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Books
· Simon the Snowman

· Beside Still Waters

· Under Amber Skies

· Coastal Whispers


Short Stories
· Finding Ricky's Voice

· Worries Are Like Small Potatoes

· Five Generations of Women, Five Generations of Strength

· The Adventures of Gillyboat and Flea

· A Mug of Dreams

· The Man in Gray

· Parsley Rabbit Learned a Life Lesson

· All I Want for Christmas....

· The Grand Prize

· The Magic Bunny


Articles
· Love Letters for Valentine's Day

· Daddy’s Spirit Keeps Fallen Fathers in Children’s Hearts, Year-Round

· Broadcasting Relationship “Status” (on a shirt)? Is It Funny or Desperate?

· Resurrecting Love at Easter: Is It a Good Idea?

· The X’s & O’s of Love & Romance

· Relationship Obituaries: A New Way to Move Forward?

· Marriage Proposals by Women: Tips and Is Trend Really for Leap Year Only?

· The “After-Valentine” Valentine’s Day

· Valentine’s Day Gifts: Are Secrets and Surprises Taboo?

· Re-gifting (for the Right Reasons)


Poetry
· Life As I Now Know It

· For Susan Bachman – Missing from Pennsylvania

· Soft Light of Solitude

· Budding Relationships

· The Heartfelt Gift

· Her Courage

· Bravest of the Brave

· Our Hearts Are Hurting for Boston

· A Soul of Kindness

· One Day at a Time

         More poetry...
News
· Poem Requested by WBZ-Boston

· Jill Eisnaugle Scores Third Place in Writer's Weekly Contest

· Jill Eisnaugle Wins Two Hallmark Book Contests

· Featured Author on Five More Minutes With

· Card contest win meaningful for daughter, Jill Eisnaugle, on Father's Day

· Jill Eisnaugle's Hallmark Card to be Sold in Stores

· Jill Featured in Galveston County Daily News for Hallmark News

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Blogs by Jill Eisnaugle

Christmas Celebrations Around the World
12/11/2007 5:12:44 PM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

It is interesting to see how different countries celebrate Christmas. I am, personally, very fascinated by the wide and varied ways that different cultures view certain holidays. I hope you are too!




Belgium
On the sixth of December Sinterklaas or Saint-Nicholas is celebrated, which is an entirely different holiday from Christmas. Santa Claus in Belgium is called de Kerstman or le Père Noël and he does come around on Christmas day to bring children presents. There are different cultures in Belgium, the Northern part being Vlaanderen (speaking a Dutch dialect), the Southern part being Wallonie (speaking a French dialect) and the Eastern part speaking German.
Small family presents are given at Christmas too, under the tree, or in stockings near the fire-place, to be found in the morning. Christmas breakfast is a special sweet bread called 'cougnou' or 'cougnolle' - the shape is supposed to be like baby Jesus. Some families will have another big meal on Christmas day.

Brazil
Father Christmas is called Papai Noel. Many Christmas customs are similar to USA or UK. For those who have enough money, a special Christmas meal will be chicken, turkey, ham, rice, salad, pork, fresh and dried fruits, often with beer. Poorer people will just have chicken and rice.

