Christmas Ornaments – Part 2

Christmas Ornaments – Part 2

Mass production

The first American-made glass ornaments were created by William DeMuth in New York in 1870. In 1880, Woolworth’s began selling Lauscha glass ornaments. Other stores began selling Christmas ornaments by the late 19th century and by 1910, Woolworth’s had gone national with over 1000 stores bringing Christmas ornaments across America. New suppliers popped up everywhere including Dresden die-cut fiberboard ornaments which were popular among families with small children.

By the 20th century, Woolworth’s had imported 200,000 ornaments and topped $25 million in sales from Christmas decorations alone. As of 2009, the Christmas decoration industry ranks second to gifts in seasonal sales.

Many silver companies, such as Gorham, Wallace, Towle, Lunt and Reed & Barton began manufacturing silver Christmas ornaments in 1970 and 1971.

In 1973, Hallmark Cards started manufacturing Christmas ornaments. The first collection included 18 ornaments, including six glass ball ornaments. The Hallmark Keepsake Ornament collection is dated and available for just one year. By 1998, 11 million American households collected Hallmark ornaments, and 250,000 people were member of the Keepsake Ornament Collector’s Club. There were as many as 400 local Keepsake Ornament Collector’s Club chapters in the US. One noted Christmas ornament authority is Clara Johnson Scroggins who has written extensively on the topic and has one of the largest private collections of Christmas ornaments.

In 1996, the ornament industry generated $2.4 billion in total annual sales, an increase of 25% over the previous year. Industry experts estimated more than 22 million US households collected Christmas ornaments, and that 75% of those households collected Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments.

Post World War II

After World War II, the East German government turned most of Lauscha’s glassworks into state-owned entities, and production of baubles in Lauscha ceased. After the Berlin Wall came down, most of the firms were reestablished as private companies. As of 2009, there are still about 20 small glass-blowing firms active in Lauscha that produce baubles. One of the producers is Krebs Glas Lauscha, part of the Krebs family which is now one of the largest producers of glass ornaments worldwide.

Modern baubles

Although glass baubles are still produced, as expensive good quality ornaments often found at markets, baubles are now frequently made from plastic and available worldwide in a huge variety of shapes, colors and designs. There are a large number of manufacturers producing sophisticated Christmas glass ornaments in Poland, which produce “bombka” or the plural form “bombki“; and millions of glass blown Christmas ornaments are made year-round in Tlalpujahua, Michoacan, Mexico and exported to Spain, New Zealand and France. Also made in Chignahuapan, Puebla, Mexico, where every year thousands of people make their arrival.

Handcrafted

Handcrafted Christmas Ornaments have become a staple of craft fairs and many smaller online businesses owing much of the success to both the internet and the growth of craft stores.

 

One visit to Goldwiser and you will agree we have the best prices for buying your gold, silver or platinum!!  We also sell bullion, coins and jewelry.

(Information taken from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

 

Christmas Ornaments – Part 1

Christmas Ornaments – Part 1

Christmas ornamentsbaubles or “christmas bulbs” are decorations (usually made of glass, metal, wood, or ceramics) that are used to decorate a Christmas tree. Ornaments take many different forms, from a simple round ball to highly artistic designs. Ornaments are almost always reused year after year rather than purchased annually, and family collections often contain a combination of commercially produced ornaments and decorations created by family members. Such collections are often passed on and augmented from generation to generation.

Santa Claus is a commonly used figure. Candy canes, fruit, animals, snowmen, angels and snowflake images are also popular choices.

Lucretia P. Hale’s story “The Peterkins’ Christmas-Tree”offers a short catalog of the sorts of ornaments used in the 1870s:

There was every kind of gilt hanging-thing, from gilt pea-pods to butterflies on springs. There were shining flags and lanterns, and bird-cages, and nests with birds sitting on them, baskets of fruit, gilt apples, and bunches of grapes.

The modern-day mold-blown colored glass Christmas ornament was invented in the small German town of Lauscha in the mid-16th century.

Invention

The first decorated trees were adorned with apples, white candy canes and pastries in the shapes of stars, hearts and flowers. Glass baubles were first made in Lauscha, Germany, by Hans Greiner (1550-1609) who produced garlands of glass beads and tin figures that could be hung on trees. The popularity of these decorations grew into the production of glass figures made by highly skilled artisans with clay molds.

