- November1-Bra Day-Whatever you do don't burn your bra today: This holiday commemorates the date that Mary Jacob invented the first modern brassiere, circa 1913 in New York.
- November 2-Practice Being Psychic Day-Today is "Practice Being Psychic Day, and I am reading your mind right now. You are thinking "why would anyone think up such a silly celebration"?
- November 3-Sandwich Day-Happy Sandwich Day! This holiday celebrates the emergence of the sandwich, popularized in 1762 by the 4th Earl of Sandwich, John Montague, an 18th century English aristocrat.
- November 4-Bad Mood Day-On this day, I suppose it is permissible to be in a bad mood for a 24 hour period. Celebrate this holiday at your own risk! I think it should be at the end of the month, because women always seem to be in some kind of mood at the end of the month! PERIOD!!
- November 5-National Doughnut Day-Today's celebration calls for a trip to your local doughnut shop! Have doughnuts for breakfast, lunch and dinner, take a few dozen to the office with you to share with your co-workers! Even the weight conscious will want to participate in this holiday, as long as they get some coffee to go with their doughnut. (I like milk with mine)
- November 6-Peanut Butter Lovers Day-I imagine this was one of Elvis Presley's favorite holidays! Bake some peanut butter cookies and share them with a neighbor today. Don't make the mistake of including your dog in this celebration, though. They get confused when the peanut butter sticks to the roof of their mouths. Try a peanut butter flavored dog biscuit instead.
- November 7-Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day-National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day is a day you can indulge in a sweet treat without the guilt. Chocolate is always good in moderation and what better way to do that than with a chocolate candy bar with almonds, mmmmmm!
- November 8-X-Ray Discovery Day-Happy X-ray Day! You could see right through it, right! On this day in 1895 Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen discovered the medical marvel of St. Aedh Mac Breic, the patron saint of headache sufferers.
- November 11-Ones Day-Ones Day is truly a special day that only come once a year. Why? The secret is the 4 ones that make up the date of November 11 (11/11) Have a Happy One Day...spend it with the Ones you love.
- November 12-Happy Hour Day-On this day in 1745, the very first happy hour was held at a pub in the country of Ireland. You can celebrate this holiday easily, as most good bars have their own happy hour. And, if you aren't a drinker, then just be happy for an hour! Happiness is the theme of this holiday.
- November 13-World Kindness Day-November 13 has been designated as World Kindness Day. Today, do your part to help make this world we all share a kinder, more compassionate place to live.
- November 14-Monet Day-Today's celebration is in honor of the birthday of impressionist painter, Claude Monet, who was born in 1840. This would be a good day to visit a local art museum or gallery and admire some of his works.
- November 15-Great American Smokeout Day-The American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout, a holiday of sorts where smokers are challenged to smoke less, or quit smoking for at least this one day.
- November 16-Birth of the Blues Day-Today we celebrate the birthday of W.C. Handy. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1873, and is considered the "father of the Blues" for making blues music popular among Americans. Listen to some blues today, and say a silent thank you to Mr. Handy.
- November 17-Coping with Uncertainty Day-I'm really a little uncertain as to how I should describe this holiday. Should I even call it a holiday? Maybe I should say it's a celebration of things unknown instead. Whatever you want to call it, have a great one.
- November 18-Teddy Bear Day-Today's holiday commemorates a day that should be dear to the hearts of all kids-and kids at heart. On this day in 1902, toy maker Morris Michton named a cute stuffed bear toy "Teddy Bear" after President Teddy Roosevelt. Celebrate today by hugging a teddy bear, or buying one for someone special.
- November 19-Pencil Day-On this day in 1895, the pencil as we know it was invented.
- November 20-Traffic Light Day-Today we celebrate the day in 1923 when Garrett Morgan of Cleveland, Ohio, patented the traffic light. You can thank Garrett today as you are waiting at that real long light that's making you late for work. Without his invention, you might not get there on time!
- November 21-Pumpkin Pie Day-November 21 is National Pumpkin Pie Day. I wonder why they made this holiday so close to Thanksgiving? Don't they think people get enough pumpkin pie on that holiday? Maybe there's a conspiracy going on here to get people to eat more pumpkin, or perhaps this day is meant to start a trend toward another traditional Turkey Day dessert?
- November 22-Hockey Day-Hockey fans, rejoice! On this day in 1917, the National Hockey League was established bringing the sport more into the limelight than ever before. Today, celebrate by kicking back, relaxing, and watching some hockey on television, and talk like a Canadian, Eh!