Finland
Finnish people believe that Father Christmas (Santa Claus) lives in the north part of Finland called Korvatunturi, north of the Arctic Circle. People from all over the world send letters to Santa Claus in Finland. (It is only fair to say that the people of Greenland say that really, Father Christmas lives in Greenland!) There is a even big tourist theme park called 'Christmas Land' in the north of Finland, near to where they say that Father Christmas lives.
Everyone cleans their houses ready for the three holy days of Christmas - Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day. Christmas Eve is very special, when people eat rice porridge and a sweet soup made from dried fruits (plums, raisins, apples, pears, apricots and figs). It´s eaten in the morning or at lunchtime. They will then decorate a spruce tree in the home. At mid-day, the 'Christmas peace declaration' is broadcast on radio and TV from the Finnish city of Turku by its Mayor. In the evening, a traditional Christmas dinner is eaten. The meal will include 'casseroles' containing liver, rutabaga, carrot and potato, with cooked ham or turkey. Some families eat liver pate. Rawpickled slightly salted salmon, herrings and salad called "rosolli". Mushroom salad is also common. Rosolli is cold salad made from peeled, cooked and diced potatoes, carrots, beetroot and diced apples, onions and pickled cucumber. Season with salt (some people use also pepper). Whipped cream (+ salt, vinegar and beetroot colour to make it pink) is served with rosolli. Food traditions during the Christmas period depend on which part of Finland people live. In Lapland and in Finland's islands there are different foods. Other foods include cooked peas, different kind on salads, roe, cold fish-dishes, pates, other casseroles such as beetroot casserole with cheese or with blue cheese, sweet and spiced breads, carelian pies, and cheeses. Gingerbreads, spiced cakes, different kind of cakes and cookies and others to eat with coffee or milk. You eat these at "day-coffee" time on the Christmas eve (after the Christmas peace declaration which everybody watches on TV, or before going to the church and graveyard), in the evening. Christmas smells include mulled wine, gingerbreads, spices - cinnamon being the most common - Christmas tree, burning candles and hyacinthe. Poinsettia and hyacinthe are the most popular Christmas flowers. On Christmas eve many go to church, on the afternoon or late afternoon (time depends of local churches) - this is new tradition. The "real" and old Christmas church is early on the morning of Christmas day. Many go there too. Graveyards are very beautiful places on the Christmas eve, since there are lot of soft white snow and the only lights come from candles people bring to the graves of loved ones. If relatives are buried in other graveyards, there are places in graveyard you can lit your candle to remember them. Sauna of course is part of celebration. People go there before church and graves, or after them. After sauna is the festive dinner. The high moment! After that comes Santa Claus (if there are children) or the presents that are under the Christmas tree are opened. In some families where there are no small kids, the presents are not put under the tree, but collected to big sacks, which are carried near the front door. Then a family member might say, Did I heard sound of reindeers and bells... Or Did I hear Santa Claus... When they go to check, there are big sacks full of presents there. So it was Santa after all. Then people drink coffee and eat cakes, cookies and other sweet things. Enjoy present and play games. Small kids go to bed but others stay up late. Many families will visit cemeteries and grave-yards to place a candle onto the burial graves of family members. Cemeteries are very beautiful at Christmas-time.

Children receive their presents on Christmas Eve, usually with a family member dressing as Father Christmas. As children grow older, they come to realise that 'Father Christmas' is really a bigger brother, sister or family member.

France
In France, Christmas is always called 'Noël. Everyone has a Christmas tree, sometimes decorated in the old way with red ribbons and real white wax candles. Fir trees in the garden are often decorated too, with lights on all night.

Father Christmas is called Père Noël. The Christmas meal is an important family gathering with good meat and the best wine. Not everyone sends Christmas cards.

Germany
Germans love to decorate their houses at Christmas. Many houses will have little wooden frames holding electric candles in their windows, and coloured pictures of paper or plastic which look beautiful from the outside at night. Often too, they will have an 'Adventskranz' - a wreath of leaves with four candles. (Advent - meaning 'coming' - is the 4 week period before Christmas). On each Sunday of Advent, another candle is lit. Most homes will also have little wooden 'cribs' - a small model of the stable where Jesus was born, with Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, and animals.

Father Christmas - 'Der Weihnachtsmann' - brings presents in the late afternoon of Christmas Eve (December 24th), after people have been to a church meeting. The presents are then found under the Christmas tree. One person in the family will ring a bell and call everyone to come to the room. On Christmas Day, fish (carp) or goose will be cooked.

Hungary
Susanna Denes, a Hungarian friend contributed the following:
Santa Clause (Winter-grandfather) (Tel-apo or Mikulas) comes on the 6th of December. Children should clean and put their shoes outside next to the door or window before they go to sleep. Next day candies and/or small toys appear in them in red bags. For children, who don't behave well, a golden birch placed next to the sweets, a symbol for spanking... (but don't worry, it is just for fun, and not for actual punishment.)
On 24th of December, children go to their relative or to the movies, because little Jesus brings the tree and the presents that evening to their house. It is customary to hang edible things on the tree, like golden wrapped assorted chocolates and meringues beside the glass balls, candles (real or electrical), and sparklers.
Families usually cook festive dinner for that night. An example would be fresh fish usually with rice or potatoes and home made pastries as dessert. After dinner, the tree would be viewed by the children for the first time. It was very exciting. Christmas songs are sung and then the gifts under the tree are shared.
Older children attend the midnight mass with their parents. (During communism, children had to hide at the back of the church. Teachers could have lost their jobs for attending the mass. Later (in mid 1970's) most of the Communist Party leaders of the town attended it too.) Next day the children attack the edible part of the tree. Festive food is enjoyed on the second and third day too.

