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IDEAS AND TRENDS FOR HOLIDAY GIFT GIVING

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The countdown is on! Time to check gifts off the list and start wrapping things up.  Find stocking stuffer gifts, colorful Christmas gift baskets, and unique Secret Santa gifts that will keep them guessing.

RegaloRossoAre you ready to welcome Christmas? Do you have any idea about the latest Christmas trends that are presented for the next year? It seems that your answer is NO and this is why we are here to bring to you the latest and hottest Christmas trends for 2015 to help you to know how to decorate your home for welcoming this happy occasion. In fact, most of the ornaments and decorative items that are used for decorating home for celebrating this happy occasion are usually the same every year but there are simple changes that are presented every year and these changes include colors, materials and a diversity of ways that are followed for arranging ornaments whether it is in your Christmas tree or other spaces that can be decorated in your home.

Have you ever wondered what the world would be like if everyone were the same? If we all had the same color of skin, hair, eyes, etc., and we were all built just alike? Imagine if we all wore the same clothes, drove the same cars, sounded the same, and even smelled the same. The world would be so uninteresting! Thankfully, the world is filled with people of all shapes and sizes who have individual tastes, thoughts and beliefs, and that is what adds character and color to an otherwise bah-humbug…people didn’t want run of the mill items to place under the tree, but ordinary items were all that could be found. It’s no wonder people become so frustrated with shopping during the holidays!

Countless people around the world unite and celebrate Christmas every year. This is the most awaited celebration of each and

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every one of us. The holiday season is soon to arrive and everyone is already preparing for this special day. Like the angels, shepherds, and wise men in the past, the excitement and anticipation does not and will never wane. Make this date unforgettable to you and to others by sharing the love, the joy and the warmth of this special day. 

We all look for the ideal Christmas gift. It’s a quest that takes some of us longer than others. Here at christmasgifts.com, we take a lot of the guesswork out of finding the right gift. We provide a place full of possibilities for everyone. We feature a variety of Christmas gift ideas from large to small, frugal to extravagant, and simple to grandiose. Yet, all of them have one uniting aspect — to make this Christmas season the most memorable.

Who says shopping for Christmas gifts has to be complicated? When you know the person whom you are buying for, what gift you’re getting becomes less of a mystery. Nowadays, people buy gifts for more than just family. The list can include friends, co-workers, classmates, and neighbors. Some even buy gifts for those they don’t know by participating in a charity gift drive or a secret Santa gift exchange.

An easy solution is just to pick up a gift card for a local or online general merchant. It’s nice, but doesn’t necessarily have the same appeal of a package that you don’t know what is inside. We carry gifts at this website that are meant to stand out and be cherished and remembered. We specialize in showing unique Christmas gifts for everyone. From tiny stocking stuffers to gifts that are too large to fit under the tree, we have it all. Additionally, we have a multitude of decorations to make your holidays festive and enjoyable.

If you have a pet, they should be remembered at Christmas as well.   They are a part of the family also.   They would love to receive a new water bowl or food dish for Christmas as well as new toys chew on or play with.

Avoid the bah-humbug shopping experience and that bored reaction from your gift recipients this holiday season and forget about those generic gifts on the seasonal aisle at your local five and dime.

Of the Month Clubs to Warm Your Loved One’s Heart: Choose from a wide variety of monthly club subscriptions and present your loved ones with gifts that bring them holiday cheer throughout the upcoming year. With fruit gifts, gourmet food gifts, dinner gifts, cigar gifts, and even gift cards of the month, the right monthly subscription is right here!

Personalized Gifts: Nothing makes a gift more unique than to personalize it with the name, special quote, or touching sentiment that makes your loved one smile.


Jars of Notes:
Beautifully decorated jars of notes are filled with personalized messages that your loved one can open anytime he or she needs a special life throughout the year.

Experience Gifts: Enable your recipient to experience something he or she has always dreamt of like a hot air balloon ride, flying lessons, a scenic cruise, or even a massage. With thousands of experiences to choose from in a variety of price ranges you are certain to find the right experience for your loved one.

How giving experience gifts can create memories that last a lifetime.

While the tangible gifts (such as gift baskets, clothing, and books) will never go out of style, the Christmas season has a new player in town; experience gifts.  Experience gifts can be big like a hot air balloon ride to cross off your bucket list or learning to fly a helicopter, or small like a picnic in the park together or tickets to a baseball game. But one thing’s for sure, there is a perfect experience gift for every one of every age, and for every budget.

Create Exciting Holiday Memories: Think outside the box this holiday season and consider giving your teen a gift thatbrizzolari_6807x-pacchetto-rosso creates exciting memories that can be cherished for years to come. An experience gift is the perfect solution. With thousands of different experience options in a wide variety of locations, you are certain to find the perfect adventure for your teen. Choose from things like hot air balloon rides, skydiving, city tours, and much, much more.

Get Personal: Just like anyone else, teens love having their own name on their belongings, and even the most finicky of teenagers will love having a gift that is made especially for them. Choose from personalized shirts or hoodies, coffee mugs, jewelry, or even custom photo frames.

With a wide variety of music gifts, we’ve got something for every teen on your list this Christmas. Check out items such as built-in headphones and is compatible with your tween or teen’s iPod, or consider a portable multimedia player that features a top loading CD/ DVD tray and a 7 inch television screen. Other ideas to think about?    How about music?lessons plus ways to create their own music?

Whether you are Daddy’s little girl, Dad’s special son, or a mom who is in search of the perfect gift for that special dad in your life, there are many fantastic choices.

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Pocket Watch: Remember all of those times Dad showed up early for your school plays, sports games, and other activities? And how he never missed a beat when it was bedtime, suppertime, or the game was on TV? Show your dad or someone who is like a father to you how much you appreciate his timeliness with a personalized pocket watch this Christmas.

Cigars: An excellent Christmas gift dads who tend to enjoy an occasional cigar or the cigar enthusiast in your life, the cigar gifts at ChristmasGifts.com are smokin’ hot this year.

Experience Gifts: Give Dad that experience he’s always dreamt of with flying lessons, golf lessons, sky diving, race care driving and more.

