Christmas is just around the corner, and most of us have our preparations finished and are waiting for the big day to arrive. We are not 100% ready at our house, but we are as close as we have ever been, just a couple extension cords and a great deal of wrapping and we are good to go. These short days before Christmas are literally the shortest as winter begins in two days. Winter and Winter Solstice begins on December 22, the days will start to get longer which is also a reason for celebration. The next few days will be taken up with last minute preparations and exploring new and exciting ways to celebrate the coming of winter and the Christmas season.
I like to research Christmas and winter traditions and with the internet there are an abundance of websites and information for the curious to explore.
One of the most interesting historical significant discoveries for me surrounding the Winter Solstice happened while visiting Ireland in 2009. I have heard of The Pyramids and Stonehenge, but not of New Grange. After hearing about the how it was constructed and the reason for it, it instilled in me another dimension into the coming of winder and what it meant to those who came before us many thousands of years ago. Below is a segment of a blog I posted a couple years ago regarding the relevance of New Grange and Winter Solstice. (Modified for this post)
Winter Solstice happens on December 22nd, a date that has major historical significance to the people who observed the 22st-23rd of December. New Grange was constructed by a farming community over 5000 years ago making it older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids.
An ancient temple, it was a place of astrological, spiritual, religious and ceremonial importance, much as present day cathedrals are places of prestige and worship where dignitaries may be laid to rest. The most interesting piece to this is that it was only illuminated around the Winter Solstice. During December 19th – 23rd the sun was positioned to allow the sun’s rays into its narrow chamber. This year almost 39,000 persons registered for a lottery selection process that would allow the winners entry into the chamber. A couple years ago I had the opportunity to crawl through the narrow passage way (which was nerve racking) and stand where this took place. It was amazing to be there, I look forward to the opportunity to visit again someday.
Christmas and the Web
One of the places where I seek Christmas is on the internet; there are thousands of websites dedicated to all things Christmas. Below are some of the top sites I like to visit, please take the opportunity to visit and explore.
This site is jam packed with Christmas, if you have a question or need to do research, this is the place to go.
Click here for the world’s largest online community, forums, blogs, traditions and much more
Atlantic Canadian information at its best, if you are looking for information on events and happenings in our part of the world, this is site for you. Click now to hear Jimmy Rankin’s new Christmas song “Tinseltown”. Stephanie Beaumont profiled Bay Roberts and our Festival of Lights last week!!
Internet radio at its finest, especially during Christmas, regardless of your musical preference you will find what you are looking for here.
Christmas preparations, planning and not stressing are all part of Susan’s Philosophy for celebrating life and Christmas. I happened on one of her Christmas books years ago and have been a huge fan ever since.
I hope you find the time to explore these sites and feel free to share with family and friends. I am looking forward to the break and spending time with those I love.
Two Other Items
I would like to leave you with two other items.
- This recording of the Christmas Bird, sent by my friend Fabian James back in 2007. I have been meaning to post this in a blog but has always forget. I hope it brings a smile to your face; I know I had a good laugh
- My recipe for a “Warm Tuna Dip” this is my “go to” dip when I crave comfort food I hope you enjoy.
Warm Tuna Dip
1 ¼ cups miracle whip
1 cup Monterey Jack Cheese
1\2 cup Mozzarella or Cheddar
2 tins of tuna
1 tsp. Mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp. Garlic power
½ tsp. Oregano
Set the Mozzarella aside for topping
Combine remaining ingredients in medium bowl, stir until mixture is consistent, fold into a baking dish, top with mozzarella and bake for 20-25 min on 325 degrees.
Serve with veggies or crackers and enjoy!!