- November 23-Paranoia Day-Today is the day when the paranoia that all of us have to a certain extent is allowed to come out in full force. It is perfectly acceptable for you to be suspicious of your coworkers, hear strange sounds, and be absolutely certain someone is following you. (Maybe it's them ALIENS!!)
- November 24-National Espresso Day-Today is National Espresso Day! Grab a cup and help yourself to a hearty dose of caffeine! Starbucks should celebrate this day. If espresso isn't your thing, just drink a few extra cups of coffee today to get the same buzz.
- November 25-Shopping Reminder Day-November 25 has been designated as Shopping Reminder Day! The sole purpose of this day is to remind you that the next day is Black Friday, the start of the Christmas shopping season. Your task today is to get all of the adds out of the newspaper and mark out your shopping route for the next day. Who knows...your diligence could pay off well come Christmas, or it just may give you an early headache.
- November 26-Good Grief Day-On this named holiday, we remember that legendary cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, who was born on this day in 1922. Famous for the Peanuts cartoons. Celebrate the life of this comic genius by reading some of his works...or by wearing your favorite Snoopy t-shirt.
- November 27-Electric Guitar Day-This holiday was crated in honor of legendary guitarist and songwriter Jimi Hendrix. It's a perfect opportunity to enjoy some of Jimi's many fine compositions and honor his musical abilities.
- November 28-Auto Race Day-Today marks the occasion of the first automobile race in the United States. This momentous event was held in Illnois in 1895. Race fans, unite on this holiday, and share the fun and excitement of this popular spectator sport.
- November 29-Customer is Wrong Day-This could turn out to be a dangerous holiday, as the required antics may have you hunting for a new job tomorrow. If you work in retail, celebrate it at your own risk! You'll receive some long-overdue satisfaction, to be sure, but weigh the risks and the benefits before you begin your mantra of "The Customer is Always Wrong"!!!
- November 30-Computer Security Day/Monitor Your Monitor Day-This holiday reminds us to make sure our computers are protected from spyware, viruses, adware and cyber-thieves. This will be a good day to run all your virus scans, disk defrags, etc. and make sure your computer is in tip-top shape!!
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Nutcrackers started out simple and useful ways of cracking open the hard shells of nuts. In some regions of Germany, there were many mines and miners. During the winter months, the miners carved dolls, nutcrackers, that actually resembled the powerful people in their poor lives. They loved carving policemen, soldiers, and even kings, because they enjoyed seeing their superiors performing the lowly task of cracking open nuts. When the mines were stripped, the miners kept carving their nutcrackers full time. Changes came over the years and eventually the moving jaw and the name nut biter and then nutcracker came into existence.
These unusual, wooden figures with their long beards, big mouths, harsh looks and large heads are considered, by legend, to represent strength and power. According to German folklore, nutcrackers are protectrors of family and home and represent goodwill and good luck.
Nutcrackers are also conversation pieces where all types of funny characters and unique pieces bring laughter and interesting nutcracker stories to the dinner table. Guests would stand around the desserts, cracking pecans and hazelnuts and talk about the nutcrackers that symbolized the "Cycle of Life" for them. The Germans felt that a seed drops into the ground and a tree grows providing nourishment for the woodcutters for hundreds of years. The legend says that the people had feasts before harvesting the logs. At the feasts, they ate fruit and nuts so they could take part in the cycle of life represented by their nutcrackers.
During World War II, American soldiers returning home from the war often brought home these intriguing nutcrackers as keepsakes with their legendary ability to bare their teeth at the evil spirits and protect one's home and family. That's how, in the early 1950's the nutcracker made it to the United States. The "Nutcracker Suite" reached the United States about the same time. The ballet, based on the play written by T.A. Hoffmann called " The Nutcracker and the Mouse King", sparked more interest in nutcrackers and increased the desire of people to purchase and collect nutcrackers.
The Steinbach Family, orginally from Austria, has been producing nutcrackers for almost two centuries,starting in 1832. They continue to be an outstanding producer of nutcrackers and their nutcrackers are great collectibles. When the Steinbachs decided to make limited edition nutcrackers, the value of collecting became more appealing because the value of limited pieces would be greater. Steinbach is recognized all over the world for their fine craftsmanship and unique nutcracker chartacters.
There are many other producers of less expensive nutcrackers and they come in a great variety of designs. You can get Mary and Joseph Nutcrackers, a nutcracker Santa from almost any country or a nutcracker for every branch of the service. There are firemen, policemen, surfers, snowboarders and ball player nutcrackers, too.
If you need a unique gift for a friend or family member with a hobby or special interest, you can probably find a nutcracker for them. When company comes over this Christmas, you may want to add a bowl of nuts and a nutcracker to the table to stimulate the conversation and start a new tradition.