Fake Magazine Covers: Feature Dad and all of his accomplishments on the cover of a fake magazine.

Personalized Glasses: Deck the man cave this Christmas with personalized beer glasses.

Surveillance System: Encourage Dad to keep his eye on you (like he needs any extra encouragement) with a home surveillance system.

Portable TV: Now Dad can watch the game no matter where he is with a portable TV.

Jars of Notes: Give Dad a sentimental jar of notes filled with your most heartfelt messages this holiday season, and show him how special he really is. Many moms’ would also like a special gift like this as well.

Personalized Photo Frame: Remind Dad of those special times you’ve shared throughout the years with a personalized01-pacco rosso photo frame. Don’t forget to insert your favorite photo for an even more special gift. Remember mom with a foto of a special memory in such a wonderful way.   It   would mean a great deal to her also.

Coffee Center: Dad will look forward to waking up to his favorite specialty coffee drink this winter when you present him with a new coffee center.

Handmade items.   Parents would love to show case something that you made with them in mind be it a homemade potholder, a picture or something of your own creation.   One thing I remember giving to my brother and nephew is hot wheel cars; they still are popular and unique toy today as well as a remote controlled car.

If you’re unsure of what to give it’s a perfect time to be creative and use your imagination in creating a gift for that hard to pleased person in your family.   It means a lot that shows you put a great deal of time and thought behind your gift. And the recipient will appreciate it that much more.

FOR MOM –   ISPIRED APPAREL

A variety of new sweaters and shirts have arrived! There are great apparel in both misses and plus sizes and most of our tops also come in additional colors!

Velvet is definitely the fabric for winter and a Velvet Cowl Neck Sweater is perfect for season! The sweater has a flattering waterfall hemline and relaxed cowl neck. This beautiful top comes in Navy and Black and is selling fast!

The Beaded Tunic is a piece that is sure to make a statement. The beautifully beaded scrollwork design instantly updates any outfit and the longer hemline makes it appropriate to pair with leggings. Choose an elegant combination of gray with silver beading; or if you are feeling bold, go for the red with black trim!

Fringe on clothes is a huge trend for the season and a Fringe Poncho is both stylish and functional. This layering piece can also be worn around your shoulders. It’s rare to find a button down poncho, and this one comes in both burgundy and black!

This holiday season; don’t forget to add some sparkle to your outfit!  The long sleeves sequin hemline tunic looks flattering on all shapes and sizes.  You can dress up this top by pairing it with a festive skirt or a pair of velvet draw string pants.  You’ll have a smart holiday look that won’t take a lot of time or effort to pull together. Ladies You can’t go wrong this season with a sequined mesh top with sparkly sequins and gorgeous georgette hemline.  This festive top is comfortable enough to wear all day, and the twinkling sequins give it a polished look.  It goes well with casual or dressy pants.

But always put time and thought into the gift you a looking to give that special person. Nothing is more embarrassing then to grab a gift only to have it refused, rejected or returned. The only trend these days     that I am not sure about is the hoverboard.   While it is growing in popularity amongst young people, it doesn’t appear all that safe.     If someone in your family is asking for one, use good judgement before purchasing it.   There should be no accident that happens as a result of getting a gift that appears safe, when it really may not be.     Just like giving a pet as a gift just because a youngster may want one.   They need to be responsible in taking care of the pet and taking good care of it. And not grow tired of it after a few days. Also giving a youngster a gift that is popular or that many of their classmates and friends have is no reason to give in to their desires and demands.   They really have to truly want the item and show that they can be responsible in taking care of their gift and be grateful for what they have received (and hopefully not turn into a spoiled brat).

Kathy Kiefer

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THE ART OF GIFT GIVING

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THE ART OF GIFT GIVING

Give others all that is alive in us—our interest, understanding, our knowledge, our humor, everything in us that’s good. In doing so, we enhance the sense of aliveness in others while enhancing our own. When we give, we get a “heightened vitality” of what it means to be human.”

With our changing economic times, everyone is asking for help in some form. There are as many reasons to give as there are ways to give.

Some people give for recognition. They want their names in programs, on park benches and in hospital lobbies. Others give expecting to be paid back or thanked, they give to get. Some people want a hands-on-experience and are generous with their time. Some like to give anonymously and don’t want any recognition at all.

People who truly master the art of giving give out of the goodness of their hearts with no self-serving motives. Giving becomes a blessing for the giver and receiver. Generosity is a choice that feels right and joyful. Generosity comes from believing you have enough to share.

The purpose of gift-giving, whether by an individual or a corporation, is to please the recipient. Your reasons for doing so may vary but, whatever the reason; the focus must remain on the recipient if you want to elevate your gift-giving to an art.

Routine, careless or improper gift-giving can do your cause or relationship more harm than good. Gifts are never a substitute for a caring attitude, good business practices, goodwill or company manners. Nor should a gift ever be given as a bribe or when it could be misconstrued as one.