The artisans heated a glass tube over a flame, then inserted the tube into a clay mold, blowing the heated glass to expand into the shape of the mold. The original ornaments were only in the shape of fruits and nuts.

After the glass cooled, a silver nitrate solution was swirled into it, a silvering technique developed in the 1850s by Justus von Liebig. After the nitrate solution dried, the ornament was hand-painted and topped with a cap and hook.

Export

Other glassblowers in Lauscha recognised the growing popularity of Christmas baubles and began producing them in a wide range of designs. Soon, the whole of Germany began buying Christmas glassware from Lauscha. On Christmas Eve 1832, a young Victoria wrote about her delight at having a tree, hung with lights, ornaments, and presents placed round it. In the 1840s, after a picture of Victoria’s Christmas tree was shown in a London newspaper decorated with glass ornaments and baubles from her husband Prince Albert’s native Germany, Lauscha began exporting its products throughout Europe.

In the 1880s, American F. W. Woolworth discovered Lauscha’s baubles during a visit to Germany. He made a fortune by importing the German glass ornaments to the United States.

(Information From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

 

Poinsettias – Part 2

Poinsettias – Part 2

Creation of the American poinsettia industry

Albert Ecke emigrated from Germany to Los Angeles in 1900, opening a dairy and orchard in the Eagle Rock area. He became intrigued by the plant and sold them from street stands. His son, Paul Ecke, developed the grafting technique, but it was the third generation of Eckes, Paul Ecke Jr., who was responsible for advancing the association between the plant and Christmas.

Besides changing the market from mature plants shipped by rail to cuttings sent by air, he sent free plants to television stations for them to display on air from Thanksgiving to Christmas. He also appeared on television programs like The Tonight Show and Bob Hope’s Christmas specials to promote the plants.

Until the 1990s, the Ecke family, who had moved their operation to Encinitas, California, in 1923, had a virtual monopoly on poinsettias owing to a technique that made their plants much more attractive. They produced a fuller, more compact plant by grafting two varieties of poinsettia together. A poinsettia left to grow on its own will naturally take an open, somewhat weedy look. The Eckes’ technique made it possible to get every seedling to branch, resulting in a bushier plant.

In the late 1980s, university researcher John Dole discovered the method previously known only to the Eckes and published it, allowing competitors to flourish, particularly those using low-cost labor in Latin America. The Ecke family’s business, now led by Paul Ecke III, decided to stop producing plants in the U.S., but as of 2008, they still serve about 70 percent of the domestic market and 50 percent of the worldwide market.

Cultivation

The poinsettia has been cultivated in Egypt since the 1860s, when it was brought from Mexico during the Egyptian campaign. It is called bent el consul, “the consul’s daughter”, referring to the U.S. ambassador Joel Poinsett.

There are over 100 cultivated varieties of poinsettia.

In areas outside its natural environment, it is commonly grown as an indoor plant where it prefers good morning sun, then shade in the hotter part of the day. Contrary to popular belief, flowering poinsettias can be kept outside, even during winter, as long as they are kept frost-free. It is widely grown and very popular in subtropical climates such as Australia, Rwanda and Malta.

The plant requires a daily period of uninterrupted long, dark nights followed by bright sunny days for around two months in autumn in order to encourage it to develop colored bracts. Any incidental light during these nights (from a nearby television set, from under a door frame, even from passing cars or street lights) hampers bract production. Commercial production of poinsettia has been done by placing them inside a greenhouse and covering the latter completely to imitate the natural biological situation.

To produce extra axillary buds that are necessary for plants containing multiple flowers, a phytoplasma infection—whose symptoms include the proliferation of axillary buds—is used. The discovery of the role phytoplasmas play in the growth of axillary buds is credited to Ing-Ming Lee of the USDA Agricultural Research Service.

Diseases

Poinsettias are susceptible to several diseases, mostly fungal, but also bacterial and parasitic.

Toxicity claims

In the United States and perhaps elsewhere, there is a common misconception that the poinsettia is highly toxic. This misconception was spread by a 1919 urban legend of a two-year-old child dying after consuming a poinsettia leaf.

While the sap and latex of many plants of the spurge genus are indeed toxic, the poinsettia’s toxicity is relatively mild. Its latex can cause an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals. It is also mildly irritating to the skin or stomach and may sometimes cause diarrhea and vomiting if eaten. Sap introduced into the human eye may cause temporary blindness.