Latvia
Latvians believe that Father Christmas brings presents on each of the 12 days of Christmas starting on Christmas Eve. Usually the presents are put under the family Christmas tree. (What a good idea to spread Christmas out longer!) It was in Latvia that the first Christmas tree was decorated. For more infromation see First Christmas Tree
The special Latvian Christmas Day meal is cooked brown peas with bacon (pork) sauce, small pies, cabbage and sausage.


New Zealand
Lou from DownUnder writes: Christmas starts for us with gifts under the tree, to be opened Christmas morning. Then its onto a Christmas lunch either at home or at one's parents place. Turkey or chicken with all the trimmings is eaten, then come tea time, it is a Bar-B-Q for friends and family to get together,and have a few beers or wines with the meal!!
Portugal
People adhere to the tradition that Father Christmas brings presents to children on Christmas Eve. The presents are left under the Christmas tree or in shoes by the fireplace. A special Christmas meal of salted dry cod-fish with boiled potatoes is eaten at midnight on Christmas Eve.

Romania
People from Transylvania serve stuffed cabbage on Christmas Eve, and next day for lunch. Most likely the reason for that custom is that stuffed cabbage is the best on the second and third day after it was cooked. Moms can prepare the food a day earlier, leaving more time for decorating and organizing. Very practical.
On the 25th of December, the whole family attended church and ate stuffed cabbage for lunch.
Russia
In the days of the Soviet Union, Christmas was not celebrated very much. New Year was the important time - when 'Father Frost' brought presents to children. With the fall of Communism, Christmas can be openly celebrated - either on December 25th; or more often on January 7th. This unusual date is because the Russian Orthodox church uses the old 'Julian' calendar for religious celebration days. Special Christmas food includes cakes, pies and 'meat dumplings'.

Sweden
The most important day is Christmas Eve. A special Christmas meal is eaten on Christmas Eve - ham (pork), herring fish, and brown beans - and this is the time when families give presents to each other. Many people attend a church meeting early on Christmas Day.
United States
The USA is so multi-cultural that you will find many different ways of celebrating Christmas. A friend writes about Christmas meals, "Our family (Eastern European origin) favor turkey with trimmings. My grandparents and their relatives preferred keilbasi (Polish sausage), cabbage dishes, and soups. My husband's Italian family insisted on lasagna!"
Another friend wrote:
All year long children are told to behave, or they will get coal in their stocking. On Christmas Eve, they hang highly stylized stockings on the mantle of the fireplace, then go to bed early so that they will find presents in the morning. They are told that at midnight Santa will come, bringing a huge bag of toys. He will come down through the chimney, leave candy in the stockings and presents under the Christmas tree (anything from a Pine or Fir to a Spruce), then plug one nostril and shoot up through the chimney. Cookies are traditionally left for him, and a carrot is commonly left for Rudolph the Red-nosed reindeer, very much a part of Christmas tradition (Santa will land on the roof with his sleigh and nine reindeer). On Christmas morning, things such as cinnamon rolls or coffee cake are served for breakfast, and for dinner there is typically ham (and occasionally regal plum pudding). That is it for celebration — Boxing Day is never celebrated, Epiphany is only celebated by Catholics, and Advent not commonly celebrated.
Another American reader wrote in with the following:
Advent is celebrated in almost all Roman Catholic and mainline Protestant churches. I was RC until I was 15, as were my grandparents, and we alwasy followed the four weeks of preparation before Christmas in our church services. I found the same to be true in my father's Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, my friend's United Methodist Church, my in-law's Presbyterian USA congregations, and for myself as a member and pastor of the United Church of Christ for the last 16 years. We also recognize Epiphany in mainline Protestant churches. On the first Sunday following January 6, our service tells again the story of the Magi who came to Jesus presenting their gifts following his birth. As a child, I fondly remember leaving carrots and sugar for all of the reindeer, along the milk and cookies for Santa!