The following are gifts we all have, even if you are not aware of it, that can benefit others. (1) Give of Your Talents – Give someone an hour of coaching, a signed copy of your book or a golf lesson. Can you offer child care? Or do you have plumbing, painting, or landscaping skills?; (2) Give things – Clean your home and clear out your closet of unwanted things. Give what you don’t use or need to charity. Your junk is someone else’s treasure; (3) Give blood/Be an Organ Donor – Save a life. I’ve done this on several occasions; it’s a great feeling to know you are helping to save someone’s life. It is also heartwarming to become an organ donor, and it’s another way to help save a life(s). And to know that a part of you will live on; (4) Give of yourself – Make someone feel loved, special and appreciated with a visit, phone call, email, text or card. Give a handmade gift. Give praise, gratitude and appreciation. This creates heart-to-heart connections; (5) Give someone a lift – When you encounter a quotation or a good news story, pass it on with a personal “thinking of you” note. This is spirit-lifting. It can make someone’s day. Today hand written notes and cards are rare gifts; (6) Give a recommendation – Enrich someone’s life by sharing the discovery of a great blog, book, restaurant, product or service. The message you give is “This was a great find for me and I want to share it with you.”; (7) Give the gift of laughter – Laughter brings health and happiness to others. It offers physiological, psychological and spiritual benefits. Laugh loud and laugh often with everyone; (8) Give an invitation – Being invited to any kind of event means people want to be with you. When you invite someone into your life you are saying, “I want to spend time with you, you are important to me; (9) Give affection – Appropriately offer a hug, a kiss on the cheek, a pat on the back, a touch on an arm or a tender look. We never lose the need for affection and acceptance. Touching heals emotional wounds; (10) Give good advice – Ask the question, “Do you want advice or to you want me to listen.” If needed and wanted advice can be life-saving. Shared insights and wisdom is a precious gift; (11) Give encouragement – When people are filled with doubt and fear they lack courage. When you inspire and motivate someone to act on their dreams, it can be life changing. You are making the world a better place; (12) Give An Act Of Kindness – Kindness is the easiest and most abundant gift we have to give away. Buy Girl Scout cookies, always open the door for the person behind you, return your grocery cart, make cookies for your neighbor. The list is endless. Kindness brings joy to the giver, receiver and anyone witnessing the act!; and (14) Give love – It’s easy to love those who love us back. Challenge yourself to give love to those who deserve it the least. Make your love unconditional. Make the world a more loving place. Everyone will reap the benefits!

Keep a file on anyone who might be on your gift list. Note any interests, hobbies and other personal information that arise in conversation throughout the year, like the person’s alma mater or the purchase of a new home, that may be a source of inspiration. The file does double duty because it can also be a source for casual conversation or a reason to stay in touch throughout the year. I make notes of friends and family members interests to make it easier for finding just the right gift.

Should you not be able to come up with any information about hobbies or interests, then consider a gift for the office like a leather business card case, good desk accessories, a crystal paperweight or a crystal and sterling inkwell for someone who uses a fountain pen. Gifts for the home are another option, provided they are not too personal or stylized. A good crystal vase filled with seasonal flowers like Amaryllis is appropriate for men and women. Food always makes an excellent gift, whether it is a case of Florida citrus fruit, a wheel of Vermont cheese or a crystal jar filled with candy.

In your research, don’t forget to note any dislikes. Nor should a gift reflect a person’s shortcomings. Someone with a skin problem may misinterpret a gift certificate for a facial. And, while a sense of humor is wonderful, a gift should not be used to play a joke on someone. Avoid liquor and wine unless you know the person well because they or their company might look upon alcohol negatively. Smoking accoutrements and chocolates can also be taboo gifts.

Specialty stores that cater to the person’s interests are probably the best source of ideas within your budget. Don’t be afraid to consult the sales staff, especially if you know nothing about the hobby. Don’t forget catalogues from major department and specialty stores throughout the country; a quick phone call will usually get one in the mail to you. Most large stores have an in-store shopping service that will make selections at little or no extra charge. Specialized gift services and personal shoppers can also be found in your local Yellow Pages.

Always wrap a gift before giving it. Not wrapping a present implies carelessness and an uncaring attitude. It undermines the impact of your gift. If you are all thumbs trying to tie a bow, have the store where you purchased the gift wrap it for you. Or, have a wrapping service or a friend do it for you. In selecting the wrapping, consider the recipient just as you did in buying the gift. A pink and blue bow on flowery paper will probably cause the a male executive to raise an eyebrow while a young female administrative assistant might wonder if the gift wrapped in navy, burgundy and Hunter green stripes were actually intended for her boss.

Remember to enclose a gift card with a personal comment and your signature. A correspondence card is an ideal enclosure card. If possible, give the gift in person. That you took the time to share the moment adds immensely to the occasion. More important, make sure the gift is timely. The impact of the gift diminishes with every passing day. Just think how thrilled you would be to receive your birthday presents three or four months after the day has passed.

Unless you are attending a celebration at which everyone else is giving gifts too, give your gift in private. Singling the person out with a gift in front of others can be embarrassing to the recipient and to the people who neglected to give a gift. When giving a gift, don’t insist the person open it immediately; the person might prefer to open it in private when they don’t have to worry about making the appropriate responses. Don’t disparage the gift with remarks like “Oh, it’s nothing!” because the recipient might believe you.

Always accept a gift gracefully, regardless of how you feel about the gift or the giver. Even if a gift appears to be a hostile act, like a health club membership for someone who is overweight, it may have been well intentioned, albeit misguidedly. A simple ‘thank you’ is always an appropriate expression of appreciation. Never diminish the giver’s generosity with a statement like ‘you shouldn’t have’ even if you wish they hadn’t. How would you feel if someone did that to you after you had invested your time, effort and money?

Although a telephone call may be easier and more convenient, a ‘thank you’ note is compulsory. And, the note should be written immediately. Putting it off makes it an increasingly onerous task and diminishes the impact of your gratitude.

It is perfectly acceptable to refuse a gift and, under certain circumstances, it becomes obligatory. Always return a gift that is extravagant, too personal, has sexual implications or can be misconstrued as bribery. Although you may be furious about the gift, venting your anger can put you at a disadvantage. Enclosing a note that, because of the nature of the gift you are unable to accept it is more than sufficient. Be sure to keep a copy of the note and return it in a way that ensures you have receipt of the return.

When you’ve taken the time to find out what is acceptable and what the person may like and you allow yourself enough time, you relieve yourself of much of the stress associated with giving. Finding the perfect present can become a fun-filled adventure. A gift given with joy is the most wonderful gift to receive, and taking pleasure in gift giving elevates the act to an art.

Kathy Kiefer

 

PLYMOUTH, MA – A LIVING HISTORY

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PLYMOUTH, MA – A LIVING HISTORY

Plymouth is a town located in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States. Plymouth holds a place of great prominence in American history, folklore and culture, and is known as “America’s Hometown.” Plymouth was the site of the colony founded in 1620 by the Pilgrims, passengers of the famous ship the Mayflower. Plymouth is where New England was first established. It is the oldest municipality in New England and one of the oldest in the United States. The town has served as the location of several prominent events, the most notable being the first Thanksgiving feast. Plymouth served as the capital of Plymouth Colony from its founding in 1620 until the colony’s merger with the Massachusetts Bay colony in 1691. Plymouth is named after Plymouth, South West England, United Kingdom.

