Thursday, December 26, 2013

Holidays for December 26th 2013

Boxing Day

Boxing Day is a holiday for many Canadians on December 26. It gives people the chance to take part in the post-Christmas sales or watch ice hockey games.

Many people in Canada have a day off work and many of them visit stores that start their annual sales on Boxing Day. Some shoppers even start waiting outside stores in the small hours of the morning and many stores open earlier than usual. Now, the sales often last for a whole week between Christmas Day and New Year's Eve and are known as the "Boxing Week Sales" instead of the "Boxing Day Sales". In some areas, particularly in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario, stores are not open on Boxing Day and the post-Christmas sales start on December 27.

A number of important sporting events are held on Boxing Day and watching them on television is a popular activity. The International Ice Hockey Federation world junior hockey championships often start on December 26. The Canadian National team often does well in this event. The Spengler Cup ice hockey tournament, which is played in Davos, Switzerland, is also shown on major sports television channels. The Canada national men's team has performed well in this event in recent years.

Boxing Day is a federal holiday and is listed in the Canadian Labour Code as a holiday. However, it is not uniformly observed in all provinces and territories. It is not an official holiday in Quebec, nor is it a statutory holiday in Alberta and British Columbia. In practice, many organizations and businesses are closed, although stores are often open.

In some communities, particularly in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador, stores are not open. Post offices across the country are closed. As Boxing Day falls in the Christmas holiday period, schools are closed. Public transport services may run a normal or reduced service, or provide no service.When Boxing Day falls on a Sunday or Saturday that is a non-working day, workers are entitled to a holiday with pay on the working day immediately preceding or following the general holiday.

Boxing Day is a holiday in the United Kingdom and many countries (including Canada) that were once part of the British Empire. The origin of this holiday's name is not clear. In feudal times in the United Kingdom, the lord of the manor would 'pay' people who worked on his land in the past year with boxes practical goods, such as agricultural tools, food and cloth. These were often distributed on the day after Christmas Day. More recently, employers traditionally gave their servants a gift of money or food in a small box on the day after Christmas Day. Some people in Canada still give gifts to people who provide them with services.

Other stories relate to servants being allowed to take a portion of the food left over from the Christmas celebrations in a box to their families and the distribution of alms from the church collection boxes to poor parishioners. These traditions evolved into the Christmas baskets that some employers distribute to their employees during the holiday season at the end of the year.

National Candy Cane Day

National Candy Cane Day is December 26th every year. This Holiday is set aside for people around the world to appreciate the candy cane, it's history and how good it tastes.

A candy cane is a hard cane-shaped candy stick. It is traditionally white with red stripes and flavored with peppermint (also known as a peppermint stick); however, it is also made in a variety of other flavors and may be decorated with stripes of different colors and thicknesses. The candy cane is a traditional candy surrounding the Christmas holiday in North America, although it is possible to find them throughout the year.

The candy cane was originally a straight, hard, and all-white candy stick invented by French priests in the early 1400s. The cane shape is traditionally credited to a choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral in Germany, who, legend has it, in 1670 bent straight sugar sticks into canes to represent a shepherd's staff, and gave them to children at church services. Another theory is that, as people decorated their Yule trees with food, the bent candy cane was invented as a functional solution. Candy with red stripes first appeared in the early 1900s. Postcards before 1900s show only white colored candy canes.

In recent years, apocryphal origin stories for the candy cane have become popular. Usually they suggest the candy cane was invented by an American Protestant, usually described as being an unnamed candy maker in 1870s Indiana, to represent Jesus. These stories typically suggest that the white of the candy cane represents Jesus's purity, the bold red stripes represents crucifixion, and the three thin red stripes stand for the Holy Trinity. This legend further posits that the general shape is for the "J" in Jesus, as well as perhaps to resemble a shepherd's cane.

National Thank You Note Day

When was the last time you said, “Thank You?”

Think about it for a second. Was it when the barista at your local coffee shop handed you your lunch-break lattè this afternoon? Or when your significant took out the trash last night, just because they know you hate it, and the sofa was just so warm? Was it Monday, after a co-worker had gone the extra mile to make sure you had a copy of a report you needed?

Or has it been longer than that?

We all get caught up in the everyday business of life that we forget to be mindful of living. It’s so easy in our hyper-speed world to forget the small moments of connection that define what it is to be human, including the moments when we can express gratitude for things both great and small.

Today is National Thank You Day, the perfect opportunity to pause and express your gratitude for the people in your life. While an email is nice, and a phone call is fine, take five minutes and go the extra length with a handwritten note. It doesn’t have to involve expensive stationery and a fountain pen; even a sheet of binder paper and a pencil will do the trick.

The beauty of a handwritten note is that it’s a tangible and personal expression of your appreciation. It signifies that you took the time to focus solely on them, that you cared enough for the recipient to create something meant only for their eyes. They say that letter-writing a lost art, and like any artist, you are creating something that will last, both on a piece paper and in a person’s memory.

