaeological discoveries; as well as the series of inventions that took place during that period. Christmas traditional celebration and decorations were boosted during the Victorian era. Hollywood made films about the era with films like "Meet Me in St. Louis". It was during this era that Christmas cards were handmade and stationary companies started printing them for the season.

RECALL: Savage Arms B.MAG .17 Caliber Rifle Bolt

Savage Arms has announced a product safety recall for a limited number of B.MAG .17 WSM rifle bolts. It had been discovered that the bolt on some B.MAG rifles may contact the safety button and push it forward into the “fire” position. Savage has received no reports of accidents due to this problem, but the gunmaker has established a website ( and a hotline: 844-784-3301 – where customers can identify whether they own an affected firearm. Refrain from using Savage B.MAG rifles until it is determined whether a retrofit is necessary. Only B.MAGs with a serial number below J800928 are included in this recall.

The Christmas Truce of 1914

I just watched the film Joyeux Noel (Merry Christmas) about the miracle of a Christmas Eve truce of three armies, an historical event. The film was produced in France in 2005, of which has English subtitles. It was well done and I recommend viewing it. One of the actors, Ian Richardson, portraying the bishop, was his last film before his death. The film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 78th Academy Awards.