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HIS THIS THE WORLDS TALLEST SNOWMAN

The world’s tallest snowman — 113 feet, 7 inches — was built in this western Maine town back in 1999. In the photo below the tallest snowman, “Angus, King of the Mountain”, stands tall over a crowd of people gathered to attend a ceremony in Bethel, Maine, in February, 19 1999.

tallest snowman

Now the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce will attempt to build the world’s tallest snowman (snowwoman) again. It is told that the work will start on Jan. 22 and take up to 20 days to complete, said Executive Director Robin Zinchuk.

tallest snowman 3“We definitely learned a lot the first time around and that’s helping us know what we need to do. We really didn’t know what we were doing last time,” Zinchuk said. The giant snowman was named “Angus, King of the Mountain” in honor of former Gov. Angus King. Angus was so big that his nose was 8 feet long, his hat was 20 feet in diameter and the scarf around his neck was 120 feet long. His eyes were 4-foot wreaths, and his smile was made from automobile tires.

There was also a raffle as to when Angus would melt, which with our Maine weather, was anyone’s guess. The official melt date was June 10, 1999. The raffle was divided by 22 winners. Fashion ideas being tossed around for a giant snowwoman include making a skirt out of snow, adding a pink scarf and painting tires lipstick red for her mouth.

Jim Sysko, the chief architect and engineer nine years ago, will again lead the construction team. He’ll be assisted by an engineer and a longtime snowmaker from the nearby Sunday River ski resort, which has a new snowmaking gun that could help ease the effort.

tallest snowman 2

For a name, the chamber is considering holding a naming contest. The giant snowman was named by a radio station disc jockey. “I haven’t heard from Angus (King) yet, but I’m sure he will be thrilled that we’re doing it again. He’s all about doing fun things,” Zinchuk said.

Detail of the to-be-dethroned tallest snowman are:tallest snowman 4

  • Height 113 ft. & 7 inches tall
  • 9,000,000 lbs
  • 200,000 cubic feet of snow
  • 4 ft. wreathes as eyes
  • 6 ft. of chicken wire & muslin for the carrot nose
  • 6 automobile tires as the mouth
  • 20 ft. fleece hat
  • 120 ft. fleece scarf
  • 3 skidder tires for the buttons
  • 2 – 10 ft. trees for arms

The snowman’s hat was made by seventh graders at Telstar Middle School. His six-foot nose was made by local elementary school students and as a special touch, has the imprints of the student’s hands.

Maine’s governor, Angus King, whom “Angus, King of the Mountain” was named after, came to participate in the ceremony to honor the citizens of Bethel who achieved their goal and “made it” into the Guiness World Book of Records for the World’s Largest Snowman. He stated he felt honored to have had the snowman named after him, but wondered if “Willie Melt” might not have been a more appropriate name! (source )

The snowman is listed in Guinness Book of Records 2002, page123.

CAN THIS BE THE TALLEST SNOWMAN

IT’S A RECORD BREAKER… WE HAVE FOUND THE LARGEST SNOW WOMAN IN THE WORLD?

LARGEST SNOWMAN 5555

Olympia the snow woman is 122 feet, one inch high and set a new Guinness world record.

Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

Olympia was made by the folks of Bethel, Maine, and named after Maine senator Olympia Snowe. The snowman or to be more precise the snow woman was 122 feet, one inch high and broke the Guinness world record for the largest snowman. Olympia was built in a little over a month to build, she is dressed in a 100 foot scarf, has 27 foot evergreen trees for arms, and eyelashes made from old skis.
SO WHERE IS THE LARGEST SNOWMAN 

PANCAKE RECORD MADNESS

on a hot, splendid day in Louisberg, Missouri, USA, something strange was happening. A man was doing crazy things with pancakes. Not just a few pancakes, but actually close to 1,000 of them. Guinness World Records™ was invited along to see what exactly was going on.

Allow us to introduce Steve Hamilton (USA). Now, Steve is a normal guy with a wonderful family and an even more wonderful ambition. Steve wants to be known as the Pancake King. No, he wants to be the Pancake God. No, scratch that again. Steve. Is. Pancakes. For many years now, Steve and his team have been serving all sorts of sweet and savoury goodies across the USA. From French toast to flapjacks, Steve has been pleasing crowds with his culinary masterpieces for over 20 years.

pancakes1.jpg

On 23 June 2006, Steve claimed the Guinness World Records title formost pancakes made in one hour by an individual with an impressive total of 555 pancakes. This feat was beaten in 2008 by Canadian Bob Blumer with 559 pancakes. Steve wanted to reclaim the title. Bad.

