Chinese New Years

This February 3rd is the Chinese Year of the Pig! The Pig is the twelfth of all zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. Pig was late because he overslept. Another story says that a wolf destroyed his house. He had to rebuild his home before he could set off. When he arrived, he was the last one and could only take twelfth place.

The Pig is also associated with the Earthly Branch and the hours 9 through 11 in the night. In Chinese culture, pigs are the symbol of wealth. Their chubby faces, and big ears are signs of fortune as well. Pigs have a beautiful personality and are blessed with good fortune in life.

Famous People Born in Year of the Pig:

  • Ronald Reagan: February 6th, 1911
  • Alexander the Great: July 21st, 256 B.C
  • Thomas Jefferson: April 13th, 1743
  • Michael Jackson: August 29th, 1958
  • Elton John: March 25th, 1947
  • Hillary Clinton: October 26th, 1947
  • Andrew Jackson: March 15th, 1767
  • Ernest Hemingway: July 21st, 1899
  • Alfred Hitchcock: August 13th, 1899
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger: July 30th,1947
  • Mitt Romney: March 12th, 1947
  • Snoop Dogg: October 20th, 1971
  • Stephen King: September 21st, 1947

World Cup Avicii Mac Miller Stan Lee “Black Panther” Meghan Markle AnthonyBourdain Stephen Hawking

Spirit Mountain Casino

Up Coming Events:

February 9th Egelbert Humbperdinck will be performing at Spirit Mountain Casino as part of his The Angel on My Shoulder Tour! Engelbert’s music has transcended time and his voice still continues to reach out to people now – serving to transport and inspire, to embrace and to provoke feelings and emotions… ingredients that are no doubt the essence of his long-lasting success.

Purchase your tickets at: https://www.spiritmountain.com/events/engelbert-humperdinck


Kevin and Caruso’s Magique brings illusion to life March 9th! On the heels of touring some of the world’s biggest stages, the talented illusionists will astonish audiences with their signature illusions, glamourous handmade costumes, glorious gimmicks, and fantastic surprises.

Purchase your tickets at:  https://www.spiritmountain.com/events/kevin-carusos-magique


Comedian Ron “Tater Salad” is a classic storyteller; relaying tales from his real life ranging from growing up in a small town in Texas to sharing stories of his daily life, to becoming one of the most successful comedians in America. Ron rose to fame as the cigar-smoking, scotch-drinking funnyman from the Blue Collar Comedy Tour phenomenon, but since 2004 has established himself as a star in his own right. Over the past nine years he has been one of the top three grossing stand-up comedians on tour in America. During this time, all four of his comedy albums have charted #1 on the BillboardTM Comedy Charts. He is a three time Grammy-nominated comedian, and has sold over 10 million albums.

Purchase your tickets at: https://www.spiritmountain.com/events/ron-white

World Cup Avicii Mac Miller Stan Lee “Black Panther” Meghan Markle AnthonyBourdain Stephen Hawking

National Plan For Vacation Day

Did you know that over half of Americans report having unused vacation time at the end of the year? Don’t let that be you!

National Plan for Vacation Day, celebrated on the last Tuesday of January, is a day to encourage Americans to plan their time off. You don’t have to go to exotic places, or half way across the country to relax. Take a staycation and learn about the area you live in.

Steps for planning your vacation time:

  1. Confirm your time off benefits with your employer. Determine how much time off you earn. Don’t forget to make note of any office closures, weekends, and major holidays. Americans who plan out their vacation days are more likely to use all their time off, and the best planners know the key to success is blocking the calendar early.
  2. Create your own itinerary for your visit to the Mid-Willamette Valley! Check out some sample itineraries based on travel styles to get some ideas!
  3. Share your dates with your manager, and share your trip with your family and friends! Americans who plan out their vacation days are more likely to use all their time off, and the best planners know the key to success is blocking the calendar early.
  4. Don’t forget to share your photos on social media, tagging the places and businesses you visited.

Have fun!

World Cup Avicii Mac Miller Stan Lee “Black Panther” Meghan Markle AnthonyBourdain Stephen Hawking

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve is a major social holiday for many people in the United States. Many people hold parties at home or attend special celebrations to celebrate the upcoming New Year. In many cities, large scale public events are held. These often attract thousands of people.