Plymouth holds the unique distinction of being the first permanent settlement in New England, and one of the oldest settlements in the United States.   Plymouth has played a very important role in American colonial history. It was the final landing site of the first voyage of the Mayflower, and the location of the original settlement of the Plymouth Colony. Plymouth was established in the December of 1620 by Anglicans and English separatists who had broken away from the Church of England, believing that the Church had not completed the work of the Protestant Reformation. Today, these settlers are much better known as “Pilgrims”, a term coined by William Bradford.

Plimoth Plantation, founded in 1947, is a living history museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts, that exhibits the original settlement of the Plymouth Colony established in the 17th century by English Colonists, some of whom later became known as Pilgrims. They were among the first people who immigrated to America to avoid religious persecution and to seek religious separation from the Church of England. It is a not-for-product museum supported by admissions, contributions, grants and volunteers.

As one of the country’s first settlements, Plymouth is well known in the United States for its historical value. The events surrounding the history of Plymouth have become part of the mythology of the United States, particularly those relating to Plymouth Rock, the Pilgrims and the First Thanksgiving. The town itself is a popular tourist spot during the Thanksgiving holiday.  I remember going the Plymouth Plantation with my family when I was younger on one of our summer trips.

Prior to the arrival of the Pilgrims, the location of Plymouth was a village of 2,000 Wampanoag Native Americans called Patuxet. This region that would become Plymouth was visited twice by European explorers prior to the establishment of Plymouth Colony. In 1605, Samuel de Champlain sailed to Plymouth Harbor, calling it Port St. Louis. Captain John Smith, a leader of the colony at Jamestown, Virginia, explored parts of Cape Cod Bay; he is credited with naming the region which would become the future Plymouth Colony as “New Plimouth.”

The 17th-Century English Village is a re-creation of the small farming and maritime community built by the Pilgrims along the shore of Plymouth Harbor. The English Village brings colonial Plymouth vividly to life. Here, you will find modest timber-framed houses furnished with reproductions of the types of objects that the Pilgrims owned, aromatic kitchen gardens, and heritage breeds livestock. Engaging townspeople are eager to tell you about their new lives in Plymouth Colony.

Today, the people you meet are costumed role players portraying actual residents of Plymouth Colony. They have adopted the names, viewpoints and life histories of the people who lived and worked in the Colony. Each has a unique story to tell. Their viewpoints might shock or fascinate you, educate or entertain you. Imagine you have travelled back in time and can hear directly from the Pilgrims about the Colony’s difficult beginnings. Ask about religious beliefs, education and child rearing, relations with Native People, gardens, cooking, or any topic of interest to you. Or simply rest on a bench and enjoy the unique atmosphere of 17th-century Plymouth Colony.

The re-creations are sourced from a wide variety of first and second records, accounts, articles and period paintings and artifacts, and the museum conducts ongoing research and scholarship, including historical archaeological excavation and curation locally and abroad.

In the 1627 English Village section of the museum, interpreters have been trained to speak, act and dress appropriately for the period. At Plimoth Plantation they are called historical interpreters, and they interact with their ‘strange visitors’ (i.e. the modern general public) in the first person, answering questions, discussing their lives and viewpoints and participating in tasks such as cooking, planting, blacksmithing and animal husbandry. The 1627 English Village loosely follows a time line, chronologically representing the calendar year 1627 from late March through November (the months the museum is open), depicting day-to-day life and seasonal activities as well as featuring some key historical events such as funerals and special celebrations.   Alongside the settlement is a re-creation of a Wamanoag home site, where modern Native People from a variety of nations (not in period character, but in traditional dress) explain and demonstrate how the Wampanoag’s ancestors lived and interacted with the settlers.

The museum grounds at Plimoth Plantation also include Nye Barn, where historical breeds of livestock are kept; a crafts center where many of the objects used in the village exhibits are created; a cinema where educational videos are shown, a Colonial Education site for youth and adult groups, and visitors’ center with indoor exhibits and educational programs. The two houses on the Colonial Education site were built by Plimoth Plantation for the PBS show Colonial House filmed in Maine. Following the filming, the museum disassembled the houses and reconstructed them at Plimoth Plantation. The roof of one of these houses, the Cook House, was destroyed by a fire from a fireplace on November 19, 2011. The building had to be torn down.

The Mayflower II, docked near the purported Plymouth Rock, is also under the care of the museum. Colonial first-person interpreters represent the sailors and officers of the ship circa the 1620s. At some times, the “sailors” go on week-long trips to experience what it was like for Pilgrims.   The Mayflower II is a full-size replica of the Mayflower, the ship which brought the Pilgrims to Plymouth in 1620. It is located at the State Pier in Plymouth Center. The ship is open as a museum about the Pilgrims’ historic voyage from Plymouth, England, and is considered a faithful replica of the original Mayflower. It is officially a part of Plimoth Plantation. The ship is still seaworthy, and routinely takes voyages around Plymouth Harbor.

The Mayflower first anchored in what would become the harbor of Provincetown, Massachusetts on November 11, 1620. The ship was headed for Virginia, but eventually reached New England. There are varying theories as to how this happened. They include: violent storms threw the ship off course; a navigation error; the Dutch bribed the captain to sail north so the Pilgrims would not settle near New Amsterdam; and the Pilgrims on the Mayflower, who comprised only 35 of the 102 settlers aboard the Mayflower, hijacked the ship to land far from Anglican control. The Pilgrim settlers, realizing that the party did not have a patent to settle in the region, subsequently signed the Mayflower Compact. The Pilgrims went on to explore various parts of Cape Cod, but soon a storm and violent fights with local Native Americans forced the migrants to sail westward into Cape Cod Bay. The Pilgrims eventually came across the sheltered waters of Plymouth Harbor on December 17th. The appealing and protected bay led to a site in the present-day Harbor District being chosen for the new settlement after three days of surveying. The settlers officially disembarked on December 21, 1620. It is traditionally said that the Pilgrims first set foot in America at the site of Plymouth Rock, though no historical evidence can prove this claim. The settlers named their settlement “Plimouth” (also historically known as “Plimoth”, an old English spelling of the name) after the major port city in Devon, England from where the Mayflower sailed.