On 6 May 2009 at Louisberg Middle School in Missouri, and with Guinness World Records Adjudicator Stuart Claxton presiding, the stage was set for Steve to prove his pancake-making supremacy. Right from the start, Steve was all action: pouring, flipping, toasting and serving. It seemed endless. We could hardly keep up with the man! And 60 minutes later, there we were… 956 pancakes served and flipped – a new Guinness World Records achievement! Mr Hamilton, we salute you.

pancakes4.jpg

But that wasn’t all. No sir. The very next day, Gregg Zimmerman and Brent A. Busch (both USA) beat off some stiff competition to claim the Guinness World Records title for the highest pancake toss ever. The record to beat was 7.3 m (24 ft), set by Dominic Michael Cuzzacrea (USA) on 20 June 2008. With the sun pouring down, the sweat streaming down their brows and passion in their pancake-shaped hearts, the boys matched each other at every turn… or toss. Finally they shook hands and shared the record. Both men tossed their pancakes an amazing 7.77 m (25 ft 6 in) and were crowned for their Guinness World Records achievement by Stuart Claxton.

pancakes3.jpg

The same day, Stuart had yet another feat to adjudicate. “School day at the K” is a special day for all the kids at Kauffman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals baseball team. For the past 11 years, FOX 4’s Mike Thompson and his weather team have given a fantastic weather lesson in front of thousands of local kids. This year they were going for something special. They were going to go for the largest meteorology lesson ever. Starting at around 10 a.m. on 7 May 2009, the kids started pouring in to the stadium for the special class. About one hour later, after experiments, displays and superb instruction by the team, Adjudicator Stuart Claxton presented Mike Thompson with a Guinness World Records certificate in front of 16,110 students!

pancakes2.jpg

Well done one and all!

TRY OUT PANCAKE CHARLIES HOME RECIPES

PANCAKE CHARLIES – HOME RECIPES
 
 PANCAKES WITH CITRUS FRUIT BUTTER RECIPE
176098 HERO

  • Recipe facts:
  • 20 mins to prepare and 30 mins to cook
  • 4

Make the citrus butter by mashing together the softened unsalted butter with the icing sugar, grated zest and juice of ½ orange and the grated zest of ½ lemon. Cover and chill until ready to use.

Prepare the pancake batter by sifting the flour and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Whisk the eggs and milk together in a jug then pour half onto the dry ingredients, whisking as you do until you have a thick, smooth batter. Pour the rest of the wet ingredients onto the dry and whisk until you have the right consistency of batter.

When ready to cook the pancakes, melt a knob of the citrus butter in a frying pan over a moderate heat until it stops foaming; make sure you keep some citrus butter in reserve. Add the batter and tilt the the pan so that it covers the surface evenly, adding a little more if it doesn’t. Flip the pancakes once they are set on one side and cook the other side until golden and slightly crispy on the outside.

Arrange on a plate lined with a sheet of aluminium foil that is large enough to be wrapped around the pancakes loosely to keep them warm. Fold the pancakes into triangles and arrange on a serving plate.

Melt the reserved citrus butter in a saucepan over a moderate. Pour over the pancakes, garnishing with the julienned orange and lemon zest before servin

Charlies -Basic Pancakes 

Basic PancakesBasic Pancakes 
Serve these pancakes with butter and syrup.

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, stirred or sifted before measuring
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Preparation:

Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and 1 1/2 cups of milk; add to flour mixture, stirring only until smooth. Blend in melted butter. If the batter seems too thick to pour, add a little more milk. Cook on a hot, greased griddle, using about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. Cook until bubbly, a little dry around the edges, and lightly browned on the bottom; turn and brown the other side. Recipe for pancakes serves 4.

The history of Valentines day

Valentine’s Day

 

Modern Valentine’s Day symbols include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cardsSaint Valentine’s Day, commonly shortened to Valentine’s Day, is an annual commemoration held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions. The day is named after one or more early Christian martyrsnamed Saint Valentine, and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD. It was deleted from the General Roman Calendarof saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines“). The day first became associated withromantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.

Saint Valentine

Historical facts

Numerous early Christian martyrs were named Valentine. The Valentines honored on February 14 are Valentine of Rome (Valentinus presb. m. Romae) and Valentine of Terni (Valentinus ep. Interamnensis m. Romae).  Valentine of Rome was a priest in Rome who was martyred about AD 269 and was buried on the Via Flaminia. His relics are at the Church of Saint Praxed in Rome, and at Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland.

