New Year’s – A Worldwide Celebration

In the United States, the coming of a new year is met with lavish parties and declaring resolutions that may or may not last. The most common of New Year’s festivities for North America is Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve extravaganza when the entire population of New York City is packed like sardines into Times Square and the entire country zeros in on television to watch a shiny ball drop at midnight. The event of New Year’s is the most internationally celebrated holiday of the year. People of all different races, religions, cultures, and continents recognize it and embrace it in their own way.

Scotland: This is the country where the song “Auld Lang Syne” originated. Just as Americans sing it around New Year’s, so do the Scots and every other English-speaking nation on this planet. The Scottish practice this New Year’s tradition known as “first-footing”. Good luck is supposedly brought to the house where a male visits after midnight. He might bring with him a gift of money, bread, or coal for the fire. This tradition is also practiced in Great Britain.

Greece: January 1st is a celebration for St. Basil in Greek culture. St. Basil’s day is celebrated much like Christmas; people will meet for meals and exchange gifts.

Russia: Also much like Christmas tradition, Russian children look forward to a figure known as Grandfather Frost who brings them toys on New Year’s.

Spain: All work stops at midnight on New Year’s, and the people consume twelve grapes, and sometimes wine, for good luck in the coming year.

Japan: The spirit of renewal is embraced. Bonenkai parties are held with the purpose of putting out of mind the cares and concerns of the past year and open up to a new beginning. It’s also tradition to clean house. New Year’s cards are sent, and if postmarked by a certain date, delivery on January 1st is guaranteed. Gongs from the Buddhist temples ring 108 times in an effort to expel the 108 different types of human weaknesses.

Korea: The Korean nations celebrate New Year’s according to both the solar and lunar calendars. The one that falls on January 1st is the lunar celebration called So-nal, and it is their second biggest holiday. Their festive traditions are more ritualistic, involving family reunions, eating special dishes, wearing new clothes, and bowing to their elders in respect.

Whether ritualized or spontaneous, the whole world celebrates another year of life on January 1st. Respected figures are honored and friends and family come together. Good fortune and gifts are bestowed upon one another. However the New Year is embraced, nothing on earth could be more common than accepting life’s clean slate on this day that begins a new chapter in our history.

ToastPop wishes you a happy New Year!!!!

Advertisements

Greeting Cards with a Different Spin

Tis’ the  season to begin looking at greeting cards, and as always, we see the same round and frosty snowman or jolly Saint Nick with his reindeer and sleigh. Once in awhile we’ll see the serene nativity scene wishing us a merry holiday, but what if we want something a little less traditional and a little more creative?

Wrenay Gomez Charlton obviously saw the need for something new and provides a breath of fresh air to the greeting card world with her unique prints, cards, and calendars. Each one contains the silhouette of an animal, and within the animal is a road map from the state the animal is indigenous to. Maps have been used as décor for quite some time, but never before have they been displayed in such a way.  Each card is beautifully imaginative and would be a wonderful way to say Happy Holidays, Happy Birthday, or even to just let someone know you’re thinking of them. Just checkout the Wrenmade online shop for more information and inspiration!

Songs of the Season

Hark! The herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King!
Sleeping in Heavenly peace on a silent night
in oh little town of Bethlehem
He has come to bring joy to the world!

Mary, did you know that the child that you deliver
Will soon deliver you?
Holy infant, so tender and mild
God and sinner reconcile

Joyful all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies,
with angelic host proclaim,
Go tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere,
That Jesus Christ is born.

These are the carols that we sing,
During Christmastime
These tunes are more than just holiday rhymes,
They tell of God’s love divine

Frosty and Rudolph and snow days are nice,
But they cannot compare to God’s sacrifice.
He sent His Son, Jesus, for the world’s sin to die
And for the gift of eternal life even Santa can’t supply

Christmas trees are fine to see,
But I prefer what the angels sing:
Peace on Earth and the first Noel,
Good will to men from the King of Israel.