Plymouth faced many difficulties during its first winter, the most notable being the risk of starvation and the lack of suitable shelter. From the beginning, the assistance of Indians was vital. One colonist’s journal reports: ‘We marched to the place we called Cornhill, where we had found the corn before. At another place we had seen before, we dug and found some more corn, two or three baskets full, and a bag of beans….In all we had about ten bushels, which will be enough for seed. It is with God’s help that we found this corn, for how else could we have done it, without meeting some Indians who might trouble us.’

Even greater assistance came from Samoset and Tisquantum (better known as Squanto), an Indian sent by Wampanoag Tribe Chief Massasoit, as an ambassador and technical adviser. Squanto had been kidnapped in 1614 by an English slave raider and sold in Malaga, Spain. Having learned English, he escaped slavery and returned home in 1619. Teaching the colonists how to farm corn, where and how to catch fish, and how to make other necessary items, he was instrumental in the survival of the settlement for the first two years. Squanto and another guide sent by Massasoit in 1621, Hobomok, helped the colonists set up trading posts for furs and pay off the cost of establishing the colony. Chief Massasoit later formed a Peace Treaty with the Pilgrims. Upon growing a plentiful harvest in the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims gathered with Squanto, Samoset, Massasoit, and ninety other Wampanoag men in a celebration of food and feasting. This celebration is known today as the First Thanksgiving, and is still commemorated annually in downtown Plymouth with a parade and a reenactment. Since 1941, Thanksgiving has been observed as a federal holiday in the United States.

Plymouth Rock is one of Plymouth’s most famous attractions. Traditionally, the rock is said to be the disembarkation site of the Pilgrims. However, there is no historical evidence to support this belief. The first identification of Plymouth Rock as the actual landing site was made in 1741 by 94-year-old Thomas Faunce, whose father had arrived in Plymouth in 1623, three years after the arrival of the Mayflower. The rock is located roughly 650 feet (200 m) from where the initial settlement was thought to be built.

Plymouth Rock became very famous after its identification as the supposed landing site of the Pilgrims, and was subsequently moved to a location in Plymouth Center. During the process, the rock split in two. It was later moved to Pilgrim Hall and then to a location under a granite Victorian Canopy, where it was easily accessible and subject to souvenir hunters. The rock was finally moved back to its original location along the town’s waterfront in 1921. “Plymouth Rock”, a large boulder, now sits under the historic Plymouth Rock Portico. The Neo-Classical Revival structure was designed by the highly influential architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White, designers of the Boston Public Library, Rhode Island State House and the former Pennsylvania Station in New York City. Built in 1921 the existing granite portico replaced an earlier Gothic Revival style monument designed by Hammatt Billings (who also designed the National Monument to the Forefathers). In 1970 the Plymouth Rock Portico was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The rock and portico are the centerpiece of Pilgrim Memorial State Park. The park is the smallest park in the Massachusetts state forest and park system, but is also the most heavily visited.

Pilgrim Hall Museum, founded in 1824, is the oldest continually operating museum in the United States. It is located in Plymouth Center. Plymouth also features the National Monument to the Forefathers, which was dedicated in 1889. Standing at 81 feet (25 m) tall, it is the tallest free-standing solid granite monument in the United States. Other notable historical sites include the Jenney Grist Mill, a working replica of an original mill built in 1636, as well as the 1640 Richard Sparrow House, the oldest house still standing in Plymouth.

Kathy Kiefer

A COLONIAL THANKSGIVING

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A COLONIAL THANKSGIVING

How does thanksgiving translate from colonial times to present day?

Many Americans erroneously assume that our nation has been celebrating Thanksgiving since the Mayflower Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620. Nothing could be further from the truth.

To begin with, this was not even the first Thanksgiving celebrated in this country. An earlier thanksgiving was offered in prayer alone by members of the Berkeley plantation, an extension of the original Jamestown settlement, near present-day Charles City, Virginia, on December 4, 1619.    Each year visitors are invited to join in the festivities at the Virginia Thanksgiving Festival hosted by Berkley Plantation, site of the very first Thanksgiving in 1619. Enjoy this day dedicated to history and food, and including house tours of the beloved 1726 Berkeley Plantation manor house. I remember visiting Berkley one year with my mom and my brother to do just that. I found it to be an enjoyable day and time and quite memorable.   I highly recommend it.

Berkeley’s history begins in 1619 when settlers observed the first official Thanksgiving in America. The original 1726 Georgian mansion is the birthplace of Benjamin Harrison V, signer of the Declaration of Independence and governor of Virginia. The estate is also the birthplace of William Henry Harrison, ninth president of the United States, and ancestral home of his grandson, Benjamin Harrison, the twenty-third president. During the Civil War, Berkeley was occupied by General George McClellan’s Union troops. While at Berkeley, General Daniel Butterfield composed the familiar tune “Taps”, first played by his bugler, O.W. Norton. Enthusiastic guides in period costumes conduct tours of the mansion daily. The mansion is furnished with a magnificent collection of 18th century antiques and artifacts. Grounds tours are self-guided and include five terraces of boxwood and flowering gardens leading to the James River, monuments to the First Thanksgiving and to Taps, and the Harrison family graveyard. The gardens provide an elegant setting for weddings and private events. The first Sunday in November, Berkeley celebrates the historic 1619 landing with the Virginia Thanksgiving Festival. In December, the plantation is decorated with traditional holiday decorations of fresh greenery and natural arrangements from Berkeley’s gardens. Berkley bears the designation of being both a Virginia and National Historic Landmark.

The Mayflower landed on December 11, 1620. The first winter was devastating and nearly half of the 102 passengers who had sailed from Plymouth, England died before spring. But the harvest of 1621 was a bountiful one. This “first” Thanksgiving was celebrated over a period of three days by the Pilgrims and neighboring Wampanoag Indians who supplied much of the food – venison, waterfowl, dried berries, shellfish and cornbread. Governor William Bradford sent “four men fowling” after wild ducks and geese. It is not certain that wild turkey was part of their feast. The term “turkey” was used by the Pilgrims to mean any sort of wild fowl.