Valentine of Terni became bishop of Interamna (modern Terni) about AD 197 and is said to have been martyred during the persecution under Emperor Aurelian. He is also buried on the Via Flaminia, but in a different location than Valentine of Rome. His relics are at the Basilica of Saint Valentine in Terni (Basilica di San Valentino).

The Catholic Encyclopedia also speaks of a third saint named Valentine who was mentioned in early martyrologies under date of February 14. He was martyred in Africa with a number of companions, but nothing more is known about him.

No romantic elements are present in the original early medieval biographies of either of these martyrs. By the time a Saint Valentine became linked to romance in the 14th century, distinctions between Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni were utterly lost.

In the 1969 revision of the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints, the feast day of Saint Valentine on February 14 was removed from the General Roman Calendar and relegated to particular (local or even national) calendars for the following reason: “Though the memorial of Saint Valentine is ancient, it is left to particular calendars, since, apart from his name, nothing is known of Saint Valentine except that he was buried on the Via Flaminia on February 14.” The feast day is still celebrated in Balzan (Malta) where relics of the saint are claimed to be found, and also throughout the world by Traditionalist Catholics who follow the older, pre-Second Vatican Council calendar. February 14 is also celebrated as St Valentine’s Day in other Christian denominations; it has, for example, the rank of ‘commemoration’ in the calendar of the Church of England and other parts of the Anglican Communion.

Legends

Saint Valentine of Terni and his disciples.

The Early Medieval acta of either Saint Valentine were expounded briefly in Legenda Aurea. According to that version, St Valentine was persecuted as a Christian and interrogated by Roman Emperor Claudius II in person. Claudius was impressed by Valentine and had a discussion with him, attempting to get him to convert to Roman paganism in order to save his life. Valentine refused and tried to convert Claudius to Christianity instead. Because of this, he was executed. Before his execution, he is reported to have performed a miracle by healing the blind daughter of his jailer.

Since Legenda Aurea still provided no connections whatsoever with sentimental love, appropriate lore has been embroidered in modern times to portray Valentine as a priest who refused an unattested law attributed to Roman Emperor Claudius II, allegedly ordering that young men remain single. The Emperor supposedly did this to grow his army, believing that married men did not make for good soldiers. The priest Valentine, however, secretly performed marriage ceremonies for young men. When Claudius found out about this, he had Valentine arrested and thrown in jail.

There is an additional modern embellishment to The Golden Legend, provided by American Greetings to History.com, and widely repeated despite having no historical basis whatsoever. On the evening before Valentine was to be executed, he would have written the first “valentine” card himself, addressed to a young girl variously identified as his beloved, as the jailer’s daughter whom he had befriended and healed,  or both. It was a note that read “From your Valentine.

Attested traditions

Lupercalia

Main article: Lupercalia

Though popular modern sources link unspecified Greco-Roman February holidays alleged to be devoted to fertility and love to St. Valentine’s Day, Professor Jack Oruch of the University of Kansas argued that prior to Chaucer, no links between the Saints named Valentinus and romantic love existed. Earlier links as described above were focused on sacrifice rather than romantic love. In the ancient Athenian calendar the period between mid-January and mid-February was the month of Gamelion, dedicated to the sacred marriage of Zeus and Hera.

In Ancient RomeLupercalia, observed February 13–15, was an archaic rite connected to fertility. Lupercalia was a festival local to the city of Rome. The more general Festival of Juno Februa, meaning “Juno the purifier “or “the chaste Juno”, was celebrated on February 13–14. Pope Gelasius I (492–496) abolished Lupercalia.

Chaucer’s love birds

The first recorded association of Valentine’s Day with romantic love is in Parlement of Foules (1382) by Geoffrey Chaucer Chaucer wrote:

For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.

[“For this was Saint Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.”]

This poem was written to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia. A treaty providing for a marriage was signed on May 2, 1381.  (When they were married eight months later, they were each only 15 years old).

Readers have uncritically assumed that Chaucer was referring to February 14 as Valentine’s Day; however, mid-February is an unlikely time for birds to be mating in England. Henry Ansgar Kelly has pointed out  that in the liturgical calendar, May 2 is the saints’ day for Valentine of Genoa. This St. Valentine was an early bishop of Genoawho died around AD 307.

