February 24th Open That Bottle Night

Tonight is the night to open that bottle of wine or champagne that you have been saving forever but never seem to get around to. What have you been saving it for!?! It’s time to open it up and share it with someone, a lover, friend or even a stranger if that’s all that is available!

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I mean, if you think about it, what have you been waiting for? On top of that, why drink alone. If it’s that good, prove it to someone, if it’s not at least you’ll have someone to share your disgust with. Beverages are meant to be enjoyed, not stared at through a label.

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This holiday was created by “Tasting’s” Dorothy J. Gaither and John Brecher, I assume, to get people to try the bottles of wine, champagne, scotch, bourbon… even sodas and see if it’s been worth waiting for.

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It is nice to have that full wine cellar. It shows class and breeding and that you really aren’t an alcoholic because you haven’t already partaken of all that booze you have! But there is a point of, “what’s the point?”

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Open That Bottle Night always comes on the last Saturday of February, so the date does change from year to year. Don’t miss it or you’ll have to wait another whole year to try that bottle of whatever it is you’ve been waiting for.

How to celebrate – Well… open that bottle up! Have a wine tasting party. Be sure to write down what you like, and forget what you don’t like!

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January 11th National Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friends Day

By the time you finish saying what the day is, it may be over! I believe this is the longest title for a day I have run in to. Anyway, what a fun day (Depending on how it goes down)! You just need to find a puddle and a friend and you get the idea.

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Of course a lot of it depends on whether you can find a puddle or not. This time of year it’s normally not to hard to do. It rains a lot in the south but up north, a lot of those puddles may be frozen. But snow melts pretty fast and even if you can’t find one in nature, you could create one of your own.

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Next you need to find a friend who doesn’t mind getting splashed. I would advise not splashing someone on their way to a wedding or into work. It may also help if most of your friends are under ten years old. If you are say 50 and your friends are under 10 you may however want to make some better life choices.

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You could sort of make it a religious experience.  I doubt many will believe you but you could try. Or you could pretend that there are a bunch of bugs under the mud that you need to get rid of. Or maybe you are doing the traditional Peruvian mud dance and need spectators to make it a real experience.

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Or you could just say, “What the heck” and trust spontaneity to get you through the moment. After-all, how mad could your friend get?

How to celebrate – Start by finding a puddle. Next find a friend. Make sure you wear your rubber goloshes.

 

November 23rd Thanksgiving

Today we are thankful for all the blessings we have received in life. For our families, our friends, and our homes. And we should be since there are so many that do not have any of those things. They should never be taken for granted or accepted on face value. It is a time to celebrate those most important to us, and remember those less fortunate.

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There is much ado about the Pilgrims and Indians in Plymouth in 1621 when the first Thanksgiving is generally believed to have taken place. That may, or may not be true, but that is not the point. It was two warring people who finally decided to become friends. It didn’t last for long though, but it started people thinking differently about their enemies.

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That continued when Lincoln proclaimed the day in 1863 or 64. We were in the middle of a Civil War and yet we still had a lot to be thankful for. Now, the idea of celebrating Thanksgiving was not new, but setting it on a date when everyone would take part on the same day, was a new idea. It had been celebrated in late September or October in different states. Lincoln proclaimed the 4th Thursday of November as the date for Thanksgiving. It did not catch on everywhere for a while but it was a start.

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Finally in 1941, Congress made Thanksgiving, the 4th Thursday in November, a national holiday (all that Lincoln had already proclaimed but now official). Stop and look around at some point today and look at all the things, and people, you have to be thankful for. You won’t regret it.

How to celebrate – Enjoy your family. Enjoy your friends. Stop reading this blog and go eat!

August 6th National Sisters Day

If you are lucky enough to have a sister you know how really special this day is, if you don’t I feel sorry for you… because you have never known the most loving, caring person in the world. I am lucky enough to have two, both are different from each other, and yet the same.

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I’m the middle kid, I have one sister 4 years older than me and one 13 years younger than me. Though there were times I didn’t know it, they have been the one true joy of my life. They ask for very little and give a lot in return and take care of the family when no one else will, or can.

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There are times I wish they knew that. Times when they are down or heartbroken, times when they are stronger than I ever could be. So me, sisters are something very special, I can only hope that you have a sister, or two, or three, so you know what I am talking about.

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The Andrews Sisters were some of the most famous sisters in history. They sang together, bringing joy to a cheerless world. It’s fitting that we find a least one day a year to celebrate sisters, if for no other reason than them. However, Crayola recognizes Sisters Day as August 5th, Hallmark as August 7th. The truth is, at one time or the other they were both right… in a way. It’s actually the first Sunday in August and this year, that’s the 6th.  But to me, in reality, every day is sisters day, and always should be.