A particularly striking aspect of the New Year’s Eve festivities is the ball drop in Time Square in Manhattan, New York City. The ball is made of crystal and electric lights and is placed on top of a pole, which is 77 feet high. At one minute before midnight the ball is lowered slowly down the pole. It comes to rest at the bottom of the pole at exactly midnight. The event is shown on television across the United States and around the world. The event has been held every year since 1907, except during World War II.

Across the United States a range of cities and towns hold their own version of the ball drop. A variety of objects are lowered or raised during the last minute of the year. The objects are usually linked to an aspect of local history or industry. Examples include a variety of live and modeled domestic and wild animals, fruit, vegetables, automobiles, industrial machinery, a giant replica of a peach (Atlanta, Georgia), an acorn made of brass and weighing 900 pounds (Raleigh, North Carolina) and ping pong balls (Strasburg, Pennsylvania).

December 31st is not a federal holiday, but it does fall in the holiday season at the end of the year. It is a holiday in some states like Kentucky, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Most schools and other educational institutions throughout the United States are closed. Some organizations are closed, and others are open but offer limited services. Many stores are open on New Year’s Ever, but may close early. Many theaters, clubs and other entertainment venues have special programs. It may be necessary to reserve tickets many weeks in advance.

Public transit systems may operate normal or reduced services. Some companies extend their schedules into the early hours of January 1st to enable people who have attended New Year’s Eve parties to return home safely. If you need to use public transit on December 31st, it is wise to check the appropriate timetables carefully before you travel. Below we have included a link to our local bus system. You can also contact Squirrels Taxi Service at (917) 240-1208.

There may be some traffic or diversions around large scale events. Diversions may be in effect in the days before New Year’s Eve so that stands can be built. It is wise to check the local media if you wish to drive to or near large scale events.

Curious as to what events are going on in our local area? Click on the Chamber link to see what people are doing this New Year’s Eve.

Have fun, and be safe!

 

https://www.cherriots.org/services/

http://business.dallasoregon.org/events/

A Christmas History Part 2

It wasn’t until the 19th century that Americans began to embrace Christmas. Americans re-invented Christmas, and changed it from a raucous carnival holiday into a family-centered day of peace and nostalgia. But what about the 1800s peaked American interest in the holiday?

The early 19th century was a period of class conflict and turmoil. During this time, unemployment was high and gang rioting by the disenchanted classes often occurred during the Christmas season. In 1828, the New York city council instituted the city’s first police force in response to a Christmas riot. This catalyzed certain members of the upper classes to begin to change the way Christmas was celebrated in America.

In 1818, best-selling author Washington Irving wrote The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, gent., a series of stories about the celebration of Christmas in an English manor house. The sketches feature a squire who invited the peasants into his home for the holiday. In contrast to the problems faced in American society, the two groups mingled effortlessly. In Irving’s mind, Christmas should be a peaceful, warm-hearted holiday bringing groups together across lines of wealth or social status. Irving’s fictitious celebrants enjoyed “ancient customs,” including the crowning of a Lord of Misrule. Irving’s book, however, was not based on any holiday celebration he had attended – in fact, many historians say that Irving’s account actually “invented” tradition by implying that it described the true customs of the season.

Also around this time, English author Charles Dickens created the classic holiday tale, A Christmas Carol. The story’s message – the importance of charity and good will towards all humankind – struck a powerful chord in the United States and England, and showed members of Victorian society the benefits of celebrating the holiday.

The family was also becoming less disciplined and more sensitive to the emotional needs of children during the early 1800s. Christmas provided families with a day when they could lavish attention – and gifts – on their children without appearing to “spoil” them.

As Americans began to embrace Christmas as a perfect family holiday, old customs were unearthed. People looked toward recent immigrants and Catholic and Episcopalian churches to see how the day should be celebrated. In the next 100 years, Americans build a Christmas tradition all their own that included pieces of many other customs, including decorating trees, sending holiday cards, and gift-giving.

Although most families quickly bought into the idea that they were celebrating Christmas how it had been done for centuries, Americans had really re-invented a holiday to fill the cultural needs of a growing nation.