Chaucer’s Parliament of Foules is set in a fictional context of an old tradition, but in fact there was no such tradition before Chaucer. The speculative explanation of sentimental customs, posing as historical fact, had their origins among 18th-century antiquaries, notably Alban Butler, the author of Butler’s Lives of Saints, and have been perpetuated even by respectable modern scholars. Most notably, “the idea that Valentine’s Day customs perpetuated those of the Roman Lupercalia has been accepted uncritically and repeated, in various forms, up to the present”.

Medieval period and the English Renaissance

Using the language of the law courts for the rituals of courtly love, a “High Court of Love” was established in Paris on Valentine’s Day in 1400. The court dealt with love contracts, betrayals, and violence against women. Judges were selected by women on the basis of a poetry reading. The earliest surviving valentine is a 15th-centuryrondeau written by Charles, Duke of Orléans to his wife, which commences.

Je suis desja d’amour tanné
Ma tres doulce Valentinée…
—Charles d’Orléans, Rondeau VI, lines 1–2

At the time, the duke was being held in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt, 1415.

Valentine’s Day is mentioned ruefully by Ophelia in Hamlet (1600–1601):

To-morrow is Saint Valentine’s day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose, and donn’d his clothes,
And dupp’d the chamber-door;
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more.
—William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5

John Donne used the legend of the marriage of the birds as the starting point for his Epithalamion celebrating the marriage of Elizabeth, daughter of James I of England, andFrederick V, Elector Palatine on Valentine’s Day:

Hayle Bishop Valentine whose day this is
All the Ayre is thy Diocese
And all the chirping Queristers
And other birds ar thy parishioners
Thou marryest every yeare
The Lyrick Lark, and the graue whispering Doue,
The Sparrow that neglects his life for loue,
The houshold bird with the redd stomacher
Thou makst the Blackbird speede as soone,
As doth the Goldfinch, or the Halcyon
The Husband Cock lookes out and soone is spedd
And meets his wife, which brings her feather-bed.
This day more cheerfully than ever shine
This day which might inflame thy selfe old Valentine.
—John Donne, Epithalamion Vpon Frederick Count Palatine and the Lady Elizabeth marryed on St. Valentines day

The verse Roses are red echoes conventions traceable as far back as Edmund Spenser‘s epic The Faerie Queene (1590):

She bath’d with roses red, and violets blew,
And all the sweetest flowres, that in the forrest grew.

The modern cliché Valentine’s Day poem can be found in the collection of English nursery rhymes Gammer Gurton’s Garland (1784):

The rose is red, the violet’s blue
The honey’s sweet, and so are you
Thou are my love and I am thine
I drew thee to my Valentine
The lot was cast and then I drew
And Fortune said it shou’d be you.

Valentine’s Day postcard, circa 1910

Modern times

In 1797, a British publisher issued The Young Man’s Valentine Writer, which contained scores of suggested sentimental verses for the young lover unable to compose his own. Printers had already begun producing a limited number of cards with verses and sketches, called “mechanical valentines,” and a reduction in postal rates in the next century ushered in the less personal but easier practice of mailing Valentines. That, in turn, made it possible for the first time to exchange cards anonymously, which is taken as the reason for the sudden appearance of racy verse in an era otherwise prudishly Victorian.

Paper Valentines became so popular in England in the early 19th century that they were assembled in factories. Fancy Valentines were made with real lace and ribbons, with paper lace introduced in the mid-19th century. In the UK, just under half of the population spend money on their Valentines and around 1.3 billion pounds are spent yearly on cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts, with an estimated 25 million cards being sent.  The reinvention of Saint Valentine’s Day in the 1840s has been traced by Leigh Eric Schmidt.  As a writer in Graham’s American Monthly observed in 1849, “Saint Valentine’s Day… is becoming, nay it has become, a national holyday. In the United States, the first mass-produced valentines of embossed paper lace were produced and sold shortly after 1847 by Esther Howland (1828–1904) of Worcester, Massachusetts.

Child dressed in Valentine’s Day-themed clothing.

Her father operated a large book and stationery store, but Howland took her inspiration from an English Valentine she had received from a business associate of her father. Intrigued with the idea of making similar Valentines, Howland began her business by importing paper lace and floral decorations from England. The English practice of sending Valentine’s cards was established enough to feature as a plot device in Elizabeth Gaskell‘s Mr. Harrison’s Confessions (1851): “I burst in with my explanations: ‘”The valentine I know nothing about.” ‘”It is in your handwriting”, said he coldly. ince 2001, the Greeting Card Association has been giving an annual “Esther Howland Award for a Greeting Card Visionary.