This was the only Thanksgiving feast the Pilgrims ever celebrated. In fact, it wasn’t until June of 1676 that another Day of Thanksgiving was proclaimed.

It is believed that the Pilgrim Colonists and the Wampanoag Indians celebrated the very first Thanksgiving feast after their first harvest in 1621 in Plymouth, MA. The harvest festival was religious in nature and took place outdoors, where hundreds of people gathered to partake in the festivities. Food was plentiful for this occasion and the spirit of thankfulness prevailed over the three-day celebration.

Historians believe that on that Thanksgiving day almost 400 years ago the menu consisted of venison – or deer meat – roasted (not stuffed) turkey, wild fowl including ducks, geese, and even swans, fish, lobsters, pumpkin in some form, squash, beans, dried fruits, some sort of cranberry sauce, and dried Indian maize or corn. The sugar supply brought over on the Mayflower from England was nearly exhausted by the time of the first Thanksgiving, so it is widely surmised that wheat pudding may have been one of the only sweet dishes served.

The Pilgrims used many spices, including cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, pepper, and dried fruit in the meat sauces they prepared. The best way to cook things in the 17th century was to roast them. Many of the meats were put on a spit and turned over a fire for up to six hours at a time to ensure that the meat was evenly cooked. They didn’t have ovens so pies and cakes and breads most likely never made it to that first Thanksgiving dinner table in Plymouth.

Today we enjoy delicious meals served in a warm home where it’s quite possible a football game can be heard from a nearby television set. At the dining room table many Americans may enjoy herb-roasted turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, creamed corn, candied yams, almond green beans, cranberry-orange relish, turnip, popovers with butter, pumpkin pie, mince pie, apple pie, and vanilla ice cream, even tofu-turkey and similar menu items for those that follow vegan or vegetarian diets.

Another location I highly recommend any time of the year, but especially at Thanksgiving would be Colonial Williamsburg.  They mix traditional colonial with yet a modern feel on things down to the last detail. It is an experience one should not miss.  I remember when I was around 10 years old; my family came done on Thanksgiving vacation, and what a treat was in store for us.   Spending time exploring the colonial capital of the United States and having a special thanksgiving dinner at the Williamsburg Inn was such a special treat and a wonderful memory for me.

Sunrise and fresh-baked bread warm up a cool, crisp day at Colonial Williamsburg. The alluring mix tempts the morning’s first visitors to follow the costumed bakers to the Raleigh Tavern on Duke of Gloucester Street (shortened to “Dog” Street by locals). There you’ll find baskets filled with goodness. You couldn’t ask for a more appetizing start to celebrating Thanksgiving’s bounty at Colonial Williamsburg.

All of the taverns and inns offer superb holiday fare, costumed servers, roving minstrels, authentic furnishings, and a pleasant atmosphere. Our favorite meal has to be the sumptuous offering for Thanksgiving dinner at King’s Arms Tavern. Start with cream of Virginia peanut soup, so rich, flavorful, and filling that they could serve it as the main course. But then there would be no room for the roasted young turkey served with giblet gravy, cornbread dressing, Carolina candied yams, and cranberry chutney.

Be sure to visit the shops, cottages, and other sites in the historic district. If you haven’t been here in years (or ever), seeing Colonial Williamsburg this month makes good sense too.

Gone are the steamy summer lines waiting to get in all the shops, craft houses, and taverns. You’ll also get the jump on the Christmas season crowds coming to shop in December. There seem to be just enough visitors to make it sociable. Don’t be surprised if you’re the only one in front of the warm fire at the cobbler’s shop, usually one of the most popular places. That’s another reason why Thanksgiving is such a great time to visit.

Although there are many differences between the first Thanksgiving in 1621 and the holiday we celebrate today, the one tradition that remains constant (despite some commercialization) is the celebration of being thankful.

However we choose to celebrate our national holiday today, we should remember ALL the first Thanksgivings and proclamations, as well as our American ancestors, whether native born, free emigrant, slave or indentured servant. We should never forget the struggles they all endured to create this nation from which our generation and our children’s will continue to greatly benefit.

Kathy Kiefer

Pozzuoli becomes more beautiful, large maneuvers recovery of archaeological sites,

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Pozzuoli becomes more beautiful, large maneuvers recovery of archaeological sites, the historical center, and the tourist areas and the city’s cultural flegrea.

12282907_10205722712682186_1589201419_nPozzuoli near Naples, cleaned the necropolis on Cells: new intervention of CityHall.

Pozzuoli has completed the recovery of the necropolis on Cells, which appeared again covered with weeds. After few days of work and with the help of mechanical tools, the remains of the ancient settlement Roman funeral.

“These operations of intervention in the city’s archaeological sites are  now customary – explains the deputy .  Workers are regularly engaged in the various settlements on the city territory and we try to keep them clean but unfortunately, due to lack of staff of the Superintendent, can not be visited. ” Discovered in the thirties, the necropolis on Cells consists of mausoleums, burial chambers and columbaria made between the first and second centuries after Christ and destined to collective burials at multiple levels. It is located along a stretch of Via Consularis Puteolis-Capuam, where it engages the way to Naples.

Evidence: “The Necropolis of Via Celle, Pozzuoli, Italy (Naples).