An American Journal of Emergency Medicine study of 22,793 cases reported to the American Association of Poison Control Centers showed no fatalities, and furthermore that a strong majority of poinsettia exposures are accidental, involve children, and usually do not result in any type of medical treatment. POISINDEX, a major source for poison control centers, says a 50 lb (23 kg) child would have to eat 500 bracts (poinsettia leaves) to accumulate levels of toxins found to be harmful in experiments. An Ohio State University study showed no problems even with extremely large doses.

One visit to Goldwiser and you will make it your favorite place to buy and sell your precious metals!!!

(Information taken from From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

 

 

Poinsettia – Part 1

Poinsettias – Part 1

 

The poinsettia  (Euphorbia pulcherrima) (also known as Christmas Star) is a commercially important plant species of the diverse spurge family (Euphorbiaceae). The species is indigenous to Mexico. It is particularly well known for its red and green foliage and is widely used in Christmas floral displays. It derives its common English name from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico, who introduced the plant to the US in 1825.

Description

Euphorbia pulcherrima is a shrub or small tree, typically reaching a height of 0.6–4 metres (2–13 ft). The plant bears dark green dentate leaves that measure 7–16 centimetres (2.8–6.3 in) in length. The colored bracts—which are most often flaming red but can be orange, pale green, cream, pink, white, or marbled—are often mistaken for flower petals because of their groupings and colors, but are actually leaves. The colors of the bracts are created through photoperiodism, meaning that they require darkness (12 hours at a time for at least five days in a row) to change color. At the same time, the plants require abundant light during the day for the brightest color.

The flowers of the poinsettia are unassuming and do not attract pollinators. They are grouped within small yellow structures found in the center of each leaf bunch, and are called cyathia.

The poinsettia is native to Mexico. It is found in the wild in deciduous tropical forests at moderate elevations from southern Sinaloa down the entire Pacific coast of Mexico to Chiapas and Guatemala. It is also found in the interior in the hot, seasonally dry forests of Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Chiapas.  Reports of E. pulcherrima growing in the wild in Nicaragua and Costa Rica have yet to be confirmed by botanists.

Religious and other traditional associations

The Aztecs used the plant to produce red dye and as an antipyretic medication. In Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, the plant is called Cuitlaxochitl, meaning “flower that grows in residues or soil”. Today it is known in Mexico and Guatemala as Flor de Noche Buena, meaning Christmas Eve Flower. In Spain it is known as Flor de Pascua or Pascua, meaning Easter flower. In Chile and Peru, the plant became known as Crown of the Andes. In Hungarian, it is called Santa Claus’ Flower, and is widely used as a Christmas decoration.

The plant’s association with Christmas began in 16th-century Mexico, where legend tells of a girl, commonly called Pepita or Maria, who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus’ birthday and was inspired by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside and place them in front of the church altar. Crimson blossoms sprouted from the weeds and became poinsettias. From the 17th century, Franciscan friars in Mexico included the plants in their Christmas celebrations. The star-shaped leaf pattern is said to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, and the red color represents the blood sacrifice through the crucifixion of Jesus.

Poinsettias are popular Christmas decorations in homes, churches, offices, and elsewhere across North America. They are available in large numbers from grocery, drug, and hardware stores. In the United States, December 12 is National Poinsettia Day.

More about the popular Christmas plant/decoration in Part 2 of this series.

One visit to Goldwiser and you will make it your favorite place to buy and sell your precious metals!!!

(Information taken from From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

 

 

Top Rated Cyber Deals 2018 – Part 2

Top Rated Cyber Deals 2018 – Part 2

These 10 Stores Will Offer the Best Cyber Deals in 2018

Amazon is Cyber Monday’s shining star, but retailers like Best Buy and The Body Shop feature their own stellar sales.

Cyber Week isn’t just for Black Friday leftovers. In fact, some of the year’s best sales will take place on Monday, November 26 in 2018 and that week. So it’s a good idea to save part of your holiday shopping budget for the Cyber Week deals.

But where should you be shopping?  Here are 5 more suggestions, based on the best sales last year from Cyber Week.

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Best For: All of your sporting needs.

Dick’s Sporting Goods typically offers 25% off site-wide plus free shipping for Cyber Monday. While a 25% discount isn’t as large as some retailers offer, it’s an excellent deal at Dick’s. You won’t find a better sale all year, so stock up on sporting goods now.