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How to celebrate – Do something nice for your sister(s) today. Make sure they know how important they are to you. If you haven’t spoken to your sister for a long time, find some reason to at least say hello.

January 21st National Hugging Day

There is nothing like a hug. People, animals and maybe even plants gain from a hug. Offering one and accepting one is gracious and warming showing support, caring and devotion all at the same time.

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You feel better after offering a hug and better after receiving a hug. It may be a polite hug or a bear hug filled with emotions. And somehow, animals even seem to understand the power of a hug. It is said that dogs offer hugs with their eyes… but sometimes they go further than that as well.

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The need to hug is normally obvious. People even hug their pillows at night, friends hug when something either happy, or sad, happens and lovers hug as the beginning of their relationship.

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National Hug Day was created by Rev. Kevin Zaborney of Caro, Michigan in 1986. I don’t think many of us actually need a day to be told to hug each other, it seems to come pretty naturally.

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How to celebrate – Hug someone today. A friend, a child, a pet or a lover. Count how many hugs you see today. Hug someone you have considered an enemy, it will go a long way to heal old wounds.

September 28th Good Neighbor Day

What makes a neighbor a good neighbor? Is it someone that likes the same things as you? Is it someone that watches your dog while you’re away? Someone that car pools with you? Someone that leaves you alone?

The fact is, a good neighbor starts with you being a good neighbor. Be there when you are needed, invite them to backyard cookouts, share something with them that makes them feel like they know you but don’t force your highs and lows with them.

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Finding something annoying about your neighbor is easy. Maybe they have loud kids, maybe they don’t keep their yard up like you do, maybe they butt in where they aren’t wanted. But they are still your neighbor, and you are their neighbor, so find something you can enjoy, even if it’s hard. It is easy to find the bad in people, and sometimes really….really, hard to find the good, but it is there.

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When I was growing up I had neighbors that had kids nearly the same age as me.  We did all sorts of mischievous things together. We got punished in different ways and at one point, really began to dislike each other. But we still had to live together, at least in the same neighborhood. We found a way to make it work and it wasn’t always easy. Now as I look back at it, those were some of the most fun days I have ever had.

A neighbor is possibly one of the most valuable assets you can have these days, but you have to be equally as valuable to them. What’s even better than a neighbor? …an entire neighborhood. Your neighbors might not be perfect, but neither are you. They may even be annoying at times, but so are you. The fact is that no one is closer, other than family, to you, than your neighbors. In the end they want the same thing as you, to live their lives free of fear and as comfortably as they can. So if you want good neighbors, you have to start by being a good neighbor yourself.

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Becky Mattson of Lakeside, Montana created Good Neighbor Day in the early 1970’s. Jimmy Carter made a proclamation (#4601) to launch it in 1978. It was always the 4th Sunday in September until 2003 when it was changed to September 28th.

How to celebrate – If you don’t know your neighbors, go meet them. Find out your neighbors’ likes and dislikes and adjust yourself accordingly. Try and get your neighborhood involved in some common interest – everyone will be the better for it.

April 25th East Meets West Day

There are many reasons given for East Meets West Day, sports teams, political aspiration and cook-offs.  The truth of the matter is this was a very important day in 1945.  It was when American troops, the 1st American Army, and Soviet troops, the 1st Ukrainian Front, met at a small town in Germany on the Elbe River.  It is the effective day that all resistance in Germany came to an end.  The town was Torgau, a provincial capitol in Eastern Germany.  The day was originally named Elbe Day as elements of both armies reached across a bridge and shook hands.

Many proposed that the Americans keep going and take all of Germany, Poland and defeat the Russians and communism before it was too late.  The Americans, moving quickly across Germany, were actually held up so that the Russians could capture as much territory as possible.  This arrangement had been settle by the Yalta Agreement long before the end of the war.  Most of the front line troops knew little of the agreement, nor did they care.  They found friendly faces greeting them instead of an enemy bent on their destruction.

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Thousands of Germans made their way west to surrender to the Americans rather than face the Russians.  The Russians had suffered tremendously over the years of the war and they wanted revenge for their own losses, the Americans were deemed to be a little more lenient.  With the war over and Germany was divided up between the Russians, Americans, French and English, the area where the two armies met fell into the hands of the Russians and became a part of the Iron Curtain.  The Cold War would begin and an entirely different type of fighting would begin.

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But on April 25th, 1945 this was one of the happiest days for those who were there.  For them the war was effectively over and friends stood face to face, both sides having survived the atrocities of war, a real reason to celebrate.

How to celebrate: Just remember them.  They lived and died for all of us and should never be forgotten.  Now that the Elbe is free to visit again, try an attend one of the re-enactments of the event.  Read a book about the Elbe Meeting where the East Met The West.