Martin Luther King Jr. Day–Monday Jan. 20

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Doctor King in 1964

Martin Luther King Jr. was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. His most famous speech was “I have a Dream” and was the youngest man to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.  He was murdered at the age of 39.  The campaign for a federal holiday in King’s honor began soon after his death in 1968. President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed three years later. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.

The national Martin Luther King Day of Service was started by former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Harris Wofford and Atlanta Congressman John Lewis, who co-authored the King Holiday and Service Act. The federal legislation challenges Americans to transform the King Holiday into a day of citizen action volunteer service in honor of King.

Source:  wikipedia.org

 

Images of the civil rights struggle

 

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New Year’s Eve Games to Celebrate 2020 in a Fun, Memorable Way

By Rebekah Lowin

Throwing a New Year’s Eve party this year? Odds are, you’ve been planning for weeks. You probably sent out your invites way back when and you’re all stocked up on New Year’s Eve drink ingredients—not to mention items for your New Year’s Eve appetizer recipes. All the better to surprise your friends with!

But if there’s one aspect of the long-awaited event you might not have paid enough attention to, we’d bet it’s the entertainment factor. Enter: our list of the very best New Year’s Eve games to play this year. After all, watching the New Year’s Eve ball drop only takes a minute! Have no fear: We’ve got you covered with the very best New Year’s games for kids and adults alike. From a disco ball piñata that doubles as the ideal post-midnight snack, to word search games and even creative, seasonally appropriate Mad Libs, there’s something here for every age group and personality to enjoy. We’ve even included a fun project that incorporates your love of hot chocolate and makes use of all those cute coffee mugs you’ve got lying around.

And who says you have to stick to just one of these genius ideas? Double (or triple!) the fun by playing multiple games.

 

Two Resolutions and a Lie New Year’s Eve Game

new years eve games two resolutions and a lie

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Instead of playing the classic Two Truths and a Lie game, make it New Year’s themed by swapping in resolutions. Have each guest tell three resolutions, one of which is a lie. It’s up to everyone else to figure out which resolution is the fib!

End of the Year Charades Game

new years eve games charades

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For this game, you’ll need to gather up a list of all the important events from the past year, whether related to pop culture, politics, or inside jokes between your crew. Then write each down on a piece of paper and put into a bowl for you to use in a lively game of charades.

Name That Tune 2019 New Year’s Eve Game

new years eve games songs

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Create a playlist of the best songs of 2019 and see what team can guess the name of the song and the artist first! Make a point system for each artist and title named to make it more competitive.

Conversation Starter Cards for New Year’s Eve

New Years Eve Game Cards

Alice and Lois

These conversation-starting cards will be a hit at your annual New Year’s Eve party. “Most Embarrassing Moment of the Year,” “Best Move of the Year,” and “Favorite Holiday Memory of the Year” are just a few of our favorites.

 

Check this web site for more New Years Eve party ideas:

https://www.countryliving.com/entertaining/g29614810/new-years-eve-games/

Merry Christmas, Please Pass the Fruitcake !

Much aligned, much beloved.  It’s the Christmas fruitcake that some say could be used as a spare tire in a pinch.  But we fruitcake lovers know best.  It’s a wonderful addition to the Christmas dinner table.

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Just feast your eyes on that beauty, typically rich in fruit and nuts.  And quite sweet.  The fruitcake began in ancient Rome and quickly spread to Europe, then to colonial America.

Despite all the history and worldwide popularity, fruitcake isn’t everyone’s favorite holiday treat. Those cakes can be really heavy. And maybe because fruitcake lasts so long they often get forgotten, or re-gifted, and end up sitting around on shelves. December 27 is National Fruitcake Day, but then a little more than a week later it’s Fruitcake Toss Day on January 7. One town in Colorado takes getting rid of their unwanted fruitcake very seriously. Every year, Manitou Springs has a contest to see who can throw their fruitcakes the farthest and with the greatest accuracy. People build catapults, slingshots, or just hurl the cakes by hand. To make up for all the lost food, everyone competing has to bring a donation to the local food bank — anything except fruitcake!

Nonetheless, we lovers of fruitcake can’t wait for the holidays so we can enjoy this treat that has been around for 2000 years.  Ah…..not the same cake, just the recipe.  Enjoy !

 

Credit to What’s cooking America, cbc.ca and Wikipedia.org

Kwanzaa 2019

 

 

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Prairie View A & M University

 

Celebrating Kwanzaa

 

Woman Wearing a Uwole and Lighting Candles in a KinaraKwanzaa Table

FUN KWANZAA FACTS

1. Kwanzaa is a Swahili word. Swahili is the native language of several countries in east Africa and is learned as a second language by many other people.

2. A kinara is a candle stick holder. Seven candles are put in the holder: three red, one black, and three green.

3. Kwanzaa is a celebration of family, community, and culture.

4. Pan-African colors: red for the noble blood that unites all people of African ancestry, black for the people, green for the rich land of Africa.