Since the 19th century, handwritten notes have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.  The mid-19th century Valentine’s Day trade was a harbinger of further commercialized holidays in the United States to follow.

In the second half of the 20th century, the practice of exchanging cards was extended to all manner of gifts in the United States. Such gifts typically include roses and chocolates packed in a red satin, heart-shaped box. In the 1980s, the diamond industry began to promote Valentine’s Day as an occasion for giving jewelry.

The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately 190 million valentines are sent each year in the US. Half of those valentines are given to family members other than husband or wife, usually to children. When you include the valentine-exchange cards made in school activities the figure goes up to 1 billion, and teachers become the people receiving the most valentines. In some North American elementary schools, children decorate classrooms, exchange cards, and are given sweets. The greeting cards of these students sometimes mention what they appreciate about each other.

The rise of Internet popularity at the turn of the millennium is creating new traditions. Millions of people use, every year, digital means of creating and sending Valentine’s Day greeting messages such as e-cardslove coupons or printable greeting cards. An estimated 15 million e-valentines were sent in 2010.[

Antique and vintage Valentines, 1850–1950

Valentines of the mid-19th and early 20th centuries

  • Esther Howland Valentine, circa 1850: “Weddings now are all the go, Will you marry me or no”?

  • Handwritten poem, “To Susanna” dated Valentine’s Day, 1850 (Cork, Ireland)

  • Comic Valentine, mid-19th century: “R stands for rod, which can give a smart crack, And ought to be used For a day on your back.”

  • Valentine card, 1862: “My dearest Miss, I send thee a kiss” addressed to Miss Jenny Lane of Crostwight Hall, Smallburgh, Norfolk.

  • Folk art Valentine and envelope dated 1875 addressed to Clara Dunn of Newfield, New Jersey

  • Whitney Valentine, 1887; Howland sold her New England Valentine Company to the George C. Whitney Company in 1881

  • Seascape Valentine, date unknown

  • Vinegar Valentine, circa 1900

Postcards, “pop-ups”, and mechanical Valentines, circa 1900–1930

  • Buster Brown Valentine postcard by Richard Felton Outcault, early years of 20th century

  • Advertisement for Prang’s greeting cards, 1883

  • Postcard by Nister, circa 1906

  • Valentine postcard, circa 1900–1910

  • A tiny 2-inch pop-up Valentine, circa 1920

  • Football-playing Disney-like rat and bulldog are set in motion by the pull-tab on the right, circa 1920

  • A grommet affixed to the center of the card permits the dog’s eyes to glance side-to-side when the blue bow is moved

  • Rocking horse and rider, circa 1920–1930

Children’s Valentines

  • Children’s Valentine, 1940–1950

AULD LANG SYNE -YOUR FAVOURITE POEM TRADITIONALLY SUNG ON NEW YEAR’S EVE AT THE START OF THE NEW YEAR

santa026
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp,
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pu’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wandered mony a weary fit
Sin’ auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidled i’ the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin’ auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere,
And gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right guid-willie waught

For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

By

The great Scottish poet Robbie  Burns

Poems for Friday the 13th

fri13

 

Friday the 13th
By Adele Swift

Oooh! Aaaah!
Stay home
Little frightened ones!
Today is Friday the 13th!
You know what that means!
Ooooh!
Bad luck
Because you feel guilty
For all the things
You’ve done to hurt people
For which you’ve
Yet to be caught.

Habits
By Brenda Braene

I find a penny
I pick it up
I give it to my sister
So she has good luck.

I skip the cracks
No broken backs
I knock on wood
To keep it good.

I cross my fingers
So good luck lingers.
I laugh and play
To save the day.

The 13th of Friday
By Cassandra Oleander

Frost on the glass
Creates patterns that blast
Away fears from the day.

Peeking through Jack Frost’s
Gifts given in the night
Seeing land so clean and bright.

It’s quiet because people
Move carefully, clearly
Fearing a misstep.

Their fear makes them polite.
Superstition takes them to
New heights.

FRIDAY THE 13TH

Frost on the glass
Creates patterns that blast
Away fears from the day.

Peeking through Jack Frost’s
Gifts given in the night
Seeing land so clean and bright.

It’s quiet because people
Move carefully, clearly
Fearing a misstep.

Their fear makes them polite.
Superstition takes them to
New heights.

By Cassandrar  Oleande

IT’S FRIDAY 13th TODAY WILL IT BE GOOD OR WILL IT BE BAD YOU TELL ME!