Generations before mine saved love letters and other notes by stacking them neatly and tying them together with blue ribbon. I somehow doubt that years from now, when my grandchildren are going through my effects, a pile of printed out emails and text messages will hold the same allure, no matter what ribbon I use to bind them.

They say a person’s handwriting reveals secrets about their personality in a way that a text message or tweet never could. Whether chicken scratch or elegant script, your handwriting will hold allure for the reader, because it is an extension of yourself. No matter how many emoticons and “LOLs” you sprinkle throughout a digital message, the level of personal investment just isn’t the same. It’s a risky proposition, letter writing. You lay it out on the line.

So start small. Start with a written thank-you note for a great cup of coffee, an extra five minutes on the sofa, a job well done. It doesn’t have to be long, it just has to say thank you. It’s only just past 2:00 in California, barely 5:00 back east. You still have plenty of time.

National Whiner's Day

Now that the end of the world has become a non-event and Christmas is an hour or so away, it might be time to start thinking about the day AFTER Christmas, a day of recuperating from friends and family, the poorly-cooked traditional dinner and the gifts that will have to be returned.

In other words, it’s time to celebrate National Whiner’s Day.

Rev. Kevin Zabor­ney, in 1986, designated December 26 as National Whiner’s Day. Rev. Zabor­ney founded the Holiday in hopes of encouraging people to be thankful for what they have, rather than unhappy about what they don’t have.

But WE don’t have to follow those guidelines, DO we?

Each year, the most famous whiner(s) is announced, from nominations accepted through December 15. Lind­say Lohan won the dubious honor for 2010. The website for National Whiner’s Day states, “Lind­say Lohan has continued to whine about her circumstances and appears to people to be simply ‘missing the point’. Despite Ms. Lohan’s whining and lacking a need to accept responsibility for her issues, it is hoped she can benefit from her treatment and return as a better and more giving person.”

But you know what? The National Whiner’s Day site hasn’t been updated in two years, but its par­ent, the National Hug­ging Day site, is cur­rent. So what should we get from that – that hug­ging is bet­ter, more impor­tant, more VITAL than whin­ing? Who deter­mined THAT?!? What, we’re not good enough for your damned site?

Sug­ges­tions for Cel­e­brat­ing National Whiner’s Day:
  • Visit a shop­ping mall or retail store and watch peo­ple “whine” as they return and exchange their hol­i­day gifts (remem­ber, it’s not only the cus­tomers who whine).
  • Invite friends over, or plan a party, and call it a “Whine and Geeze” party! Serve non-alcoholic wine and cheese!
  • Again, invite friends to a National Whiner’s Day party. In order to get in, your friends need to bring one unwanted gift, wrapped, for a white ele­phant exchange.
  • Hold a whin­ing con­test at home or with friends, and invite a radio or tele­vi­sion sta­tion to broad­cast the event. Award the win­ner with a funny cer­tifi­cate or tro­phy. Make it more fun by scor­ing not only the whine qual­ity, by on the whin­ing itself. For exam­ple, “Ohh­hhh, mooomm. Do I havvvvve to cleeeeean my roooomm?”
Select Famous Celebrity Whin­ers over the last 20 years…
  • Kanye West
  • Chris Brown
  • Zsa Zsa Gabor
  • “Bagh­dad Bob,” for­mer Iraqi Infor­ma­tion Min­is­ter, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf.
  • Sen. Jesse Helms, R. N.C.
  • Tammy Faye Bakker (Mess­ner)
  • Den­nis Rod­man
  • Mike Tyson
  • Jerry Springer
  • Martha Stew­art
  • Ter­ror­ist Osama bin Laden-The Taliban/al-Qaida
  • John Rocker-Atlanta Braves Pitcher
The Most Famous Celebrity Whiner’s of the 20th Century
  • Stan Lau­rel
  • Curly Joe
  • Jerry Lewis
  • Lucy Ball
  • Pee Wee Her­man
  • Olive Oyle
  • Squiggy
  • Major Frank Burns
  • S.N.L. Whiner Fam­ily (Doug and Wendy Whiner)
Gift Sug­ges­tions:
  • Minia­ture vio­lin
  • Weep­ing wil­low tree
  • The Cry­ing Game video
Black Fri­day might be the day we all rush to the stores to grab every­thing we need to save any­thing we can. How­ever, National Whiner’s Day is a time to take back all our Christ­mas gifts that don’t fit, are the wrong color, looked bet­ter on the store dummy and we didn’t really want any­way. Today’s the day we can begin anew com­plain­ing and fuss­ing and whin­ing. Start now and avoid the rush!

Here’s a def­i­n­i­tion of ironic — our friend Carla here responded to a post about National Whiner’s Day with this lit­tle gem …

Carla says:

Decem­ber 26, 2011 at 7:43 am

So true. Whin­ing is the pits! It’s also St. Stephen’s Day and Box­ing Day. I’m bet­ting there’ll be more whin­ing going on in the US of A, though, than cel­e­brat­ing either one of those two! Would you believe a lot of the stores opened at 6am for returns? UGH!

