Despite COVID, some good economic news

Can December start the snow season?

December could be the month we see measurable snowfall. In the past we have seen pretty decent snowfall in December and also a few White Christmases. It’s always good to be prepared for snow, no matter when it comes. Keep the snow shovel ready. Keep a bottle of WD-40 oil spray handy to spray the snow shovel and prevent snow from sticking to the shovel. Spray the shovel several times as you shovel the snow. Your arms will thank you and we’re sure your heart will thank you.

Lighting a Moravian star in the Advent season

The season of Advent has arrived and it is time to prepare for Jesus’ first coming and birth in Bethlehem. It’s the season to light the Moravian Star and let it shine all night long to light the way for baby Jesus and welcome him into our homes and hearts. You can buy Moravian Stars at Gullians Bookstores and Moravian Bookstores. They come boxed and are easy to assemble.

Pearl Harbor: “A Day of Infamy”, 1941

Tuesday, December 7 will be Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. On a Sunday morning 80 years ago, around 8 a.m., the Empire of Japan staged a surprise and unprovoked attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor. It was a horrific attack that sparked the United States into World War II. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt addressed the nation that evening and called the event “a day of infamy”. That same night, he urged Congress to declare war between the United States and the Empire of Japan. Two fateful days should never be forgotten in America and they are Pearl Harbor Memorial Day and Patriots Day, 9/11. “Do you remember Pearl Harbor? “We will never forget.”

Looking for a natural Christmas decoration

At the start of December there is an abundance of the most unusual places such as roadsides, woods and probably as close as your own garden or lawn to find natural Christmas decorations. Honeysuckles stay green all winter and go well with Advent wreaths with sprigs of red cedar. We can almost be sure that the early Moravians would have used these greens in their Advent wreaths along with sprigs of shortleaf pine. Nandena and dogwood berries also make a colorful decor. Pine cones and pine boughs make great mantel decor and wreaths for candle displays. Pine cones also provide Christmas accents. Popcorn kernels can be threaded with a needle and thread and used on mantelpieces, window sills, centerpieces and coffee tables. When popping corn, use regular kernels purchased in one pound bags, not microwave popcorn. It works better, is whiter and has no seasoning. Holly is still there although you may have to search harder to find her. The natural settings and ornaments you gather produce an atmosphere of Christmas past, but also bring us the aromas of Christmas past. At Grandma’s, the smells were always smells of cedar pine mixed with country ham and chicken vinaigrette.

The freshly cut aroma of Douglas fir

Nothing brings the smell of Christmas home like the scent of freshly cut Douglas fir and burning candles on the fireplace. You may not have a seven-foot Douglas fir to create this atmosphere, but Christmas tree lots have plenty of Douglas fir trimmings. They will be happy to give you some of these cuttings, but be sure to pay them well as people work long hours, hard, cold and freezing in ice, humidity, snow, sleet, biting wind and the weather. Tell them you appreciate their work this season. Many work for free as fundraisers for churches and other charities and organizations.

recycling season

Christmas parties, gatherings, dinners, gift wrapping, meetings, banquets, boxes, as well as bottles, cans and cartons. All of these items are what many families put in their trash cans that are heading to landfills. All of these items could be broken down, cleaned and placed in recycling bins. More than half of the waste we produce could be recycled and kept out of landfills with just a little worry and effort. Recycling is easy and you can recycle all cardboard boxes (broken down), glass containers, plastic soft drink bottles, soft drink cans, plastic milk cartons, metal cans, newspapers and plastic bags. To avoid a mess, clean all cans, remove all labels, remove lids from metal cans, place inside cans and fold. Think twice before throwing away something that can be recycled.