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• Tips for Wonderful Prom 2008 Photos - Friday, March 28, 2008
• Guys: Must-Do Style Tips for a Picture-Perfect Prom - Thursday, March 27, 2008
• Guys: Choosing a Corsage - Thursday, March 27, 2008
• Guys: Picking Out the Perfect Prom Tux - Thursday, March 27, 2008
• A Checklist for Young Men Preparing for Prom - Thursday, March 27, 2008
• Tips for Prom Perfect Makeup - Wednesday, March 26, 2008
• Top Prom Dress Trends for 2008 - Wednesday, March 26, 2008
• Ten Helpful Things to Know about Prom - Tuesday, March 25, 2008
• Prom Dress 101: Know the Basics - Tuesday, March 25, 2008
• 7 Rules for Chaperoning Prom - Monday, March 24, 2008
• Tips for Hosting a Post-Prom Party - Monday, March 24, 2008
• Parents: Prom is Approaching.... Do You Know What Questions to Ask Your Child? - Monday, March 24, 2008
• Weekend Box Office Totals: March 21 - March 23, 2008 - Sunday, March 23, 2008
• Belief in the Resurrection is on the Rise - Sunday, March 23, 2008
• Cute Easter Jokes for Kids - Sunday, March 23, 2008
• Easter Facts & Trivia - Sunday, March 23, 2008
• Facts about Lilies for Easter - Saturday, March 22, 2008
• Children Face Confusion About Jesus & Christianity - Saturday, March 22, 2008
• Easter Eggs: A Worldwide Tradition - Friday, March 21, 2008
• 2008 Marshmallow Peeps Survey - Thursday, March 20, 2008
• The History Behind Marshmallow Peeps - Wednesday, March 19, 2008
• Earliest Easter in Ninety-Five Years to Gather Nice Consumer Spending - Wednesday, March 19, 2008
• Meaning of Easter Flowers - Tuesday, March 18, 2008
• Going Out to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with Ale (or Lager)? Do You Know the Difference? - Monday, March 17, 2008
• Irish Trivia for Saint Patrick's Day - Monday, March 17, 2008
• Weekend Box Office Totals: March 14 - March 16, 2008 - Sunday, March 16, 2008
• Irish Claddagh Ring's Symbolism - Saturday, March 15, 2008
• Send the Kids Outdoors This Spring Break and Have Some Childlike Fun for Yourself, Too - Friday, March 14, 2008
• Thoughts from the Irish - Thursday, March 13, 2008
• Having a Bad Day? Follow These Instructions for Life - Wednesday, March 12, 2008
• Want to Be Lucky in Love -- Experts Say We Should Heed the Advice of the Irish - Tuesday, March 11, 2008
• A Neat St. Patrick's Day Idea for Kids - Monday, March 10, 2008
• Weekend Box Office Totals: March 7 - March 9, 2008 - Sunday, March 09, 2008
• 20 Strange "Odd" Jobs About Which We May Have Wondered - Saturday, March 08, 2008
• Love (and/or Lost) via the Inbox - Friday, March 07, 2008
• Fourteen E-Mail Subject Lines She’ll Love - Thursday, March 06, 2008
• Oh.... Spring Break: Newsweek Is Helping Students Prepare - Wednesday, March 05, 2008
• So....What Do You Want to Do With Your Life? - Tuesday, March 04, 2008
• Box Office Totals: February 29-March 2, 2008 - Sunday, March 02, 2008
• Spring Cleaning & Spring Savings - Saturday, March 01, 2008
• History and Recipe for the Leap Year Cocktail - Thursday, February 28, 2008
• Leap Year: Stage, Screen and a Ditty - Wednesday, February 27, 2008
• Leap Day: The Long & Short of It - Friday, February 22, 2008
• Is Your Date Really Into You.... or Not? Sure Ways to Tell - Thursday, February 21, 2008
• Ways to Know You’re Ready to Sail Away with Your Sweetheart - Monday, February 18, 2008
• The Dos & Don't of Wine Sampling - Friday, February 15, 2008
• More on the Meaning of Flowers - Wednesday, February 13, 2008
• Bridesmaid Contracts & A Sample of One Bride's Request - Monday, February 11, 2008
• The 10 Worst Valentine's Day Gifts - Friday, February 08, 2008
• Need a New Way to Light Up an Old Flame? Many People Would Like an Idea - Thursday, February 07, 2008
• The Secret Messages Hidden in Flower Bouquets - Part Two - Wednesday, February 06, 2008
• Eight Million Americans Admit to Sending Themselves Gifts on Valentine's Day - Tuesday, February 05, 2008
• Planning to Propose This Valentine's Day? Think Princess Cut - Monday, February 04, 2008
• Valentine's Day: What Women REALLY Want - Saturday, February 02, 2008
