Thanksgiving – a Uniquely American Holiday
The first Thanksgiving celebration was in 1621 in Plymouth Colony, which would later become Massachusetts. The Pilgrim settlers, English refugees fleeing religious persecution, held a feast as an expression of gratitude for a successful harvest and the survival of their community. It was also a celebration of appreciation for the incredible generosity and fullness of spirit shown them by the indigenous Wampanoag people.
The colonists would not have survived the first winter in the new world were it not for the food the tribe shared with the refugees from across the ocean. For those Native American people to display such compassion and kindness to those so different still shines like a beacon of light for almost 400 years! Through the centuries until today, refugees have followed that light-seeking safety and a new life.
A Thanksgiving History Lesson
Thanksgiving did not become an annual celebration until much later. It was not until 1863 that Abraham Lincoln, in an official expression of gratitude for the Union Army victory at Gettysburg, declared the last Thursday of November a national holiday. In 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill into law officially making the fourth Thursday in November the national holiday of Thanksgiving Day.
As Thanksgiving became increasingly popular through the years it came to be synonymous with parades, football, turkey, and visits to grandma’s house. Americans...
How to Have a Spooktacular Halloween!
Here at House Houghton, Halloween is a favorite holiday. The excitement is building with my four boys and even the family dog wants in on the act. One of the best things about it in the Twin Cities is the celebration is ongoing for the entire month of October. There are events in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the surrounding suburbs to suit every age and scare quotient. For some of us diehard fans of this delightfully spooky event, we never grow too old to embrace it and as we reach mid-October, the plans for a fast approaching Halloween get serious.
Halloween conjures up images of haunted houses, black cats, jack-o-lanterns, ghosts, goblins, and witches flying around on broomsticks. Costume choices range from satisfying our alter ego and dressing as a favorite character from history, choosing something traditional like a witch or ghost, or going more trendy and masquerading as someone currently in the public spotlight. Decisions! Decisions! Then when the costume is chosen where to go and what to do. In the Minneapolis-St. Paul Twin Cities metro, there are so many options ranging from fun and spooky to those that are looking to be blood-curdling terrified! Wherever your spooky-meter registers, we have suggestions for you. Here are some great activities aimed at delivering the best Twin...
Presidential Proclamation – Veterans Day
Since the birth of our Nation, American patriots have stepped forward to serve our country and defend our way of life. With honor and distinction, generations of servicemen and women have taken up arms to win our independence, preserve our Union, and secure our freedom. From the Minutemen to our Post-9/11 Generation, these heroes have put their lives on the line so that we might live in a world that is safer, freer, and more just, and we owe them a profound debt of gratitude. On Veterans Day, we salute the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who have rendered the highest service any American can offer, and we rededicate ourselves to fulfilling our commitment to all those who serve in our name. - BARACK OBAMA
We celebrate our Veterans. What does that mean exactly and how do we do that? Many of us have living Veterans in our family. Many have Veterans who have passed, some while in the service of our country. With my father and my 2 uncles serving in World War II, two in the Army, one in the navy, my fraternal grandmother was a 3 star mother and I can only imagine how she got through each day until the end of the war worrying about her sons.
As for my father, he was always proud of the years he served his county. Veterans Day was always important to him as he remembered his comrades who never returned. ...
Weekend Wildcard August 30 & 31 - Happy Labor Day Minnesota!
post by Lindy Medeiros
Labor Day? Really? Can someone please tell me how this happened? Wasn’t I paying attention to August as it whizzed past me in a blur? Apparently not because my monthly bucket list of stuff to do and places to visit is only half full, not to mention my summer bucket list which did not even reach the half-way mark this year. Still, I need to remind myself, and anyone else that needs a reminder, that summer is not over yet.
Some folks think that Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer but I strongly disagree! It still looks and feels like summer, the fat lady has not sung. and it is not over, and for anyone who needs proof...
1. The Autumnal Equinox Three Weeks in the Future
Peek at the calendar. See? The first day of fall in the Northern Hemisphere is September 23, also known as the Autumnal Equinox. Equinox is from the Latin meaning “equal night” and that is the day we have the same number of day and night hours. Since the days are still longer than the nights here in the Metro, let's keep enjoying that extra daylight!
2. The Birds, Bees, and the Flowers and the Trees
If you have a moment, take a look around. You see trees with green leaves, sunflowers standing tall, geraniums and petunias still flowering their little hearts out, bees buzzing, and butterflies fluttering. Looks like summer to me! ...
Display the American flag.Celebrate patriotism! Watch a 4th of July parade. Eat ice cream. See fireworks. Eat and drink. Be happy. Have Fun. Salute the flag. Kiss a veteran. Sing the Star Spangled Banner. Paint your face. Watch a baseball game. Pledge allegiance. Eat a hot dog. Host a party. Serve barbecue. Wear American flag earrings or a pin. Take a boat ride. Ride a bike. Enjoy a lemonade. Drink beer. Run a 5K. Visit family. Play golf. Go jump in a lake! Sing America the beautiful. Serve a birthday cake with red white and blue candles! Make a wish. Walk the dog. Raise the flag. Play tennis. Watch the sunrise. Take courage. Go fishing. Watch a patriotic movie like Captain America, Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, or Born on the 4th of July. Sing Yankee Doodle Dandy! Grill a steak. Make some red, white and blueberry popsicles.
Eat more ice cream. Express your patriotism. Sing God Bless America. Play with your kids. Wear a red white and blue T-shirt. Attend a patriotic concert. Go camping. Sing your heart out. Paint your fingernails red white and blue. Ditto to your toenails! Better yet get a tattoo of the American flag. Skip down the street. Whistle. Hug your kids. Be Grateful. Play lawn games. Dance the night away. String red white and blue lights on your patio. Listen to John Philip Sousa’s march The Stars and Stripes Forever. Appreciate your freedom. Have a glass of Sangria. Watch the sunset. Get engaged. Get married. Be born. Dress up like Uncle Sam. Read the Declaration of Independence out loud. Donate to Save the Eagles Foundation. Get an eagle tattoo. Be inspired. Be Joyful....