Fruit cakes: the most misunderstood desserts

Fruitcakes often get a bad rap and give many people a bad fruitcake experience simply because what they tasted was not real fruitcake, but a concoction of lemon peels and a few raisins and dried prunes, very few nuts, and a crumbly dry mix without the moisture and stickiness to hold it together – probably cost $6! It’s not a fruitcake because it just has no substance, it’s a bad fruitcake experience because its ingredients aren’t really fruit. You get what you pay for and a good fruitcake with lots of nuts and fruit costs well over $6. What is a real fruitcake made of? First, it contains quality ingredients such as pineapple chunks, half red and green maraschino cherries, plump golden raisins, walnut and pecan chunks, and just enough flour, sugar, brown sugar, molasses, rum, brandy, vanilla, orange, and lemon flavoring to hold the cake together. A real fruitcake will be sticky with flavor, but will also have the moisture quality of the ingredients. Judge a real fruitcake by the merits of the fruits, nuts, and unique ingredients that hold the cake together. Nothing is like the real deal and a real fruitcake is a work of art, and a joy at Christmas time, a true Christmas memory of a lifetime. Do not accept any imitation substitutes, invest in a real fruitcake. Create a tasteful Christmas keepsake, not a horrible fruitcake experience!

Christmas cherry pudding

Cherries are a great product to make a Christmas dessert and it’s a simple recipe to kick off the month of Christmas. For this recipe you will need a 16 ounce can of Oregon (that’s the brand name) and there are red cherries (with juice), two sticks of light margarine, half a stick of light margarine, two large beaten eggs, two and a half cups of plain flour, four teaspoons of baking powder, a quarter of a teaspoon of salt, a cup of milk, a teaspoon of cornstarch, a half a cup of water, a cup of sugar and a half cup of sugar. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Drain the can of red cherries and reserve the juice. Set both aside. In a large bowl, cream the two sticks of light margarine with a cup of sugar, add the two beaten eggs and set aside. In another bowl, combine two and a half cups of flour, a quarter teaspoon of salt and four teaspoons of baking powder. Add a cup of milk to the flour mixture. Stir and mix margarine, sugar, egg mixture into flour mixture. Pour batter into 13x9x2-inch pan or baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with foil and bake for one hour until firm. To make the cherry sauce, combine cherry juice, half a cup of sugar, half a cup of water, half a stick of light margarine and a tablespoon of cornstarch. Heat the mixture over medium heat until the margarine melts and the sauce thickens. If sauce needs to be thicker, add more cornstarch with cold water and thicken to desired consistency. Pour over cooled cake and scatter cherries over top of cake. Serve with Cool Whip, Dream Whip or dairy whipping cream.

Greening lots of Christmas trees

Since the week before Thanksgiving, Christmas trees have been sprouting up vacant lots and heaps of trees arrive every day. They come in all shapes, sizes and heights. You can choose from Scots pine, white pine, Frazier fir, Douglas fir and spruce. Here’s what to look for in finding the perfect tree: (1) The tree should smell and look fresh. (2) Test the tree by bending some limbs; they should bounce back. (3) Bounce the tree to see if the needles stay on the tree, if needles fall off, do not buy this tree. (4) Buy the tree a day before you plan to decorate it. (5) Make sure the tree is full with no bare spots. (6) Prepare the tree before bringing it into the house by having a field worker cut two inches from the bottom if he has not already done so. Place the trunk in a water bath for 24 hours before preparing it for home. (7) Place the tree in the holder that allows you to water the tree. (8) A watered tree will last 30 days in the house. (9) Never leave tree lights on inside the house when you leave.

Hoe hoe hoe

The father gathered all his children and said, “Children, when George Washington knocked over the cherry tree, he honestly told his father that he did it.” Now answer me honestly, who reversed the addiction? Finally, the youngest son admitted to knocking him down. After that, he was well disciplined by his father. “It’s not fair,” said the youngest son, “George Washington was not punished when he told the truth.” “Son,” replied the father, “George Washington’s father was not in the cherry tree when George knocked the tree down.”

“A cheerful giver.” Coming out of the church service, 6-year-old Jan said to the pastor, “When I grow up, I’ll give you some money. The preacher said, “Well thank you, but why do you want to give me your money?” Jan said, “Because my father said you were one of the poorest preachers we ever had.”

The December Almanac

The December New Moon occurred on the evening of Saturday, December 4. Pearl Harbor Day is Tuesday, December 10. The moon reaches its first quarter on Friday, December 10. There will be a full moon on the night of Saturday December 10. 18. The moon will be named “Full Cold Mood”. Winter begins on Tuesday, December 21. Christmas Eve is Friday, December 24. Christmas Day is Saturday, December 25. The moon reaches its last quarter on Sunday, December 26. New Year’s Eve is Friday, December 25. 31.

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