IT’S FRIDAY 13TH

How the Black Friday Tradition Got Started

While it wasn’t called “Black Friday” until the 1960s, and then not popularly called such until the last two decades, retailers have been trying to push people to shop the Friday after Thanksgiving since the late 19th /early 20th century.  Around this time, it was very popular for various department stores, such as Macy’s and Eaton’s, to sponsor parades that would occur the day after Thanksgiving.  These parades would typically be a major part of Christmas advertising campaigns by these stores.  This, in turn, would ultimately result in a lot of people going shopping after the parades were over. Over time, this melded into a commonly accepted unwritten rule among most major department stores to hold off on their major Christmas advertising pushes until after Thanksgiving; specifically, to hold off until after these parades were over.

By the 1930s, the Friday after Thanksgiving had become the official start of the Christmas shopping season among the vast majority of retailers out there. However, this tradition ultimately resulted in retailers being unhappy with the length of the Christmas shopping season on Novembers where the last Thursday was the fifth Thursday in November (Thanksgiving at that time was always on the last Thursday of November). Thus, with the strong encouragement of lobbyists for various retailers, President Roosevelt, in 1939, decided to change the official date of Thanksgiving to be on the second to last Thursday in November, in order to lengthen the Christmas shopping season as much as possible. This lasted two years before Congress was forced to stepped in, due to the controversy Roosevelt’s switch had caused. Their solution was a compromise between the two camps, setting Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday of November.

How the Friday After Thanksgiving Came to Be Known as “Black Friday”

The term “Black Friday” wasn’t coined to describe the day after Thanksgiving until the mid 1960s.  Even then, it wasn’t a popular term nationally until around the last twenty years.

In the 1980s, retailers, unhappy with the negative connotations of what appears to be the real origin of the term (see below), decided to start pushing that the actual origin was that most retailers operated in a financial loss for most of the year and Black Friday was named such because it was the day of the year when the retailers would finally see a profit, moving out of the red and into the black. This of course, simply isn’t true.  While there are some retailers that depend on the Christmas season’s profits to make a profit for the year, most retailers see profits every quarter based on the quarterly SEC filings of those major retailers.  There are also no references to this potential origin predating around the 1980s and there are numerous references to the following theory of the origin of the term “Black Friday” before that time.

The most likely origin, which is reasonably well documented, is from Philadelphia police officers, bus drivers, and taxi cab drivers who dreaded the day after Thanksgiving due to the traffic problems from the massive amount of people out and about.The earliest documented reference to this was in January 1966, written by Bonnie Taylor-Black of the American Dialect Society: “‘Black Friday’ is the name which the Philadelphia Police Department has given to the Friday following Thanksgiving Day. It is not a term of endearment to them. “Black Friday” officially opens the Christmas shopping season in center city, and it usually brings massive traffic jams and over-crowded sidewalks as the downtown stores are mobbed from opening to closing.”  Over the next decade, more and more references can be found in various newspaper archives, primarily in the New England area, of this particular Friday being called “Black Friday” for this reason.

Black Friday Facts:

  • Nearly 135 million people go out to shop on Black Friday every year.
  • In 2010: 212million shoppers spent $39billion for an average spending amount of $365.34
  • In 2008, Jdimytai Damour, a Long Island Walmart temporary employee was trampled to death on Black Friday when shoppers at Green Acres Shopping Center, impatient with waiting for the store to open, pushed against the doors to try to get them to open.  Workers pushed back to try to keep the doors from breaking, but ultimately the masses won out and over 2000 people streamed in, trampling Damour.  The paramedics who arrived and tried to save Damour were also trampled and seriously injured by shoppers who apparently didn’t care that there was a dying man lying at the entrance of the store with paramedics trying to resuscitate him.  All total, five shoppers had to be hospitalized at that one location.
  • Shop.org executives came up with the bright idea for “Cyber Monday”, even though the Monday after Thanksgiving historically never previously saw any up-tick in online sales over any other day around that time, with online sales seeing their actual peak days between December 5th and December 15th.  This campaign has seen marginal success, but not enough for most online retailers to latch on to the idea.  Instead, there has been a big push lately for “Cyber Black Friday”, encouraging people to avoid the masses and stay home and shop online.  This campaign has been much more successful than Cyber Monday, with sales reaching as high as a half a billion dollars in 2009, which is over double what it was in 2008.

