What is the deal with Christmas Decorations?

Going through my small town back at my parents’ house this weekend for Thanksgiving, the town Christmas decorations are out and spreading joy. Giant stars made from Christmas lights were on every light pole in the town. Only problem is, they didn’t light up at all.

Okay, a little sad but that’s okay. We are trying. With a town of 3,000 people you can’t really expect much but not being able to light up decorations on Christmas, come on guys! My mom did however have her Christmas flag out…actually picked up from Flagexpressions.com! Is it because I got her a discount or because we have the best flags ever? I am hoping because of the best flags ever 🙂 but expecting because of the discount 😦

Being at home over Thanksgiving though reminded me that moms are great. She loves decorating the house and getting a tree. She puts up luminaries around our driveway every year. We also have a blow up Santa and Rudolph along with usually a Griswold sized tree. It wouldn’t feel like Christmas without our decorations though. She loves it…So do we…

If it was up to the guys though (she had 3 boys), the house wouldn’t have anything but Christmas candy for the holidays. We would probably have a tree but it would be able to be snapped together and pre-decorated with many broken ornaments. We would have our Dallas Cowboys flag on the porch year round and it would be faded to the point where you would think it’s a “surrender” flag. Yes we need her for the Holidays.

There is however some things that I wonder why she does it. I mean she puts the candle lights up in all of the windows of the house. The thing is, she made me put up candles in my brothers window this weekend. Doesn’t sound useless huh? Not until you realize his room is in the back of the house which faces…absolutely nothing. No houses, no streets, nope…nothing but woods. He doesn’t even live there anymore due to college but she still required that candle be put up or it would bug her all of December.I love my mom…but sometimes I gotta wonder.

Christmas is by far my favorite Holiday though. We get to eat like it’s Thanksgiving and open presents like it’s our birthdays. I get to see the whole family for a couple of days and catch up on all of our missed time due to work, schedules, and distance apart. It always makes me remember being a kid. I still have trouble sleeping on Christmas Eve even if I know every present I am getting. Feeling young feels great! No matter what you celebrate in December, whether it is Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa…be thankful for the people and family that make your Holidays special.

If your mom asks you to put up lights in the spare bedroom or an amazing Holiday flag from FlagExpressions in your basement, just smile and do it! (see how I added that in there?) FlagExpressions wishes everyone a great Holiday season and a Happy New Year!

Wanting a new flag? Right now, get free shipping on all orders over $50. Send us some of your Holiday traditions and we will post them in the blog!

What I’m Thankful for this Thanksgiving

I am guessing you’re thinking I’m writing a Thanksgiving blog because it is November and Thanksgiving is this month. Maybe you are thinking we are trying to plug our Thanksgiving, Autumn, or Winter flags? Actually, those aren’t correct at all, but if you want to click on those links… 🙂 Actually the reason I decided to write a Thanksgiving blog is because when I came to Wal-Mart today, a “person” was wearing this amazingly tacky sweater and the first thought that came to mind was…I doubt even the pilgrims would have been seen in that during the winter of 1565. In all honesty though, it looks like it should have come with a free bowl of soup. It looks good on her though..

Back to business. So I am excited for Thanksgiving, a time when I get a couple of days off of work, even though I will miss it (The boss is reading). I get to eat as much of grandmother’s food as I can possibly stand and I get to play  football with my family. I know that many of us have our own Thanksgiving traditions, but what were some of the first traditions?

There is actually some controversy of when and why the first Thanksgiving days were celebrated;however, the first recorded day of Thanksgiving in the present United States occurred on September 5, 1565 in St. Augustine, Florida. That day, 600 Spanish settlers, led by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés arrived and established the first European settlement in the New World. The men and women were so thankful to be off the boat and finally in the New World that they immediately held a feast to give thanks for their safe arrival.

firstthanksgivingAnother similar celebration took place in Plymouth in 1621 to give thanks for their harvest and to give thanks to  Squanto and the Patuxet tribe for teaching them how to grow corn and catch eel. This has generally been regarded as the first true “Thanksgiving” in the US and started a tradition that lasted for many years to come. Throughout the remainder of the 1600’s and 1700’s, many places celebrated their “Thanksgiving” days, yet many times, they were marked by fasting and prayer rather than feasts.

George Washington proclaimed a Thanksgiving Day in December of 1777 following the victory at Saratoga, New York during the revolutionary war. He later proclaimed the first national government appointed Thanksgiving Day on October 3, 1789.

Abraham Lincoln continued this tradition of proclamation and established a general data for Thanksgiving as the 4th Thursday of November. Finally in 1939, Franklin Roosevelt signed a bill to celebrate Thanksgiving Day on the 4th Thursday of November. This remains until today. Whoo, that was a lot.

ThanksgivingFeastHowever you celebrate Thanksgiving, whether it be with family or food or games or relaxing, take time to give thanks for this wonderful country. Lift up our soldiers, our government, and our families. If you have the day off, give thanks for a time to relax. If you have to work, give thanks for your job. My mother always said to give thanks for the things we have and give thanks for many of the things we don’t have. Get ready for black Friday and the shopping season and some people might want to check on deals for new sweaters ;).

Honoring Our Soldiers on Veterans Day

Veterans-day1We all know Veterans Day as a day to give thanks for the many men and women who have served and sometimes died for our great country but where and how did this Holiday come about? First things first though, we need to get the spelling correct. Is it Veterans Day, Veteran’s Day, or Veterans’ Day? I was actually unsure of this and to be honest with you, I started the blog off as “Veterans’ Day”. Come to find out, all 3 ways are correct, yet the US government has formally declared that it is properly titled as Veterans Day. Whoo, I was worried I was going to get picked on for not knowing the answer, and before I do, let’s keep it moving…

Following the end of World War I in 1918, President Woodrow Wilson set aside November 11 as Armistice Day. November 11 was the symbolic end of the war which was marked by the Armistice at Rethondes, France between the Allies and Germany. There, on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour, the Armistice was signed into effect and is now generally regarded as the moment when World War I ended. At that point in History, World War I was the deadliest war of all time with over 16.5 million casualties worldwide, including 116,708 American casualties. It was immediately declared a national holiday by many allied powers. Many nations around the world commemorated these fallen soldiers and the “cause of world peace” at 11:00am by observing two minutes of silence. This remained how it was generally observed until 1939, when during World War II, people began observing the moments of silence on the Sunday closest to November 11th so that there would be no interference with wartime activities.

In 1953, following World War 2, a man by the name of Al King proposed the name to be changed “All Veterans Day”. Al King worked directly with the American War Dads during World War 2 and knew many of the fallen soldiers and their families of WW2. Then, with the help of US Rep. Ed Reese, who also was from King’s hometown of Emporia, Kansas, a bill was passed through congress and eventually signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on May 26, 1954 officially changing the name to “Veterans Day”.

DF-SC-84-11899Today there are many activities on November 11th…from parades to memorial services to ceremonies. We honor the memories and lives of America’s bravest men and women. We give thanks for our freedoms and understand the prices that have been paid for them. Candles are lit, services are held, and flags are displayed. We ask that this November 11th you lift up these brave soldiers in your heart and give thanks to the men and women currently overseas protecting this great nation!