5. The US government has issued two Kwanzaa stamps: one in 1997 and another in 2004.

6. During Kwanzaa people say Habari Gani, which means “What’s the News?”

7. A uwole is a brightly colored article of clothing worn by women in Africa.

    • Kwanzaa is a seven-day cultural festival that celebrates African American heritage.
    • It is celebrated from December 26 to January 1.
    • Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga of United Slaves Organization in 1966.
    • It was offered at that time as an African American alternative to Christmas.
    • Recently, it has become acceptable for participants to celebrate Kwanzaa along with Christmas and Hannukah.
    • Kwanzaa is Swahili and means “first fruits.”
    • The “Seven Principles of Kwanzaa” are:

1. Unity

2. Self-Determination

3. Collective Work and Responsibility

4. Cooperative Economics

5. Purpose

6. Creativity

7. Faith

  • These seven principles emphasize traditional African values.
  • Kwanzaa decorations include African art, colorful cloth, kinaras, and fresh fruits.
  • The Pan-African colors – red, black, and green – are common in Kwanzaa celebrations.
  • A Karamu feast is held on December 31. Families and friends get together to eat, listen to music, dance, pour libations and exchange gifts.

https://www.elcivics.com/kwanzaa.html

25 Fun Christmas Party Themes

You’ll feel inspired to deck more than just the halls with these original ideas.  Way Better Than Another Ugly Sweater Party

By Caroline Picard and Katie Bourque

Christmas party themes

The holiday season is in full swing: You’ve found a white elephant gift everyone will try to steal, baked some cookies that will make Santa’s mouth water, stocked up on some pretty amazing Christmas gifts, and even your nails are looking festive. Everything is coming together! But you’ve come to to realize something — all of the holiday parties you’ve been attending this year are basically the same, and it’s up to you to mix things up. These Christmas party themes will take your own holiday celebration to the next level.

Whether you want to host a countrified Christmas, harmonize to your favorite carols, relax in your comfiest pajamas, or make your loved ones dress up like the Grinch, there are plenty of party themes that will make your get together feel fun and original. Click through these party ideas to get some inspiration for your greatest celebration yet.

 

1 Party Theme: Reverse Christmas in July

Christmas Santa Claus Enjoying Tropical Beach Vacation Holiday Travel

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The beachgoers among us are familiar with Christmas in July, a midsummer excuse to celebrate with some yuletide cheer. Bring that summer vacation vibe to the holiday vacation by firing up the hot tub and playing The Beach Boys’ Christmas album. Party guests should bring their most festive swimsuits!

 

2 Party Theme: Characters of Christmas

Portrait enthusiastic young women wearing Christmas reindeer antlers and drinking champagne at party

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Costume parties aren’t just for Halloween. There are plenty of recognizable and easy to recreate characters to choose from, like Santa, Santa’s elves, Scrooge, or even a busy working woman who winds up falling in love with a town obsessed with Christmas (hello, Hallmark Christmas movies!).

 

3 Party Theme: 12 Days of Dip

Healthy green yoghurt  smoothie and beetroot  dip

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Appetizers are the best part of the meal anyway. Invite your friends to bring their favorite chip dip for this casual spin on a traditional potluck. Plus, there are plenty of great, low cal recipes you can try.

4 Party Theme: Christmas Pajama Party

Baby it's cold outside

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You don’t need high heels and Spanx for a successful Christmas party. Have your girls over for a night of wine and Christmas flicks in your comfiest PJs.

5 Party Theme: Ho Ho Ho-down

Southern Hemisphere Christmas

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Who says cowgirl boots and Santa hats don’t match? For a country twist on your traditional Christmas party, play these country Christmas classics that will have your friends line dancing all night.

 

6 Party Theme: Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

Roasting on an open fire

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Nat King Cole was right about one thing, there is something magical about roasted chestnuts around Christmas. Packed with Vitamin C, they’re also a healthy treat. Try roasting your own with friends these holiday season (though they’re equally delicious pre-roasted).

 

7 Party Theme: DIY Christmas Ornaments

Midsection Of Woman Preparing Bauble
Iordache Laurentiu / EyeEmGetty Images
I could go on, but I’m running out of space.  To continue to see more themes, just click on the link.  18 more themes to check out before the big event.

 

20 Dishes and Appetizers to Bring to a Holiday Party

We all know the standard Thanksgiving foods — turkey, mashed potatoes, all the stuffing — but Christmas brings a bit more confusion. Everyone has a different opinion on what Christmas foods are and has their own traditions, so when you’re invited to a holiday party, what exactly are you supposed to bring?

We’ve rounded up some of the tastiest, most universally crowd-pleasing appetizers that will be sure to be a hit at any holiday party you attend — whether it be your own family’s Christmas dinner, or just your office potluck.

 

1. Thyme and Garlic Baked Camembert

 

2. Baked Brie with Pomegranates

 

3. Pesto Pinwheels

 

4. French Onion Beef Sliders for a Crowd

 

Enough already.  My mouth is watering so much that you will have to visit their website to continue this mini-food fest for the eyes.  Just click here (you won’t regret it):

https://theeverygirl.com/20-dishes-and-appetizers-to-bring-to-a-holiday-party/

A Merry Vintage Christmas

The arch above Rick Davis and Christopher Vazquez’s front door is composed of evergreens, holly, English ivy, pine cones, and birch. The wreath showcases pepperberry, roses, and hypericum berry. The spruce “trees” are actually cut limbs anchored in the large containers.

Life as an event planner means late nights, weekends, and multitasking in a million different directions. But it’s the thrill of those creative aha moments that drives Rick Davis and Christopher Vazquez to spend their hours sketching, planning, and ultimately creating the backdrop for some of the most important events of our lives. Davis, a floral designer, and Vazquez, a set designer, combine their talents, along with a team of artists, seamstresses, carpenters, and upholsterers, to reimage everyday spaces into the stuff of fantasy.

They turn drab conference rooms into lush, candlelit gardens brimming with walls of fresh greenery and blankets of moss. They finesse bland ballrooms with bursts of color and whimsical, storybook-inspired wonders. They bring art masterpieces to life with dramatic palettes, swaths of silk, and sweeping floral arrangements. Whatever the occasion, it becomes a little more meaningful thanks to their ability to strike a mood and set a scene. When it comes to their own life, however, it’s all about finding comfort in familiarity at their farmhouse in Maryland’s historic St. Mary’s County.

 

For More Farm-Fresh Holiday Decorating Ideas, check out:

https://flowermag.com/rick-davis-christopher-vazquez-christmas/