Sunday, December 22, 2013

Holidays for December 22nd 2013

Anne & Samantha Day

Anne and Samantha both died when they were teenagers. The courage and grace with which they lived their lives will be forever in our hearts. The lessons they taught will guide us forever and ever and always and always to the end of time.

The evil power that forced Anne into hiding and imprisoned and killed her did not have the power to silence her voice --- she's still heard clearly in the 21st Century! A tragic accident claimed Samantha's life, but it could never take away from us the lessons of peace and love that she shared with the world.

Anne and Samantha's influence lives on decades after their deaths - in America and in every country on our planet. Generations of children yet unborn will study their writings, and adopt them as their heroines --- and when we travel to the stars we'll take what we've learned from them with us.

Anne & Samantha Day is a twice-yearly Holiday on the Solstices (the first day of Summer and the first day of Winter) - Days to remember Anne Frank and Samantha Smith's contributions to our world, raise awareness of the campaign to honor Anne and Samantha on Postage Stamps, and encourage Americans to write letters and cards of support for the young teens to the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee.

The Winter Solstice in December is that day in the northern hemisphere that has the greatest number of hours of darkness- in late December.

The Summer Solstice in June is that day in the northern hemisphere that has the greatest number of hours of light- in late June.

In the southern hemisphere, the seasons are reversed and the day of greatest light would come in December and the day of longest night would come in June.

2013 Dates: June 21st and December 21st

As Anne and Samantha's lives helped to lead our world from darkness to light, the solstices are the perfect time to remember and honor them.

National Date Nut Bread Day

It’s National Date Nut Bread Day! Date nut bread is the perfect dish for the holiday season. It is delicious, healthy, and easy to make!

The first date nut bread recipe appeared in print in 1939, but dates are one of the world's oldest fruits. Date seeds have been found in archaeology excavations of sub-tropical areas around the world. Historians believe that the ancient Moors brought the date to Spain and later introduced it to America.

Dates are notorious for their high sugar content, so it is no surprise that most date nut bread recipes do not call for any additional sweeteners. To celebrate National Date Nut Bread Day, try your hand at baking a homemade loaf of this festive treat! Don't forget to top it off with a little cream cheese frosting!

Christmas Tree Lights Day

December 22nd, 1882 Looking at Christmas in a New Light.

An inventive New Yorker finds a brilliant application for electric lights and becomes the first person to use them as Christmas tree decorations.

Edward H. Johnson, who toiled for Thomas Edison’s Illumination Company and later became a company vice president, used 80 small red, white and blue electric bulbs, strung together along a single power cord, to light the Christmas tree in his New York home. Some sources credit Edison himself with being the first to use electric lights as Christmas decorations, when he strung them around his laboratory in 1880.

Sticking them on the tree was Johnson’s idea, though. It was a mere three years after Edison had demonstrated that light bulbs were practical at all.

The idea of replacing the Christmas tree’s traditional wax candles — which had been around since the mid-17th century — with electric lights didn’t, umm, catch fire right away. Although the stringed lights enjoyed a vogue with the wealthy and were being mass-produced as early as 1890, they didn’t become popular in humbler homes until a couple of decades into the 20th century.

A general distrust of using electricity for indoor lighting, still widespread in the late 19th century, kept the popularity of Christmas lights low. They were most commonly seen ringing the seasonal display windows of big-city department stores.

In 1895, President Grover Cleveland (a New York stater himself) supposedly ordered the family’s White House tree festooned with multicolored electric lights. If he did, it barely moved the needle on the popularity scale. Even so, General Electric began selling Christmas-light kits in 1903.

Another New Yorker is generally credited with popularizing indoor electric Christmas lights. According to the story, Albert Sadacca, whose family sold ornamental novelties, became a believer in 1917 after reading the account of a bad fire caused by a candlelit tree bursting into flames.

Whether or not that’s the reason, Sadacca began selling colored Christmas lights through the family business. By then, the public’s distrust of electricity had diminished. So the timing was right, and sales took off.

With his brothers, Sadacca later started a company devoted solely to the manufacture of electric Christmas lights. He succeeded in roping a few competitors into a trade association, which proceeded to dominate the Christmas-light industry into the 1960s.