Black Friday Myths:

Myth: The Naming of Black Friday Came From a Stock Market Crash:

A theory that is sometimes spread about how “Black Friday” got its name, came from the stock market crash in late 1929 which kicked off the Great Depression.  In fact though, that event happened on a Tuesday, not a Friday.  The actual “Black Friday” stock market scare happened in 1869, was in September, and had to do with gold prices. So neither stock market crash had anything to do with shopping or the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Myth: Black Friday is the Biggest Shopping Day of the Year:

Black Friday is not the biggest shopping day of the year. In fact, it’s typically not even in the top five, though has cracked the ranks a few times in recent years. The real biggest shopping day of the year is nearly always the Saturday before Christmas, excepting a few occasions where it typically then ends up being the Thursday or Friday before Christmas, when Christmas falls on a weekend day.  Thus, the procrastinators seem to outnumber the early birds in this respect. Besides people’s naturally tendency to procrastinate, this should not be a surprise as most people are simply trying to get specific great deals on Black Friday and aren’t tending to look to get all their Christmas shopping done in one day.  So while there might be a lot of people in the stores, most of them aren’t coming home with a lot of items, according to consumer reports.  On the other hand, the last Saturday before Christmas is the last convenient time for many shoppers to get their shopping done.

*While it may not be the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday still rakes in an amazing amount of money, typically bringing in $15-$20 billion worth of revenue each year for the last three years in the United States.

Myth: Cyber Monday is the Biggest Online Shopping Day of the Year:

Another myth online retailers would love for people to start believing is that the Monday following Black Friday, which is beginning to be known as “Cyber Monday”, is the busiest online shopping day of the year.  In fact, Cyber Monday historically doesn’t even make the top ten and before the term was coined and promoted, it wasn’t even typically in the top 30.  Most of the actual biggest online shopping days of the year tend to fall between December 5th and December 15th.  As someone who once owned a reasonably successful online store, I can attest to the fact that the online shopping days between around December 5th-ish to about the 20th, for my store, would see normal sales jump about fifteen times the normal volume per day on average, during that span; then typically tailing off a bit, but staying well above average until around January 5th, at which point sales tend to see their worst rates of the year until around the end of January or early February when things would begin to get back to normal.  The last two Cyber Monday’s I owned that store, I actually saw below average sale rates on that day.

Don’t forget to send your poetry in for Father’s Day.Please send them to:poetreecreations@yahoo.com

father holding up son

FATHERS DAY 16TH JUNE

SEND YOUR POETRY IN BEFORE THE 15TH JUNE

TEN THINGS TO DO THIS EASTER WEEKEND

 

1 Paint eggs. Armed with a colouring set, box of eggs, and newspaper spread over the kitchen table, you can keep kids quiet for hours. House of Fraser stocks an egg slicer (£5) with a handy “spike” to help at the hollowing-out stage.

2 Learn about chocolate. The eggheads at London’s Natural History Museum are giving a fun, free talk on everyone’s favourite Easter treat tomorrow. Cromwell Road, London SW7, 020 7942 5792, 

3 Go to a Punch and Judy show. The 30-minute shows run from today to Easter Monday at the Pleasure Gardens at Blenheim Palace (Woodstock, Oxfordshire. 

4 Throw a doll’s tea party. Serve tiny food – mini eggs will be popular – in a doll’s tea service, sandwiches cut into shapes with cookie cutters, and you’ll keep a roomful of little girls happy.

5 Build an indoor den. Blankets draped over furniture will do for younger children. Older ones might prefer to convert the cupboard under the stairs.

6 Introduce them to karaoke. Give kids a microphone and tell them to rehearse their favourite songs for a Eurovision-style performance. Retreat out of earshot. For those with a games console, invest in SingStar, which comes with two microphones and various tracks (£49.99 from music stores nationwide).

7 Play party games. There’s no reason why musical statues, musical chairs and blind man’s bluff should only be trotted out at children’s parties.

8 Do experiments. Kitchen-table science is educational as well as entertaining. Baking soda, vinegar and food colouring are the key ingredients to create a foaming lava from a worktop volcano. 

9 Put on an Easter play. Assign roles, invite your oldest to oversee action sequences, and leave room for the others to improvise.

10 Get cooking. Children love spending quality time in the kitchen. Teach them – or learn yourself – how to make hot cross buns. 