This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing!
Salvation from sin will come from this Heavenly being!
Fullness of God in a small child
So God and sinners reconcile

by Katharine Johns

Unique Gift Ideas For The Holidays

Are you at a loss as to what to get someone for Christmas this year? Well, we know where you’re coming from. It may just be you are wanting to give a really cool and unique gift instead of the normal gift card. We have compiled a small list of some really cool things you may want to look into. We give you the product name, website you can buy it at, and the price. Always keep in mind you can search Amazon.com for these items and they may be cheaper there. Just click the image below to view them!

Black Friday 2011

So many of you are preparing for a sleepless night at the stores in regards to your Black Friday shopping. Well, I am here with a little advice that could possibly save you the crowds, sleep, and a nice chunk of change! Amazon.com has already started their Pre-Black Friday sales, and their deals are nothing short of enticing. This is Amazon’s way of drawing you to their site on a daily basis leading up to Black Friday itself. The main thing to remember is that while these deals are pretty good (ex. Buy a PS3 get a $50 Amazon.com credit) you may still find some of the deals on things such as DVD’s and music to be better when Amazon begins their actual Black Friday deals. To be honest the deal on select game systems where you get a free $50 Amazon credit to use on pretty much anything, except most digital content, is almost too good to pass up.

So how do we propose that you avoid the Black Friday madness this year? Check out the online Black Friday deals, because you may just be surprised at how much time you will save and of course avoiding the crowds is always nice! Amazon.com seems to be the place to look this year for amazing deals this holiday season. You will probably find many websites that have much better deals than the stores do this year, just make sure you are online at the right times because some of them only run deals certain times of the day or until their supply is all bought out. So save time, money, and enjoy the holidays a little more this year by doing your Black Friday shopping online!

Nintendo 3DS This Holiday!

Since the release of the Nintendo 3DS in America on March 27, 2011 it has had a few great games come out. Like Star Fox 3D and Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D these games show of the fancy 3D action of the system. This Holiday is looking to be a great season for Nintendo with some huge titles coming out. Super Mario 3D Land comes out next week and is another game in the Super Mario Land series but this time it has 3D landscapes which from what’s been shown it looks amazing. Coming out next month is the seventh game in the Mario Kart Series. This game is looking to show off what the 3DS can really do. Taking the original games and making this one the best in it’s series.

Mario and Zelda have already took advantage of the new 3DS and this holiday you will see the two new Mario games in action. Looking towards more of next year you will get to see more of the promising projects that companies around the world are working on to use the 3DS features. In February, Resident Evil Revelations comes out and this games brings a new story to the series bring star characters Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield back.

Famous game director Hideo Kojima is bringing out Metal Gear Solid 3D Snake Eater and this game will be one of his best projects since MGS 4. Luigi’s Mansion 2 is making a return to the world with another title since the first one on the Game Cube. Paper Mario, and Kid Icarus are the next big titles coming out next year as well. Kid Icarus looks to be the best game on the platform and the graphics and story looks amazing. So rather your buying games this Holiday or the first quarter of 2012 your going to be having a lot of fun using the different types of 3D functions.

Dream Weaver Shop

The shop Dream Weaver is home to some pretty amazing tea, and you can find nearly any natural tea flavor you’re looking for. This shop makes buying tea as easy as placing a simple order, and waiting! According to Bob, the man who runs the Dream Weaver shop, “I prefer to sell whole leaf teas because they have much better flavor since when you cut the teas very fine to put them into tea bags they lose flavor from being exposed to air.” The tea also comes with a reusable tea bag that can be rinsed out after each use.

Bob’s site offers many options to customers, available for your purchase, he sells; green tea, black tea, chai, white tea, herbal tea, herbs, resins, and fudge. Bob sent two sample fall flavors to the magazine earlier this week, English Toffee, and Pumpkin Pie herbal tea; both of which were very refreshing. The two flavors, which were very different from one another, had a way of warming you after a day out in the cold.

If anyone has a strong love for tea, this is the place to go! Your quest for delicious, natural teas is over, just visit www.etsy.com/shop/dreamweavershop and get shopping, either for yourself, or for friends and relatives who love tea! This would make an excellent gift during the holidays!