Christmas Facts:

  • Each year, 30-35 million real Christmas trees are sold in the United States alone. There are 21,000 Christmas tree growers in the United States, and trees usually grow for about 15 years before they are sold.
  • The first eggnog made in the United States was consumed in Captain John Smith’s 1607 Jamestown settlement.
  • Poinsettia plants are named after Joel R. Poinsett, an American minister to Mexico, who brought the red-and-green plant from Mexico to America in 1828.
  • The Salvation Army has been sending Santa Claus-clad donation collectors into the streets since the 1890s.
  • Rudolph, “the most famous reindeer of all,” was the product of Robert L. May’s imagination in 1939. They copywriter wrote a poem about the reindeer to help lure customers into the Montgomery Ward department store.
  • Construction workers started the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree tradition in 1931.

A Christmas History Part 1

Christmas is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. For two millennia, people around the world have been observing it with traditions and practices that are both religious and secular in nature. Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals with family and friends and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive.

The middle of winter has long been a time of celebration around the world. Centuries before the arrival of Jesus. Early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter. Many peoples rejoiced during the winter solstice, when the worst of the winter was behind them and they could look forward to longer days, and extended hours of sunlight.

In the early years of Christianity, Easter was the main holiday; the birth of Jesus was not celebrated. In the fourth century, church officials decided to institute the birth of Jesus as a holiday. Unfortunately, the Bible does not mention date for his birth. Although some evidence suggests that his birth may have occurred in the spring, Pope Julius I chose December 25th. It is commonly believed that the church chose this date in an effort to adopt and absorb the traditions of the pagan Saturnalia festival. First called the Feast of the Nativity, the custom spread to Egypt by 432 and to England by the end of the sixth century. By the end of the eighth century, the celebration of Christmas had spread all the way to Scandinavia. Today, in Greek and Russian orthodox churches, Christmas is celebrated 13 days after the 25th, which is also referred to as the Epiphany or Three Kings Day. This is the day it is believed that the three wise men finally found Jesus in the manger.

By holding Christmas at the same time as traditional winter solstice festivals, church leaders increased the chances that Christmas would be popularly embraced, but gave up the ability to dictate how it was celebrated. By the Middle Ages, Christianity had, for the most part, replaced pagan religion. On Christmas, believers attended church, then celebrated raucously in a drunken, carnival-like atmosphere similar to today’s Mardi Gras. Each year, a beggar or student would be crowned the “lord of misrule” and eager celebrants played the part of his subjects. The poor would go to the houses of the rich and demand their best food and drink. If owners failed to comply, their visitors would most likely terrorized them with mischief. Christmas became the time of the year when the upper classes could repay their real or imagined “debt” to society by entertaining less fortunate citizens.

In the early 17th century, a wave of religious reform changed the way Christmas was celebrated in Europe. When Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan forces took over England in 1645, they vowed to rid England of decadence and as part of their effort, cancelled Christmas. By popular demand, Charles II was restored to the throne and, with him, came the return of the popular holiday.

The pilgrims, English separatists that come to America in 1620, were even more orthodox in their Puritan beliefs than Cromwell. As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America. From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston. Anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings. By contrast, in Jamestown settlement, Captain John Smith reported that Christmas was enjoyed by all and passed without incident.

After the American Revolution, English customs fell out of favor, including Christmas. In fact, Christmas wasn’t declared a federal holiday until June 26th, 1870.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Day

Feeling bored? Uninspired by life? Do you need four cups of coffee just to break the monotony of the 9 to 5? Fortunately, there is one special day in December that will alleviate these common maladies. That day, my friend is National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day on Friday, December 21st!

Lurking in the murky depths of many people’s wardrobe is a colorful, brash and in most cases, highly embarrassing novelty Christmas sweater which, were it not for Ugly Christmas Sweater Day would probably never see the light of day. When Ugly Christmas Sweater Day comes along, it is time to stop being ashamed of the contents of your wardrobe and start busting out the ugly. There is such a thing as “so awful you can’t really hate it’, and Ugly Christmas Sweaters fit the bill.

Launched in 2011, this annual celebration, which is growing in popularity every year among adults and children, is not simply an excuse to parade humiliatingly-unfashionable seasonal knitwear featuring Rudolph, Christmas puddings and Frosty the Snowman; it is a light-hearted and enjoyable fundraising event with a serious aim in aid of Save the Children.