Gap

Best For: Outfitting your closet with the basics.

Last year, Gap offered 50% off with an additional 10% coupon code on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday — but Cyber Monday added free shipping for all purchases, making it a slightly better time to shop. And if Gap isn’t quite your style, Gap-owned Banana Republic should offer a similar 50% off sale on apparel.

Lucky Brand

Best For: Denim and other casual clothing staples.

Cyber Monday is likely to have the best sale of the year for Lucky Brand, with 50% to 60% off and free shipping on $50. In 2017, these already excellent prices could be stacked with an extra 25% off coupon code for an even better bargain.

Timberland

Best For: Boots that will last.

Timberland’s Cyber Monday sale is usually the best you’ll find from the company all year — and this year is likely to be the same. Look for 30% off deals, as well as a 20% off coupon code and free 3-day shipping.

The Body Shop

Best For: Bargains on body care products.

The Body Shop’s annual Cyber Monday sale should offer 50% off its whole line of skin care and body care products, with free shipping — one of the company’s best sales of the year. If The Body Shop isn’t your favorite place to hunt for scented shower gel, Bath & Body Works offers a more modest 40% off on Cyber Monday and deals during Cyber Week.

Happy shopping — hope you find the best deals available!

One visit to Goldwiser and you will make it your favorite place to buy and sell your precious metals!!!

(Information obtained from dealnews.com)

 

 

candy cane

Candy cane
Candy-Cane-Classic thumbnail.png

A traditional candy cane
Alternative names Peppermint stick
Type Confectionery
Place of origin Germany
Main ingredients Sugar, flavoring (often peppermint)

candy cane is a cane-shaped stick candy often associated with Christmastide,[1] as well as Saint Nicholas Day.[2] It is traditionally white with red stripes and flavored with peppermint, but may also be a variety of other flavors and colors.

Origin[edit]

An early 1900s Christmas card image of candy canes

According to folklore, in 1670, in CologneGermany, the choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral, wishing to remedy the noise caused by children in his church during the Living Crèche tradition of Christmas Eve, asked a local candy maker for some “sugar sticks” for them.[3][4][5][6] In order to justify the practice of giving candy to children during worship services, he asked the candy maker to add a crook to the top of each stick, which would help children remember the shepherds who visited the infant Jesus.[3][4][5] In addition, he used the white colour of the converted sticks to teach children about the Christian belief in the sinless life of Jesus.[3][4][5] From Germany, candy canes spread to other parts of Europe, where they were handed out during plays reenacting the Nativity.[4][6] As such, according to this legend, the candy cane became associated with Christmastide.[1]

The earliest verifiable reference to stick candy is a record of the 1837 Exhibition of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association, where confections were judged competitively.[7] A recipe for straight peppermint candy sticks, white with coloured stripes, was published in 1844.[8] The “candy cane” is found in literature in 1866, though no description of color or flavor was provided.[9] Its earliest known association with Christmas was in 1874,[10]and by 1882 canes were being hung on Christmas trees

1122 spring cypress rd spring TX 77373

Top Rated Cyber Deals 2018 – Part 1

Top Rated Cyber Deals 2018 – Part 1

These 10 Stores Will Offer the Best Cyber Deals in 2018

Amazon is Cyber Monday’s shining star, but retailers like Best Buy and The Body Shop feature their own stellar sales.

Cyber Week isn’t just for Black Friday leftovers. In fact, some of the year’s best sales will take place on Monday, November 26 in 2018 and that week. So it’s a good idea to save part of your holiday shopping budget for the Cyber Week deals.

But where should you be shopping?  Here are 5 retail store suggestions, based on the best sales last year from Cyber Week.

Amazon

Best For: Gaming and toys, smart home, and almost anything else you can buy online.

While plenty of other retailers offer Cyber Monday sales, none of them match Amazon’s. Last year, we saw three times as many Cyber Monday and Cyber Week deals at Amazon as the next highest retailer.

You’ll find sales on a little bit of everything, but last year the biggest number of deals were in the gaming and toys category, and included an all-time price low for the HTC Vive VR System. Smart home products are also often a hot item on Amazon, with price lows on Nest Cams and August Smart Locks popping up last year.

But buyer beware: Some of Amazon’s best sales are its notorious Lightning Deals, which can come and go in hours or even minutes. You may have to watch closely to snag the deals you want.

