25 March 2009

Rudolph Day, March 2009

The purpose of Rudolph Day is to keep the Christmas spirit all year long. One can prepare Christmas gifts or crafts, watch a Christmas movie, play Christmas music, or read a Christmas book.

For our March edition, Earl Hamner Remembers A Nelson County, Virginia Christmas (this appeared in a slightly different form on the LP "The Waltons Christmas Album").

Did you know artificial Christmas trees are not new? They were originally conceived after the depletion of forests for Christmas trees. Here's the history of feather trees on a feather tree kit site, and also an article about them from the Victoriana online magazine.

This month's featured book is I'll Be Home for Christmas, a collection of personal memories from the magazine Good Old Days. This full color hardcover book is full of vintage illustrations (including some by Norman Rockwell) and reminisces from the turn of the century through the 1950s. The common denominator in all of them is not the fantastic expensive gifts that were received or the home's expensive decorations, but the happiness of family and friends being together again and receiving tokens of love from those they cared for, and giving those same tokens. Christmas was about happiness, not about money. Stories include memories of grandparents, wartime tales, and country fun. Great for a quiet read during Christmastide.

19 March 2009

Celebrating St. Joseph's Day in the News

St. Joseph: A Humble Man of God

This is an interesting article about how St. Joseph's Day has become meaningful to African-American groups. (Funny how this refers to St. Joseph's Day as a "Sicilian" holiday; I just think of it as an "Italian" holiday.)

A look at creating a St. Joseph's Day altar in New Orleans.

Preparing a St. Joseph's feast with love in Texas.

Celebrating St. Joseph's Day With Bread, a story from Chicago. (Zeppoles filled with chocolate custard? Now those I could go for!)

A New York bakery shows us how to make zeppole.

In some places it's just easier to find an Italian bakery: a video of zeppoles being prepared at Schialo's Bakery in Providence, RI. (This is up in the Federal Hill neighborhood where my mom grew up; "the Hill" was primarily known as an Italian neighborhood for many decades.)