<< The Roman necropolis dating from between the first and the second century AD, is located along the stretch of the street12277037_10205722712642185_1583573648_n Consularis Puteolis-Capuam, where it engages the way Puteolis-Neapolim. Burial area was discovered a group of fourteen mausoleums funeral, called columbaria, already surveyed and investigated in the ‘700, while the first regular excavations dating back to the thirties of the last century; but only in the sixties he proceeded to clear the entire group of buildings along the east side of the road. To these monuments you add a building interpreted as collegium funeraticium, (association whose members are of modest means, joining, could inexpensively make a decent burial) characterized by a rectangular plan built around a courtyard in the center of which was erected a mausoleum . To the north of the courtyard there are two environments, while to the east and south is a corridor porch on two floors, along which, in the north wing, you have a number of service areas on two levels; while, in the Northeast, a small courtyard with cistern, provides access via a staircase to the upper floor, which has the same floor plan of the lower one. The southern arm of the corridor leads, then, to a rectangular open to the street, decorated with marble on the walls and paved with a mosaic of black and white. To the side walls of the room they are placed against the balconies, under which open the arcosolia relevant to a later phase of use, host inhumation burials of late period such as those found in the environment. >>

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From: PozzuoliPiù Press Office : www.pozzuolipiu.it

My other article of Pozzuoli:

ALEXANDRIA – DINING IDEAS

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Restaurants in Old Town Alexandria offer unforgettable meals in a beautifully historic and walkable setting. With the combination of a polished atmosphere, exquisite ingredients and personal service, Alexandria’s restaurants leave diners in awe after every meal.   There is something for every taste and budget.   Even if one follows a Vegan and Vegetarian diet you will be able to have a fabulous dining experience.  Restaurants range from Ethiopian, Italian, Spanish, Irish, Indian, Thai, Lebanese, regional and Native American fare, Seafood and more.  This is but a brief introduction and look into the dining experiences that await you in Alexandria. I am aware of many outstanding restaurants as well as micro-breweries and pubs that can be found in Alexandria, and I could write a more complete dinning guide. I don’t mean to slight any of them.

An excellent choice of regional American cuisine can be found at Restaurant 219 on King Street in the heart of Old Town. Found in an elegant Victorian setting, serving genuine New Orleans cuisine since 1979. The Basin Street Lounge has live jazz & blues Fri. & Sat. The Bayou Room has dancing with a DJ. Outdoor dining is available weather permitting.

Take to the outdoors and dine alongside Alexandria’s bustling streetscape or tranquil waterfront. With more than 30 of the city’s restaurants featuring sidewalk or patio seating, finding crepes, pad thai, burgers, or seafood (even dog-only menus!) to enjoy outside is simple. Sip on a glass of wine at Grape & Bean or indulge in Greek cuisine on the garden patio of Taverna Cretekou.

Whether setting the tone for a relaxing, laid back weekend or fueling up for a day of activity in Alexandria, there’s no better meal than weekend brunch, where coffee and mimosas flow. For savory dishes like salmon benedict and shrimp and hoecakes, head to Bastille, or head over to the organic-minded Del Ray Café for sweet treats like fluffy brioche French toast tossed in a vanilla batter and served with a strawberry rhubarb compote.

At Il Porto Brunch offerings include a variety of items including Brunch drinks such as Tuscan Punch, mimosas, Grand mimosa. Favorites include our chop salad, coconut shrimp, paninis, sauteed jumbo lump crab cakes, french toast, poached eggs with hollandaise and biscuits. Try the Grilled Filet Mignon & Eggs, short Smoked Salmon Filet, Jumbo Lump Crab Meat Omelet, home fries and more.     Il Porto’s Brunch menu is as expansive and outstanding as their fantastic lunch and dinner menus.   Every dish at Il Porto Italian Ristorante is made from scratch, on premise, including our pasta, all fresh, every day!  The chef has added his own signature to the Northern Italian style of cooking at Il Porto. The daily specials are not to be missed, always new, always innovative, while still rooted in Northern Italy style and tradition. There is also a wide variety of wines to accompany any and all meals as well as after dinner selections.

Bastille offers elegant and contemporary French bistro cuisine in a comfortable yet, upscale setting. Highlighting the cooking of acclaimed chefs Christophe and Michelle Poteaux, Bastille features an award-winning wine list. Locally sourced ingredients exemplify the cooking of this duo along with an amazing hand selected wine list are just a sample of what awaits you at Bastille. Outdoor seating available, weather permitting.

Nestled in the West End, Tempo Restaurant is one of Alexandria’s best-kept secrets. This elegant, but unpretentious, neighborhood restaurant is where the locals dine. Tempo’s menu displays a blend of northern Italian and French cuisine, featuring fresh seafood.

If you’re in the mood for fresh seafood, look no further than Old Town for some of the region’s most delicious and creative seafood fare. Stop by the Cajun-inspired Warehouse Bar and Grill for crawfish and shrimp beignets or The Wharf for tender clams and oysters steeped in garlic herb butter. DC-area legend Hank’s Oyster Bar, named amongst America’s Best Oyster Bars by Food & Wine, brings New England style comfort food to Old Town. If views leave you breathless, book your reservation at the Chart House at sunset, where diners watch the amber sun’s reflection slip into the Potomac as they dine on macadamia crusted Mahi Mahi drizzled in a warm peanut sauce. In the spring, summer and early fall you can even sit outside at the Chart House and the Wharf to enjoy your meal.

A newcomer to the dining experience is Blackwall Hitch which honors the heritage of the Chesapeake Bay with a modern interpretation of a classic coastal tavern. We deliver an ambiance of relaxed sophistication, with service that pampers and delights and food that is simple, fresh and delicious. Their sophisticated yet comfortable ambiance offers flexible gathering spaces for all occasions. The menu draws upon classic American techniques while we look to our region for additional inspiration. Simply put, the best ingredients make the best food. Their menu is seasonally inspired with classic, local fare. To complement any meal there is an exceptional beverage program complete with creative cocktails and an extensive wine list and draught beer selection. Whether it’s the colossal Blackwall Prawns, oysters shucked at your request, or the wood-fired flatbreads rolled out daily, they deliver an experience you are guaranteed to remember.

In the Del Ray area of Alexandria, I have discovered Cheesetique, a gourmet cheese boutique specializing in hard-to-find cheeses, meats and accompaniments from around the world. Also take the time to browse through their extensive wine and beer selection. If you are unsure of what to choose, do allow their expert staff to help you make selections or create your custom party platter or gift bucket.

For a slightly different dining experience complete with gourmet dining, dancing and an unparalleled view of our nation’s majestic monuments. Day or night, rain or shine, year ’round. Nina’s Dandy features a 465-square-foot marble dance floor and 3,700-square-foot outer deck for dancing under the stars.