Image result for retailer images

Target

Best For: The hottest Cyber Monday and Cyber Week TV sales.

Two-thirds of Target’s Cyber Monday sales last year were the best bargains on televisions. Last year’s sales saw fantastic prices on sets ranging from 40″ to 80″, but the best prices were on high-end 70″ and 80″ 4K sets, some of which hit the lowest prices we’d ever seen on TVs in that class. Target isn’t the only place you’ll find TV sales during Cyber Week — TV shoppers should also check Best Buy, Dell, eBay, and Walmart; the variety of TV bargains last year was very impressive.

Image result for target images

Walmart

Best For: Parents (and kids, too).

Like Walmart’s sprawling stores, you’ll find sales on just about every product category during Cyber Week. The highest number of Editors’ Choice sales were for toys — only Amazon had more toy sales — including some at the lowest prices we saw all year. There were also steals on more practical purchases for parents, including car seats and children’s bedroom sets, as well as household necessities like cookware.

Dell

Best For: Desktop and laptop computers.

Dell Home and Dell Small Business both offer a lot of sales throughout the Black Friday season, but you shouldn’t give up if you haven’t found the perfect computer by Cyber Monday. Why? Because Dell should have a ton of new sales, and more than 40% of them were awesome deals last year.

Sales run the gamut from low-end, budget-friendly systems to top-of-the-line computers, all with a good discount. And even if you aren’t looking for a computer, you’ll find accessories like keyboards, speakers, and monitors on sale, too.

Best Buy

Best For: Electronics of all kinds.

Last year, Best Buy didn’t offer a ton of Cyber Week sales, but the majority of them were stellar. Look for bargains on home security items and last-generation smartphones — last year’s sales offered the lowest price on the iPhone 7 we’d ever seen. Expect some excellent TV sales, too.

More on retailers with the best Cyber deals in Part 2.

One visit to Goldwiser and you will make it your favorite place to buy and sell your precious metals!!!

(Information obtained from dealnews.com)

 

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday

Image result for CYBER MONDAY IMAGES

Cyber Monday is a marketing term for the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. It was created by retailers to encourage people to shop online. The term was coined by Ellen Davis and Scott Silverman, and made its debut on November 28, 2005 in a Shop.org press release entitled “‘Cyber Monday’ Quickly Becoming One of the Biggest Online Shopping Days of the Year”. It is on the Monday after Thanksgiving, and most of the time falls in November, but if Thanksgiving is on November 27 or 28, it will fall in December. The date range is November 26 to December 2, and is always four days after the holiday.

According to the Shop.org/Bizrate Research 2005 eHoliday Mood Study, “77 percent of online retailers said that their sales increased substantially on the Monday after Thanksgiving, a trend that is driving serious online discounts and promotions on Cyber Monday.

In 2017, Cyber Monday online sales grew to a record $6.59 billion, compared with $2.98 billion in 2015, and $2.65 billion in 2014. However, the average order value was $128, down slightly from 2014’s $160.

Cyber Monday has become the online equivalent to Black Friday and offers a way for smaller retail websites to compete with larger chains. Since its inception, it has become an international marketing term used by online retailers across the world.

The term “Cyber Monday” was coined by Ellen Davis, and was first used within the ecommerce community during the 2005 holiday season. According to Scott Silverman, the head of Shop.org, the term was coined based on 2004 research showing “one of the biggest online shopping days of the year” was the Monday after Thanksgiving (12th-biggest day historically). Retailers also noted the biggest period was December 5 through 15 of the previous year. In late November 2005, The New York Times reported: “The name Cyber Monday grew out of the observation that millions of otherwise productive working Americans, fresh off a Thanksgiving weekend of window shopping, were returning to high-speed Internet connections at work Monday and buying what they liked.”  At the time, a lot of people had slow Internet at home. The idea for having such a holiday was created by Tony Valado, in 2003 while working at 1800Flowers.com, and coined “White Wednesday” to be the day before Thanksgiving for online retailers.

Image result for CYBER MONDAY IMAGES

Online spending

In 2006, comScore reported that online spending on Cyber Monday jumped 25% to $608 million, 21% to $733 million in 2007, and 15% to $846 million in 2008.

