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

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

Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a federal holiday held on the third Monday of January. It celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., an influential American civil rights leader. He is most well-known for his campaigns to end racial segregation on public transport and for racial equality in the United States.

Martin Luther King Jr. was an important civil rights activist. He was a leader in the movement to end racial segregation. His most famous address was the “I Have a Dream” speech. He was an advocate of non-violent protest and became the youngest man to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He was assassinated in 1968.

In 1968, shortly after Martin Luther King Jr. died, a campaign was started for his birthday to become a holiday to honor him. After the first bill was introduced, trade unions lead the campaign for the federal holiday. It was endorsed in 1976. Following support from the musician Stevie Wonder with his single “Happy Birthday” and a petition with six million signatures, the bill became law in 1983. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was first observed in 1986, although it was not observed in all states until the year 2000.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a relatively new federal holiday and there are few long-standing traditions. It is seen as a day to promote equal rights for all Americans, regardless of their background. Some educational establishments mark the day by teaching their pupils or students about the work of Martin Luther King Jr. and the struggle against racial segregation and racism. In recent years, federal legislation has encouraged Americans to give some of their time on this day as volunteers in citizen action groups.

So tomorrow, reflect on Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream. That all man be treated equally.

World Cup Avicii Mac Miller Stan Lee “Black Panther” Meghan Markle Anthony Bourdain XXXTentacion Stephen Hawking Kate Spade

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

Wake Up Wednesday News

Technical Genius Solutions

Want a career utilizing A+? Technical Genius Solutions offers free community classes. They will go through, chapter by chapter, with you until you take the certification. This also comes with a possible chance to intern with Technical Genius Solutions

On Wednesday, Technical Genius offers a $10 class on Getting to Know Technology. This is a great opportunity for you to learn about that new Christmas gadget Santa left you under the tree.

This week only, Technical Genius Solutions is offering a 10% discount on all screen repairs.

https://tgsoregon.net/

 

Washington Street Steakhouse & Pub

Now available is Curb Side pickup (for online orders only)! Their full menu is now available for online orders. When you get to Washington Street Steakhouses designated to-go parking spot, give them a call and let them know the name of your order and that you are outside. They will bring your order out to you!

https://washingtonststeakhouse.com/

 

Columbia Bank

Columbia Bank has been named number one for small business loans in Oregon! Come in and see them, they have money to give away!

https://www.columbiabank.com/locations/dallas

 

MV Advancements

MV Advancements is proud to announce that thanks to our community they were able to place 7 members into jobs last month. They hope to continue this streak with the 3 placements they have had this month, including one placed as a county employee.

https://mvadvancements.org/

 

AdvoCare

Need help with the holiday slump? Coffee just not cutting it anymore? Come talk to Lisa Preston with AdvoCare. AdvoCare also makes great stalking stuffers!

http://youbegreater.com/

 

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

 

Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce

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 21st.

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

 

Dallas Area Visitors Center

Nominated by their peers and selected by an independent committee of business and community leaders, the annual Community Awards Banquet celebrates Dallas’s finest businesses, citizens, and organizations. The annual dinner is a formal community-wide banquet held in February of each year. We are now accepting nominations just follow the link below!

https://www.dallasoregon.org/awards/

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.

Dallas Adopt A Family

The Dallas Adopt a Family Committee would like to thank you for supporting us and taking the time to give back to our Dallas community. In 2017 over 200 families and 12 youth were adopted totaling more than 1,000 individuals, including 622 children.  

The holidays are just around the corner and we know our community needs will be high this year. If you are able, we are asking for your help to adopt a local family by providing food for a Christmas meal and gifts for each child in the home. If you are unable to shop, but would still like to adopt a family, monetary donations are welcome. We have volunteers that will take care of the shopping and wrapping for you.

Thanks to the generosity of the Dallas community we have about 108 families adopted so far but need at least 115 more to meet our 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 still.

If you are interested in adopting a family, please complete the online donor registration form at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DAAFHelp  and return it to the Dallas Resource Center (182 SW Academy St. Suite 220).

With your help, we can make this a wonderful Christmas for the families in our community.

Thank you,

 Dallas Adopt a Family Committee

Interested in volunteering? Simply complete the online form at the attached link above. Shopping Day will be held on Monday, December 17th, and Wrapping Day is Tuesday, December 17th.On December 19th Donors may drop off their wrapped gifts and foods. Thursday, December 20th volunteers will be assisting families as they pick up what the community has provided.

Donations are needed for wrapping paper, ribbon, tape, gift tags, laundry baskets, laundry detergent, toilet paper, and $25 Safeway and Walmart gift card. All donations can be dropped off at the Dallas Community Resource Center before December 18th.

Dallas Adopt a Family matches local families with community member, agencies, businesses, clubs, and churches who would like to “adopt” them for Christmas. Each adopted family receives food to prepare a Christmas meal and a gift for each child from ages zero to eighteen.