Please don’t smoke

I want one so bad I begin to itch

But the more I have the more I get a stitch,

When I have one I feel satisfied

But the more I have the more I might die,

The one after tea is definitely the best

But the more I have,the more pains in my chest,

I used to run,I used to be fit

I need to cut down or definitely quit,

From freshness to blackness I can’t understand

My body was good,but now it is bad

All of them kill,no matter the brand,

You can kick it,yes you can,

Put it out before you choke

Trust me mate, please don’t smoke

By Christopher Wolvett

IS THIS THE WORLDS LARGEST SNOWMAN?

snow7

The Snowman

anonymous

Once there was a snowman
Stood outside the door
Thought he’d like to come inside
And run around the floor;

Thought he’d like to warm himself
By the firelight red;
Thought he’d like to climb up
On that big white bed.
So he called the North Wind,
“Help me now I pray.
I’m completely frozen,
Standing here all day.”
So the North Wind came along
And blew him in the door,
And now there’s nothing left of him
But a puddle on the floor!

My Snowman has a Noble Head

Jack Prelutsky

My snowman has a noble head,
he’s broader than he’s tall,
his ears are tin, his eyes are coal,
he has no neck at all.

Beneath his ragged hat he wears
a wig of tangled wool,
his barrel chest is buttoned up,
his belly’s rather full.

My snowman has a handsome face
complete with carrot nose,
his arms are long, his legs are short,
he hasn’t any toes.

He wields a broom, he puffs a pipe,
his smile is wide and bright,
“He looks like me!” my father says,
you know . . . he may be right!

Snowman

Helen H. Moore

Snowflakes falling
Thick and fast,
Build a snowman
Make him last . . .

Snowflakes falling,
Swirling, slow,
My snowman melted –
Where’d he go?

Peter, the Snowman

Winifred C. Marshall

It would not seem like winter,
Without a snowman tall;
I’ve worked on one all morning,
With Ted and little Paul.
This is a jolly snowman,
With such a friendly smile,
We’ll ask you out to meet him,
In just a little while.

His hat belongs to Daddy,
His button eyes are blue,
His bright red scarf and mittens
Were knit by Cousin Sue.
We’re going to call him Peter,
We’d like to have him stay,
But sometime when we’re all at school,
He’s sure to slip away.

Snow Sentry

Kate Monroe

See the snowman
all in white –
stnading still
and silent-like
as soft snow
settles light
on this cool
long frosty night.

Crystal flakes spin
round and fall,
covering him
beyond recall.

Still he’ll stand
sentry tall,
keeping night-watch
over all.

Snow Woman

Nancy Dingman Watson

Snow woman, snow woman,
What do you know?
You sit so still
And silent in the snow.

Snow woman, snow woman,
Do you like your hat?
You sit so quiet
And comfortable and fat.

Snow woman, snow woman,
Do you like your clothes?
Your apron and your mittens
And your big carrot nose?

Snow woman, snow woman,
Sitting in the night
Does the dark scare you
Or the cold moonlight?

Snow woman, snow woman,
Here comes the sun
Are you afraid of melting
And being all done?

My Snowman Friend

I call him Mr. Frosty-Face!
He brings us so much fun,
With black coal eyes, and a carrot nose,
With a smile for everyone!

If we play Ring-a-Roses,
Then all our friends join in!
But, when the game is “Statues”,
He always knows he’ll win!

When I talk, I know he’ll listen
To every word I say.
I can shout, or knock his hat off,
And he’ll never run away!

But, when the weather’s warmer,
Then Frosty-Face must go –
Until the next time that he comes
With winter’s ice and snow.

Santa claus is coming to town

We are sorry!

We are sorry if we haven’t been updating our website on a daily basis.

This is because behind the scenes we have all been working very hard to publish our first anthology.

This will feature all of the poems written by your

favourite poets from Poetree Creations.

The anthology will be available to purchase online soon.

Information will be made available at:www.poetreecreations.org

FRIDAY THE 13TH


Oooh! Aaaah!
Stay home
Little frightened ones!
Today is Friday the 13th!
You know what that means!
Ooooh!
Bad luck
Because you feel guilty
For all the things
You’ve done to hurt people
For which you’ve
Yet to be caught.

By Adele Swift

Father’s Day Traditions

Father’s Day is an important day world wide. It is a fine opportunity to honor the Dad’s or Father’s of the world.

In Australia, Father’s Day is celebrated on the First Sunday in September.

Father’s Day in Canada, is celebrated on the third Sunday in June.

In the U.K. Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June.

In the United States it is celebrated on the third Sunday in June.

Many Catholics call St. Joseph’s Day, on March 19th, Father’s Day because Joseph was the father of Jesus.

Another tradition of Father’s Day is that of the Flowers, Red roses are worn on Father’s Day to signify that one’s father is living. White roses mean one’s father has died.



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