In 2009, comScore reported that online spending increased 5 percent on Cyber Monday to $887 million and that more than half of dollars spent online at US Web sites originated from work computers (52.7 percent), representing a gain of 2.3 percentage points from last year.  Buying from home comprised the majority of the remaining share (41.6 percent) while buying from international locations accounted for 5.8 percent. According to comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni, “comScore data have shown that Cyber Monday online sales have always been driven by considerable buying activity from work locations. That pattern hasn’t changed. After returning from the long Thanksgiving weekend with a lot of holiday shopping still ahead of them, many consumers tend to continue their holiday shopping from work. Whether to take advantage of the extensive Cyber Monday deals offered by retailers or to buy gifts away from the prying eyes of family members, this day has become an annual ritual for America’s online holiday shoppers.”

In 2010, comScore reported the first-ever $1 billion online shopping day ($1028M), an increase of 16 percent over 2009. In 2011, comScore reported that Cyber Week saw US consumers spend over $6 billion online from November 28 to December 2.  In 2012, comScore reported that Cyber Monday saw a 17% increase in sales from 2011, totaling $1.465 billion. In 2013, Cyber Monday sales continued their growth and recorded their highest grossing day ever at $2.29 billion.

In 2014, the average planned expenditure is $361 per person. 46 percent people expect to pay with credit cards and 43 percent expect to pay with debit cards. Sales are up 8.1% as of 6 p.m. ET, according to IBM Digital Analytics. The average order is $131.66, flat with last year, though the number of transactions is up and people are buying more items on average per order.

In 2016, according to Adobe Digital Insights, Cyber Monday hit a new record with $3.45 billion, and which was the first time that online sales in one single day surpassed $3 billion in US history. The numbers went up 12.1% from the previous year.

One visit to Goldwiser and you will make it your favorite place to buy and sell your precious metals!!!

(Information from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

CHRISTMAS TREE

Christmas tree

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to navigationJump to search

Glade jul by Viggo Johansen (1891)

A young woman decorates the Christmas tree, painting by Marcel Rieder (1862–1942) from 1898

Christmas tree in Bethlehem, behind it Church of the Nativity, 2014

Christmas tree is a decorated tree, usually an evergreen conifer such as sprucepine, or fir or an artificial tree of similar appearance, associated with the celebration of Christmas. The modern Christmas tree was developed in medieval Livonia (present-day Estonia and Latvia) and early modern Germany, where Protestant Germans brought decorated trees into their homes.[1][2] It acquired popularity beyond the Lutheran areas of Germany[1][3]and the Baltic countries during the second half of the 19th century, at first among the upper classes.[4]

The tree was traditionally decorated with “roses made of colored paper, apples, wafers, tinsel, [and] sweetmeats”. In the 18th century, it began to be illuminated by candles, which were ultimately replaced by Christmas lights after the advent of electrification. Today, there is a wide variety of traditional ornaments, such as garlandsbaublestinsel, and candy canes. An angel or star might be placed at the top of the tree to represent the Angel Gabriel or the Star of Bethlehem, respectively, from the Nativity.[5][6] Edible items such as gingerbreadchocolate and other sweets are also popular and are tied to or hung from the tree’s branches with ribbons.

In the Western Christian tradition, Christmas trees are variously erected on days such as the first day of Advent or even as late as Christmas Evedepending on the country;[7] customs of the same faith hold that the two traditional days when Christmas decorations, such as the Christmas tree, are removed are Twelfth Night and, if they are not taken down on that day, Candlemas, the latter of which ends the Christmas-Epiphany season in some denominations.[7][8]

The Christmas tree is sometimes compared with the “Yule-tree”, especially in discussions of its folkloric origins

History[edit]

 

Possible predecessors[edit]

From Northern Antiquities, an English translation of the Prose Edda from 1847. Painted by Oluf Olufsen Bagge.

