Tag: Family & Parenting

Saint Lucy’s Day – December 13

Saint Lucy’s Day, also called the Feast of Saint Lucy, is a Christian feast day observed on 13 December. The observance commemorates Lucia of Syracuse, an early-4th-century virgin martyr under the Diocletianic Persecution,who according to legend brought food and aid to Christians hiding in the Roman catacombs, wearing a candle lit wreath on her head to light her way and leave her hands free to carry as much food as possible. Her feast day, which coincided with the shortest day of the year prior to calendar reforms, is widely celebrated as a festival of light. Falling within the Advent season, Saint Lucy’s Day is viewed as a precursor of Christmastide, pointing to the arrival of the Light of Christ in the calendar on Christmas Day.

Saint Nicholas Day – December 6

Who is Saint Nicholas?
For a long time in Austria and some regions of Germany, particularly in Bavaria, St. Nicholas was the main character in the Christmas celebration. But he was not Santa Claus, and he arrived earlier – on the 6th of December. His usual, less friendly escort went by different names in different places: “Belsnickle,” “Niglo,” “Pelznickel,” and others. Santa Claus or Father Christmas is a more recent tradition. Since the Germans (and the Dutch) brought many of their customs to America directly or indirectly, we need to look first at Europe in order to understand the American and worldwide Christmas celebration of today.

Cash for Ash

The eyebrows of my cardiologist lifted when I conceded that I once smoked 40 cigarettes a day. Smiling, he then told me that had I said I had never smoked he wouldn’t have known. My lungs had completely recovered from the effects of 25-years of heavy smoking. My addiction started when I was a 16-year-old sailor and continued until I was 40-years-of-age.