Articles Posted in Living

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Every January 1, countless people make resolutions to change the type of person they will be for the next calendar year. Favorites areas for improvement are health, education, and motivation. I will exercise at the gym every day. I will become vegan. I will read 100 novels by the end of the year. I will argue before the Supreme Court. All of these are very good, very productive, very intense goals. The funny thing is that these resolutions have one thing in common: they all kind of lack fun. Think about it, isn’t that why they are resolutions and not habits by now? So, while I certainly applaud lofty resolutions, here are a few that are less intensive and more fun. Continue reading →

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In the same vein as a previous post about starting new holiday traditions after separation, here are some fun ways Christmas is celebrated in other countries!

Japan: Kentucky Fried Chicken, the Christmas dinner of champions. Thanks to a marketing campaign in the mid-1970s, Japanese children associate the holiday with KFC. It is complete with the Colonel in Santa getups, themed containers for chicken and drinks, and a special Christmas combo bucket complete with all the secret spice chicken, salad, and cake. The lines get so busy that customers may wait up to two hours to get a bucket to go. Appreciation of food has no borders, and there is no reason why fried chicken can’t be the centerpiece to the Christmas dinner (except maybe health reasons).

The Netherlands: clogs for Christmas. Sinterklaas is the Santa analog over in the Dutch part of the world. He is dressed in red, has a long white beard, and keeps creepy tabs on the children that have been good and those that have been bad. But instead of reindeer and sleighs, he arrives on a boat…from Spain. The fun part for any kid will always be presents. In the Netherlands, children will leave their shoes (or clogs) next to the fireplace or stove and awake to find gifts and treats stuffed therein. Good luck getting a PS5 to fit in a shoe. (Maybe the Dutch have it all figured out.)

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In the Northern Hemisphere the 2021 winter solstice will occur on December 21st. Winter solstice is when the North Pole is tilted farthest away from the sun.  At this time, the Arctic Circle is cloaked in darkness and the longest night of the year happens.  The winter solstice also signifies a turning point where the days begin gradually to get longer again.

Many cultures around the world have a long history of celebrating the winter solstice. Cultures attach great meaning to the solstices because the sun is a sacred star at the center of the solar system.  The sun not only serves as a function of time, but it also sets the weather and indicates agricultural patterns, which were extremely important for historical civilizations.

Solstice Celebrations Around the World