Since then it has been used as an important event to help drive charity funds for organizations that help children around the world deal with illnesses that should be anything more than a minor inconvenience. The firm belief that children should not die from easily treated diseases is what brings this holiday to the fore. It is often speculated that we subject ourselves to a minor harmless ailment, the sight of these hideous sweaters, to help save the children from medically similar situations.

National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day is about proudly sporting your favorite ugly Christmas sweater for the entire day… regardless of the circumstances. Wear it to school, to work, to your sister’s wedding. Got an important interview on Friday? Oops, tough luck. Worried the judge will increase your sentence if you show up to court in an ugly Christmas sweater? Sorry, no exception.

Share this special day with your friends and spread the word. Also, please send us pictures strutting your stuff in an ugly Christmas sweater.  We can’t leave Dallas out of the awesomeness that is, Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. Let’s rock this!

 

https://www.savethechildren.org

Gingerbread House Day

Gingerbread houses are a favorite holiday pastime with families, be it with parents, grandparents, or even both! But these delicious, decorative bread houses have always been a staple of the holiday season for as long as people can remember. Where did they come from? Who came up with the idea? To answer those questions, we must follow the ghost of holiday’s past into the history of Gingerbread House Day!

Food Historians, yes there is such a thing, ratify that ginger has been seasoning foodstuffs and drinks since antiquity. It is believed gingerbread was fist baked in Europe at the end of the 11th century when returning crusaders brought back the custom of spicy bread from the Middle East. Ginger was not only tasty; it had properties that helped preserve the bread. According to a French legend, gingerbread was brought to Europe in 992 A.D. by the Armenian monk and later saint, Gregory of Nicopolis, or Gregory Makar. Ginger bread figurines date back to the 15th century and baking human-shaped biscuits was practiced in the 16th century.

The gingerbread bakers were gathered into professional baker guilds. In many European countries, gingerbread bakers were a distinct component of the bakers’ guild. Gingerbread baking developed into an acknowledged profession. In the 17th century, only professional gingerbread bakers were permitted to bake gingerbread except at Christmas and Easter. In Europe, gingerbreads shaped like hearts, stars, soldiers, trumpets, swords, pistols and animals were sold in special shops and seasonal markets.

The tradition of making decorated gingerbread houses started in German in the early 1800s. According to certain researchers, the first gingerbread houses were the result of the well-known Grimm’s fairy tale Hansel and Gretel. In modern times the tradition has continued in certain places in Europe. In Germany, the Christmas markets still sell decorated gingerbread before Christmas.

To celebrate Gingerbread House Day, take the family out for a shopping trip and pick up the supplies necessary to make a gingerbread house. Then let the younger members of the family pick out the decorations that they want to add to the gingerbread house. Finally, pick out the decorations that you want and add them to the house.

Wake Up Wednesday News

Technical Genius Solutions

Is your computer running slow? Tempted to use your laptop as a Frisbee? This week only, Technical Genius Solutions is running a free computer diagnosis special. Bring your computer in and they will work hard to have it running like new!

https://tgsoregon.net/

 

West Valley Taphouse

Tap Takeover Thursday! Gigantic Brewing will be in the house from 6 pm to 9 pm showing off their beers and giving away free swag. While you are enjoying a good beer to order the Food Special; Roasted Squash Fondue. Roasted acorn squash filled with a Gruyere and Emmenthaler beer cheese fondue and breadcrumb topping!

Saturday is Timbers Championship Game at 5 pm. Wear your Timers colors for $1 off all drinks during the game!

West Valley Taphouse Christmas Tree is up! This year West Valley is holding a pajama drive. Help United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley give foster children a new set of pajamas this holiday season. You have until December 16th to get your pair under the tree.

Guys Shopping Night is coming up! West Valley Taphouse has partnered with Main St. Emporium to provide a way to have your beer, and get your holiday shopping done without spilling a drop. Main St. Emporium vendors will be visiting West Valley Taphouse to help pick out, pay, and gift wrap your gift to the special people in your life. Come on down!

http://westvalleytaphouse.com/

 

YoungPros

The last YoungPros of the 2018 series will be held this December 12th, at Focal Point Photography. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from Gene Henshaw with Public Policy about how important it is that business members be involved in Public Policy.