Noth­ing like whin­ing about a post about whin­ing while con­demn­ing that whining!

We can be a nation of enti­tled whin­ers. “It’s too cold.” “I am the only one around here who does any­thing.” “I didn’t get what I wanted for Christ­mas.” “The gov­ern­ment is doing it to us again.” “Blah, blah, blah” or should I say “whine, whine, whine.”

You open the news­pa­per, you watch the news, you log-on to your social net­work­ing accounts and you are bom­barded by those around you who are whin­ing and complaining.

Def­i­n­i­tion of Whine: To com­plain or protest in a child­ish fash­ion.

Syn­onyms: com­plain, belly­ache, fuss, gripe, grum­ble, moan, groan, rant, bitch, snivel….

But what do you do when it is a co-worker or another adult who is whining?

Hunger, tired­ness, bore­dom and feel­ing unwell are fac­tors that can pre­cip­i­tate whin­ing ses­sions, but some have learned from a very early age that whin­ing gets them the atten­tion that they are seek­ing. Whin­ing has become sec­ond nature and their pre­dom­i­nant way of com­mu­ni­cat­ing. Their behav­iour is drain­ing on rela­tion­ships and it can poi­son a work­place, or it can improve our rela­tion­ships and our jobs — it all depends how you go about it.

Hot Tips for National Whiner’s Day:If we catch our­selves whining:
  • First, con­grat­u­late your­self. Very few peo­ple have the courage or the moral fiber to see what is truly wrong with the world and express it out loud.
  • Focus not on prob­lem solv­ing, but upon mak­ing every else feel mis­er­able. It is okay to vent, but that vent­ing must be fol­lowed by spread­ing nas­ti­ness and mood­i­ness, oth­er­wise it is just whin­ing for whining’s sake.
  • Try to see if any­thing in par­tic­u­lar sets off your whin­ing atti­tude. Are you fight­ing a cold? Sleep-deprived? Feel­ing unful­filled or under appre­ci­ated? Know­ing what sets your whin­ing in motion can help you to bring it on when­ever necessary.
  • Lis­ten to your own voice. Is this really the way you want oth­ers to hear you? Yes? Good.
If you are going to con­front a whiner:
  • Under­stand that they are look­ing for atten­tion, but give them atten­tion for solv­ing the issue, not for whin­ing about the issue. For the whin­ing part, just give points — a scale of 1–10 is recommended.
  • Ignor­ing them may not be a pro­duc­tive strat­egy as they may do more whin­ing or bring oth­ers into their whin­ing cir­cle in order to get their need for atten­tion met. You’ll end up los­ing the whin­ing cham­pi­onship that year.
  • Move them for­ward. Ask them what they are going to do about the issue and don’t let them get stuck just replay­ing and whin­ing about the sit­u­a­tion. Make them end their whine so that yours will shine!
  • Some­times in close rela­tion­ships, we can point out that the per­son is using their ‘whiny’ voice, but be care­ful, or you may quickly be faced with their angry voice. Or their angry 12-gauge shotgun.
  • Finally, min­i­mize the amount of time that you spend with the whiner. They will zap your energy if you aren’t care­ful, and you need to save that energy for your OWN whining.
Whin­ing is good for our health
Whin­ing is good for our health. Espe­cially when a prob­lem in one’s life is a recur­ring one – work, money, chil­dren, mar­riage, chronic ill­ness, aging, etc. – we need to com­plain about it out loud. The ques­tion is how to do this and keep our job and our friends.

The con­cept that whin­ing is good seems to fly in the face of all the pos­i­tive think­ing ide­ol­ogy. This is not true. One can have a pos­i­tive out­look on life and still whine. We just can­not “look at the bright side” of dis­as­ter all the time. We need to be able to com­plain – to get it out of our sys­tem so we can go back to liv­ing. Denial is quite detri­men­tal to our health.

Here are my five basic rules on the topic:
  1. Pick wisely to whom you whine and about what – some peo­ple can end­lessly lis­ten to your aches and pains, while oth­ers are good at fam­ily dynam­ics. Oth­ers just can’t lis­ten at all.
  2. Fig­ure out how much time you can get away with before you open your mouth – this is very impor­tant, so that you can whine with this per­son again. If you go on for­ever, you won’t get to do it again next week. I rec­om­mend get­ting an iPhone app to sched­ule your whines.
  3. Appear to change the topic of the whine – at least give it a new twist. This will throw off your lis­ten­ers — whin­ing jiu-jutsu!
  4. When whin­ing to same per­son, always make it seem like things have improved from the last whine. This will lull them into a false sense of secu­rity, and THAT is when you can drop the hammer.
  5. Most impor­tant: be open to humor. If the per­son to whom you are whin­ing knows that they can laugh, you’ll get more time and will be able to whine to them again. Always think of the future whines!
Know­ing how to whine and to whom you can whine safely is a very impor­tant thing, as being able to express our feel­ings and com­plaints openly is good for our health. Our prob­lems aren’t funny, but we do need humor – and other people – to survive them.