The relevance of ancient pre-Christian customs to the 16th-century German initiation of the Christmas tree custom is disputed. Resistance to the custom was often because of its supposed Lutheran origins.[12]

Other sources have offered a connection between the first documented Christmas trees in Alsace around 1600 and pre-Christian traditions. For example, according to the Encyclopædia Britannica, “The use of evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands to symbolize eternal life was a custom of the ancient EgyptiansChinese, and Hebrews. Tree worship was common among the pagan Europeans and survived their conversion to Christianity in the Scandinavian customs of decorating the house and barn with evergreens at the New Year to scare away the devil and of setting up a tree for the birds during Christmas time.”[13]

During the Roman mid-winter festival of Saturnalia, houses were decorated with wreaths of evergreen plants, along with other antecedent customs now associated with Christmas.[14]

The modern Christmas tree is frequently traced to the symbolism of trees in pre-Christian winter rites, wherein Viking and Saxon worshiped trees.[14] The story of Saint Boniface cutting down Donar’s Oak illustrates the pagan practices in 8th century among the Germans. A later folk version of the story adds the detail that an evergreen tree grew in place of the felled oak, telling them about how its triangular shape reminds humanity of the Trinity and how it points to heaven.[15][16]

Alternatively, it is identified with the “tree of paradise” of medieval mystery plays that were given on 24 December, the commemoration and name day of Adam and Eve in various countries. In such plays, a tree decorated with apples (to represent the forbidden fruit) and wafers (to represent the Eucharist and redemption) was used as a setting for the play. Like the Christmas crib, the Paradise tree was later placed in homes. The apples were replaced by round objects such as shiny red balls.[10][11][17][18][19][20]

At the end of the Middle Ages, an early predecessor appears referred in the Regiment of the Order of Cister around 1400, in Alcobaça, Portugal. The Regiment of the local high-Sacristans of the Cistercian Order refers to what may be considered one of the oldest references to the Christmas tree: “Note on how to put the Christmas branch, scilicet: On the Christmas eve, you will look for a large Branch of green laurel, and you shall reap many red oranges, and place them on the branches that come of the laurel, specifically as you have seen, and in every orange you shall put a candle, and hang the Branch by a rope in the pole, which shall be by the candle of the altar-mor.”[21]

Modern Christmas trees originated during the Renaissance of early modern Germany. Its 16th-century origins are sometimes associated with Protestant Christian reformer Martin Luther, who is said to have first added lighted candles to an evergreen tree.[22][23][24]

The first recorded Christmas tree can be found on the keystone sculpture of a private home in Turckheim, Alsace (then part of Germany, today France), dating 1576.[25]

Georgia[edit]

Chichilaki, a Georgian Christmas tree variety

Georgians have their own traditional Christmas tree called Chichilaki, made from dried up hazelnut or walnut branches that are shaped to form a small coniferous tree. These pale-colored ornaments differ in height from 20 cm (7.9 in) to 3 meters (9.8 feet). Chichilakis are most common in the Guria and Samegrelo regions of Georgia near the Black Sea, but they can also be found in some stores around the capital of Tbilisi.[citation needed] Georgians believe that Chichilaki resembles the famous beard of St. Basil the Great, because Eastern Orthodox Church commemorates St. Basil on January 1.

Poland[edit]

There was an old pagan custom, associated with Koliada, of suspending a branch of fir, spruce or pine called Podłaźniczka from the ceiling. The branches were decorated with apples, nuts, cookies, colored paper, stars made of straw, ribbons and colored wafers. Some people believed that the tree had magical powers that were linked with harvesting and success in the next year.

In the late 18th and early 19th century, these traditions were almost completely replaced by the German custom of decorating the Christmas tree.

Estonia, Latvia and Germany[edit]

Girl with Christmas tree, painting 1892 by Franz Skarbina (1849–1910)

Customs of erecting decorated trees in wintertime can be traced to Christmas celebrations in Renaissance-era guilds in Northern Germany and Livonia. The first evidence of decorated trees associated with Christmas Day are trees in guildhalls decorated with sweets to be enjoyed by the apprentices and children. In Livonia (present-day Estonia and Latvia), in 1441, 1442, 1510 and 1514, the Brotherhood of Blackheads erected a tree for the holidays in their guild houses in Reval (now Tallinn) and Riga. On the last night of the celebrations leading up to the holidays, the tree was taken to the Town Hall Square, where the members of the brotherhood danced around it.[26]

Bremen guild chronicle of 1570 reports that a small tree decorated with “apples, nuts, dates, pretzels and paper flowers” was erected in the guild-house for the benefit of the guild members’ children, who collected the dainties on Christmas Day.[27] In 1584, the pastor and chronicler Balthasar Russow in his Chronica der Provinz Lyfflandt (1584) wrote of an established tradition of setting up a decorated spruce at the market square, where the young men “went with a flock of maidens and women, first sang and danced there and then set the tree aflame”.