• The Top Ten Lies That Men Tell Women - Friday, February 01, 2008
• How Kids View Valentine's Day & Love - Thursday, January 31, 2008
• Most Romantic Weather Conditions - Tuesday, January 29, 2008
• Top 10 Family Friendly Valentine Movies - Monday, January 28, 2008
• More Ways to Avoid Valentine's Day Mishaps - Friday, January 25, 2008
• 10 Ways to Avoid Mishaps for Valentine's Day - Sunday, January 20, 2008
• Secret Messages Hidden Within Flower Bouquets? - Wednesday, January 16, 2008
• Help for Men This Valentine's Day - Sunday, January 13, 2008
• Rules for Wedding Gift Giving - Friday, January 11, 2008
• Wedding Trends: Is It Okay to Spend? - Tuesday, January 08, 2008
• Setting Financial Resolutions in 2008 ~ A Growing Trend for the New Year - Wednesday, January 02, 2008
• New Year's Eve Proposals & Singles Statistics - Thursday, December 27, 2007
• TD AMERITRADE Poll Shows the Need for Fiscally-Fit New Year's Resolutions - Wednesday, December 26, 2007
• The Week Before Christmas: A Procrastinator's Nightmare - Wednesday, December 19, 2007
• The History of Christmas Lights - Monday, December 17, 2007
•  Christmas Celebrations Around the World - Tuesday, December 11, 2007  
• Attention Kids: Santa Announces How He Determines Naughty & Nice - Wednesday, December 05, 2007
• The History of Santa's Elves - Friday, November 30, 2007
• Gift Cards: The Facts & Figures - Wednesday, November 28, 2007
• Men, Women & Our Thanksgiving Roles - Wednesday, November 21, 2007
• Ways to Be on Your Best Behavior for Black Friday - Tuesday, November 20, 2007
• November 19th is National "Have a Bad Day" Day - Sunday, November 18, 2007
• Forty-One Unique Marriage Proposal Ideas - Friday, November 16, 2007
• Random Acts of Kindness - Tuesday, November 13, 2007
• A Good Plan for Surviving Thanksgiving and the Holidays Alone - Friday, November 09, 2007
• Number One Sign You're on a Bad Date - Friday, November 02, 2007
• Halloween Sites for Kids - Wednesday, October 31, 2007
• Carving an Online Pumpkin - Wednesday, October 31, 2007
• The Legend of the Jack O'Lantern - Wednesday, October 31, 2007
• Halloween: A Commercial History - Tuesday, October 30, 2007
• Another Look at Dating in America - Wednesday, October 24, 2007
• Top Ten Ways that Women Drive Men Away and How to Avoid Them - Sunday, October 14, 2007
• College Kids Watch TV, but How Much May Surprise You - Wednesday, October 10, 2007
• In Honor of Deputy Constable Jason Norling - Saturday, October 06, 2007
• Money + Desperation = A Bad Relationship Trend - Friday, October 05, 2007
• Simple, Yet Meaningful Ways You Can Help in the Fight Against Breast Cancer - Thursday, September 27, 2007
• Pet Peeves in Relationships - Tuesday, September 25, 2007
• Labeling in Relationships - Monday, September 24, 2007
• A National Singles Week Survey - Monday, September 17, 2007
• Returning to College? Want a Roomate? Many Students Do. - Tuesday, September 11, 2007
• Grandparent's Day Is International - Friday, September 07, 2007
• Best "Getting Over You" Songs - Tuesday, September 04, 2007
• Work Our Jobs or Work at Home: This Labor Day, We Will Still Work - Sunday, September 02, 2007
• Nagging Has a Bad Affect on a Man's Health, According to a New Study - Thursday, August 30, 2007
• Christmas in August? For Some, It is True - Monday, August 27, 2007
• Random Thoughts (and facts) about Men, Women, and Life - Tuesday, August 21, 2007
• Women Love Clothes but Men Don't Mind - Sunday, August 19, 2007
• Left Handed Authors - Monday, August 13, 2007
• Teachers Tell Researchers They Like Their Jobs - Tuesday, August 07, 2007
• Uniqueness and Cell Phones - Sunday, August 05, 2007
• Back to School Statistics - Tuesday, July 31, 2007
• Kids and Technology - Thursday, July 26, 2007
• Beware of Lipstick When You "Kiss the Chef" - Saturday, July 21, 2007


The Chronicles of Henry Roach-Dairier: To Build a Tunnel by Deborah Frontiera

Now in its second edition, To Build a Tunnel is the first book of the trilogy, The Chronicles of Henry Roach-Dairier. This fantasy will be enjoyed by youth ages 10 or 11 and up, as..  
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