YoungPros was able to assist with a scholarship that helps local Dallas High School students attend college. If you would like to help sponsor this scholarship then reach out to them. This is a great opportunity to support our community.

http://business.dallasoregon.org/events/details/young-pros-networking-2323

 

Washington Federal

The Giving Tree is up! This year Washington Federal will be helping CASA children. If you would like to help a family this holiday season, then stop on by and pick up a tag. Washington Federal Giving Tree will be running until December 21st.

https://www.washingtonfederal.com/locations/oregon/dallas

 

City of Dallas

Adopt of Family is still looking for sponsors. They have about 108 families adopted so far but need at least 115 more to meet their anticipated need. If you have a bowling group, office group, or other group that could work together to adopt a small, medium or large family to provide a food box and gifts for children, you can sign up by going to www.surveymonkey.com/r/DAAFHelp. Thank you for your Generous support!

 

Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce

State of the Chamber is the theme of our next Luncheon. Hear from JD, CEO, about what we have been busy working on this year while you are at work. This is also a great opportunity for our new members to learn what resources are available to them via Chamber Login, and Chamber staff. Don’t miss this chance to put “one more bullet in your Chamber.”

http://business.dallasoregon.org/events/details/chamber-luncheon-2332

United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley Pajama drive is still going. Our box is about half way full, but knowing our Dallas community we expect to see it over flowing. Bring in your new pajamas for infants, toddlers, kids, or teenagers before December 17th!

Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce is providing Christmas Cheer with peanut butter. They help those in need enjoy holiday food shopping Christmas Eve, and is a wonderful program. Drop off your jar of peanut butter, crunchy or smooth, before December 23rd.

 

Dallas Area Visitors Center

Santa Clause is coming to town!

Join us as we kick off the holiday season on the beautiful Polk County Courthouse lawn with Santa, tree lighting with our Mayor and First Citizen, food trucks, Christmas vendors, live music, hot cocoa, cookies, and more! This year we will be celebrating a good ol’ fashioned holiday season, complete with a Christmas Carol “sing-along.

Shop some great vendors such as Beal’s Christmas Tree Farm, Oregon Snowballs, Paparazzi, Banners by Jules, Scentsy, Color Me Shabby, Color Street, The Hat Place, and so many more!

Come on down for a jolly fun time and don’t miss your chance to visit the Big Man in Red!

For more information contact Shelly jones at (503) 623-2564 or at [email protected].

2018 Dallas Winterfest

Have you made your Christmas list? If not, get it ready to give to Santa at the 2018 Dallas Winterfest!

The man we know as Santa Claus has a history all of his own. Today, he is thought of mainly as the jolly man in red, but his story stretches all the way back to the 3rd century. The legend of Santa Claus can be traced back hundreds of years to a monk named St. Nicholas. It is believed that Nicholas was born sometime around 280 A.D. in modern-day Turkey. Much admired for his piety and kindness, St. Nicholas became the subject of many legends. It is said that he gave away all of his inherited wealth and traveled the countryside helping the poor and sick. One of the best known of the St. Nicholas stories is that he saved three poor sisters from being sold into slavery by their father by providing them with a dowry so that they could be married. Over the course of many years, Nicholas’s popularity spread and he became known as the protector of children and sailors. By the Renaissance, St. Nicholas was the most popular saint in Europe. Even after the Protestant Reformation, when the veneration of saints began to be discouraged, St. Nicholas maintained a positive reputation.

The Dallas Area Visitors Center is proud to host Dallas’s annual Winterfest celebration, scheduled for Friday, December 7th from 5 pm to 8 pm. This annual event draws around 2,000 community members.

Join us as we kick off the holiday season on the beautiful Polk County Courthouse lawn with Santa, tree lighting with our Mayor and First Citizen, food trucks, Christmas vendors, live music, hot cocoa, cookies, and more! This year we will be celebrating a good ol’ fashioned holiday season, complete with a Christmas Carol “sing-along”. Don’t miss your photo opportunities for every child with Marion-Polk County Princesses and Santa Claus!

Shop some great vendors such as Beal’s Christmas Tree Farm, Oregon Snowballs, Paparazzi, Banners by Jules, Scentsy, Color Me Shabby, Color Street, The Hat Place, and so many more!

Come on down for a jolly fun time and don’t miss your chance to visit the Big Man in Red!

For more information contact Shelly jones at (503) 623-2564 or at [email protected].