There is also the Odyssey. Experience Washington DC from a stunning, glass-enclosed ship on the Potomac River. Listen and dance to live music. And take in the beautiful, totally unobstructed view of our nation’s capital while enjoying creative cuisine. Your Odyssey escape awaits. Come see why nothing on land can compare to the Odyssey.   Delicious food and drinks, top entertainment and stunning views combine for an experience both you and your guests won’t forget. From business meetings to special occasion celebrations, give your event a whole new energy.

There are also two excellent examples to have a bygone era dining experience in Alexandria.   The first is at Gadsby’s Tavern in Old Town.   Gadsby’s is an Historic 18th-century tavern, serving fine dining since 1770. They also serve Brunch on the weekends. Enjoy lunch and dinner in elegant Colonial dining rooms, while enjoying nightly Colonial entertainment.

The other is the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant, located just footsteps from George Washington’s historic estate.  The Inn is open daily for lunch and dinner and brunch on the weekends.   They also offer happy hour Tuesday thru Friday. The menu uses only the freshest and seasonal items, and while contemporary in nature, yet remains colonial in nature. The Inn, like Gadsby’s, is also available for private events and both offer seasonal menus.

The Mount Vernon Inn is located 8 miles south of Old Town Alexandria and 16 miles from Washington, D.C. at the southern end of the George Washington Parkway. The Mount Vernon Inn is considered one of Washington’s best- kept secrets.

Kathy Kiefer

November is Native American Heritage Month

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November is Native American Heritage Month

 

After 100 years of efforts, American Indian and Alaska Native people finally have a special place on the national calendar to honor their contributions, achievements, sacrifices and cultural legacy.

November is the perfect time to celebrate the rich and diverse cultures, tribes, traditions and histories of Native Americans. Many of our public lands hold stories of important Native American contributions, the unique trials they’ve faced in the past (and today) and the ways in which tribal citizens conquer these challenges.

What is Native American Heritage Month?

What started at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S., has resulted in a whole month being designated for that purpose.

One of the very proponents of an American Indian Day was Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian, who was the director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, N.Y. He persuaded the Boy Scouts of America to set aside a day for the “First Americans” and for three years they adopted such a day. In 1915, the annual Congress of the American Indian Association meeting in Lawrence, Kans., formally approved a plan concerning American Indian Day. It directed its president, Rev. Sherman Coolidge, an Arapahoe, to call upon the country to observe such a day. Coolidge issued a proclamation on Sept. 28, 1915, which declared the second Saturday of each May as an American Indian Day and contained the first formal appeal for recognition of Indians as citizens.

The year before this proclamation was issued, Red Fox James, a Blackfoot Indian, rode horseback from state to state seeking approval for a day to honor Indians. On December 14, 1915, he presented the endorsements of 24 state governments at the White House. There is no record, however, of such a national day being proclaimed.

The first American Indian Day in a state was declared on the second Saturday in May 1916 by the governor of New York. Several states celebrate the fourth Friday in September. In Illinois, for example, legislators enacted such a day in 1919. Presently, several states have designated Columbus Day as Native American Day, but it continues to be a day we observe without any recognition as a national legal holiday…

Success

It wasn’t until 1986 that Congress passed—and President Ronald Reagan signed—a proclamation authorizing American Indian Week. Then, recognizing that—for Native Americans—November was generally a time of thanks and celebration after a successful harvest season, President George H. W. Bush designated November as National American Indian Heritage Month. Since then, Presidents regularly issue similar proclamations.

Several states, like California, South Dakota and Tennessee celebrate a specific American Indian Day on different dates of the year (South Dakota has actually changed Columbus Day to Native American Day).

In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations, under variants on the name (including “Native American Heritage Month” and “National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month”) have been issued each year since 1994.

Native American Month is commemorated through celebrations and special lessons in schools. It is probably no coincidence that Native American Month falls in the same month as Thanksgiving. Traditionally, schoolchildren spent the month discussing the history of the pilgrims who came to America to escape religious persecution. However, now that Native American month has been established, students explore the effect of the settlers on the Native Americans and how significant the contributions were. If it had not been for the Native Americans, the pilgrims would not have survived, and indeed many of them died because they were unfamiliar with the terrain of the New World. Native American month honors Native American wisdom and culture and gives students a chance to explore the Thanksgiving story from the point of view of the American Indians.

Native American Month is also commemorated with special exhibits in museums designed to celebrate and display American Indian art and history. Many Native Americans have public celebrations and meetings to raise awareness of Native American rights. Schools celebrate Native American month by concentrating on the history of various tribes in America. Young children may dress up in Indian costumes and eat traditional Native American food. Many children write and act out plays in honor of Native American month and read books about Native American history

In South Dakota people celebrate Native Americans’ Day through learning from educational resources that focus on the traditions, culture and background of Native Americans. It is a day to celebrate the heritage of Native Americans and for both native and non-native cultures to unite so the many aspects of native culture can be shared.

In Berkeley, California, some organizations, community groups and churches support the day through awareness-raising activities about the history, culture and traditions of indigenous peoples of the United States. Cultural activities such as markets and pow wows, which are gatherings of North America’s indigenous people, are held. In modern times, pow wows involve dancing, singing, socializing and celebrating Native American culture.

Why do so many parents, families and teachers continue to dedicate the month of November with a focus on perpetuating this myth year after year after year?

Native people are connected to history, to family, to land, culture and community. We are still alive. We are still here; we have not disappeared into the past, like the pilgrims did. All of the Elders have said that Native People have been giving thanks for as long as people have existed. After the corn was dried, pumpkins sliced and the wild plums brought in it was a time for “giving thanks.” When the food was together for the hard winter months and when the work was all done, they gathered.

Yet after the “Thanksgiving” holiday was coined and continues to be celebrated based on a story that does not include factual Native American history, “Thanksgiving” has become a time of mourning for many Native People. It serves as a period of remembering how a gift of generosity was rewarded by theft of land and seed corn, extermination of many Native people from disease, and near total elimination of many more from forced assimilation. As celebrated in America “Thanksgiving” is a reminder of 500 years of betrayal.

Kathy Kiefer