After the Protestant Reformation, such trees are seen in the houses of upper-class Protestant families as a counterpart to the Catholic Christmas cribs. This transition from the guild hall to the bourgeois family homes in the Protestant parts of Germany ultimately gives rise to the modern tradition as it developed in the 18th and 19th centuries.

18th to early 20th centuries[edit]

Germany[edit]

A little Christmas tree on the table, painting by Ludwig Blume-Siebert in 1888

By the early 18th century, the custom had become common in towns of the upper Rhineland, but it had not yet spread to rural areas. Wax candles, expensive items at the time, are found in attestations from the late 18th century.

Along the lower Rhine, an area of Roman Catholic majority, the Christmas tree was largely regarded as a Protestant custom. As a result, it remained confined to the upper Rhineland for a relatively long period of time. The custom did eventually gain wider acceptance beginning around 1815 by way of Prussian officials who emigrated there following the Congress of Vienna.

In the 19th century, the Christmas tree was taken to be an expression of German culture and of Gemütlichkeit, especially among emigrants overseas.[28]

A decisive factor in winning general popularity was the German army’s decision to place Christmas trees in its barracks and military hospitals during the Franco-Prussian War. Only at the start of the 20th century did Christmas trees appear inside churches, this time in a new brightly lit form.[29]

1122 SPRING CYPRESS RD SPRING TX 77373

 

Thanksgiving – Part 3

Thanksgiving – Part 3

Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated on various dates in Canada, the United States, some of the Caribbean islands, and Liberia. It began as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Similarly named festival holidays occur in Germany and Japan. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States, and around the same part of the year in other places. Although Thanksgiving has historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, it has long been celebrated as a secular holiday as well.

History In the United States

Debate about the nation’s first celebrations

Shrine of the first U.S. Thanksgiving in 1619 at Berkeley Hundred in Charles City County, Virginia

The question of where the first Thanksgiving was held in the United States has been a subject of debate, primarily between New England and Virginia, complicated by the concept of Thanksgiving as a holiday celebration versus a religious service. James Baker maintains, “The American holiday’s true origin was the New England Calvinist Thanksgiving. Never coupled with a Sabbath meeting, the Puritan observances were special days set aside during the week for thanksgiving and praise in response to God’s providence.” Baker calls the debate a “tempest in a beanpot” and “marvelous nonsense” based on regional claims. However, the day for Thanksgiving services specifically codified in the founding charter of Berkeley Hundred in 1619 was instrumental in President John F. Kennedy’s attempt to strike a compromise between the regional claims, by issuing Proclamation 3560 on November 5, 1963, stating, “Over three centuries ago, our forefathers in Virginia and in Massachusetts, far from home in a lonely wilderness, set aside a time of thanksgiving. On the appointed day, they gave reverent thanks for their safety, for the health of their children, for the fertility of their fields, for the love which bound them together, and for the faith which united them with their God.”

Other claims include an earlier religious service by Spanish explorers in Texas at San Elizario in 1598. Robyn Gioia and Michael Gannon of the University of Florida argue that the earliest Thanksgiving service in what is now the United States was celebrated by the Spanish on September 8, 1565, in current Saint Augustine, Florida.

Fixing date – United States

Thanksgiving in the United States was observed on various dates throughout history. From the time of the Founding Fathers until the time of Lincoln, the date Thanksgiving was observed varied from state to state. The final Thursday in November had become the customary date in most U.S. states by the beginning of the 19th century, coinciding with and eventually superseding the existing holiday of Evacuation Day (a day commemorating the British exit from the United States following the Revolutionary War). Modern Thanksgiving was first officially called for in all states in 1863 by a presidential proclamation of Abraham Lincoln. Influenced by the campaigning of author Sarah Josepha Hale, who wrote letters to politicians for around 40 years trying to make it an official holiday, Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving on the final Thursday in November, explicitly in celebration of the bounties that had continued to fall on the Union and for the military successes in the war.  Because of the ongoing Civil War, a nationwide Thanksgiving date was not realized until Reconstruction was completed in the 1870s.

On October 31, 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a presidential proclamation changing the holiday to the next to last Thursday in November, for business reasons. On December 26, 1941, he signed a joint resolution of Congress changing the national Thanksgiving Day from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday.

One visit to Goldwiser and you will make it your favorite place to buy and sell your precious metals!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

(Information obtained from From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)