Holiday History: The Origins of 3 Christmas Traditions

Holiday History: The Origins of 3 Christmas Traditions

Celebrated in more than 160 countries by over two billion people around the world, Christmas is the biggest date on the calendar for many people. In the United States alone, 90 percent of the population celebrates Christmas, with a third of Americans recognizing December 25 as a cultural holiday instead of a religious holiday. Even in countries that aren’t typically Christian, Christmas decorations and traditions are observed. Christmas celebrations have been happening in one form or another for nearly two thousand years, but how much do you know about the history of the customs that you participate in each year?

1. Christmas Day

As you probably already know, Christmas was intended to honor the birth of Jesus Christ in a manger to a virgin mother. Nobody can say with any certainty when exactly Jesus was born, but the first recorded mention of December 25 as Christ’s birthday came in 336 AD. At the time, birthdays weren’t celebrated like they are today, which is why it took over three hundred years for Christmas to be recognized. There are a number of theories, some religious and some practical, suggesting why December 25 was chosen as the date. Early religious scholars calculated that since Christ died on March 25, he was also conceived on March 25, according to the Jewish belief that great men lived whole, non-fractional lives. Hence, Jesus must have been born nine months later on December 25.

In an early Christmas sermon, St. Augustine posited that Jesus decided to be born on the shortest day of the year for symbolic reasons. A more practical theory for the designation of December 25 as Christmas Day suggests that the date was chosen to establish a Christian alternative to holidays being celebrated by other cultures and religions around the same time, such as the Jewish Festival of Lights, the German Yule Festival, and the Winter Solstice. The Roman feast of Saturnalia – held on December 17 of the Julian calendar and extending to December 23 – was particularly influential on developing Christmas traditions like exchanging gifts, hanging decorative wreaths, and making merry for days on end.

2. Christmas Tree

Perhaps the ultimate icon of the holiday season is the Christmas tree. Every year, families around the world put up a tree and adorn it with beautiful decorations to prepare for the big day. Symbolizing eternal life, evergreens have been revered by many cultures throughout history, including ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Hebrews who used trees, wreaths, and garlands in their customs and traditions. Tree worship was also a component of Scandinavian culture and European pagan rituals, and the tradition survived the conversion to Christianity as trees were erected in December to ward off evil and provide a perch for any birds that remained in the winter. The first person to place lighted candles on an evergreen tree was Protestant Christian reformer Martin Luther, and the first recorded depiction of a Christmas tree was discovered on a German keystone sculpture from 1576.

The Christmas tree tradition first appeared in North America in 1781 when a Hessian general and his wife held a Christmas party – featuring a fir tree adorned with fruits and candles – while they were stationed in the Province of Quebec. As the 19th century rolled on, Christmas trees became commonplace in the United States, but the tradition really caught on in the 1850s after a woodcut depicting the British royal family surrounding their ornate tree was reproduced in America. As the quirky custom exploded in popularity in the 20th century, people went out to the woods or to a commercial Christmas tree lot and brought home a real tree, usually a variety of fir or pine, to decorate with their families. These days, for the sake of convenience, you probably have an artificial tree you pull out of the basement each year. If you’re in the market for a new artificial Christmas tree, there’s a wide selection available, as you can see at Xmastree Express.

3. Christmas Stockings

A beloved Christmastime activity for children everywhere is the hanging of stockings, preferably by the chimney with care, in the hopes that Santa Claus will fill the empty vessels with presents when he visits. While there is no definitive origin for this unusual tradition, the legend of Saint Nicholas includes a tale about a poor father who didn’t have enough money to provide a dowry for his daughters to get married. Owing to his kind and generous disposition, St. Nick took it upon himself to lend a hand by secretly tossing a sack of gold through the window or down the chimney, where it landed in a stocking that was hung to dry by the fire. Once word got out, children began leaving out their stockings hoping to receive similar bounties.

Of course, if a child has misbehaved during the year, custom dictates that they are left a lump of coal in their stocking. The origins of this practice aren’t exactly clear, either, but every culture has their own mythical gift-giving character – such as Sinterklaas and La Befana – and they have all been known to leave “gifts” of onions, garlic, salt, or twigs for those on the naughty list. So, unless your bad seed was a budding chef, they would hopefully learn their lesson and reform in time for next year. An offshoot of the Saint Nicholas legend is his companion, Krampus, a devilish creature who would punish unruly rugrats in a variety of ways from swatting them with sticks and whips to eating, drowning, or delivering them straight to Hell.

As you can see, the Christmas season certainly has its share of unusual customs that have become normalized over the years. At its heart, the holiday is all about getting together with family and friends and celebrating the spirit of the season, and that’s something that will never change.

6 Chainsaw Buying Tips for the Inexperienced Buyer

6 Chainsaw Buying Tips for the Inexperienced Buyer

Are you having a hard time finding the right chainsaw? Whether you’re buying a new one or replacing
your current chainsaw, there’s a great deal of options to choose from.
Before buying a chainsaw for the first time, it’s vital that you read credible reviews first. Don’t be
swayed by appearances; a blade may appear sturdy and capable of getting the job done quickly, but it
might be too heavy and thus make you tire easily. Here are a few tips to help you make an informed

Consider purpose

Have you thought about the main reason you’re buying a chainsaw? Perhaps you need a machine for
general purpose backyard tasks. Or you maybe you need a powerful chainsaw for use in forest fire
operations. For every cutting task, you are likely to find just the right tool for the job. You wouldn’t want
to buy a chainsaw that’s either too small for your tasks, or overkill on the other hand. Knowing exactly
what tasks you’ll take on with the chainsaw will help you narrow down your options so you can find the
right tool quickly.


If you’re a first time user, you’re perhaps better off going with a lightweight rather that heavy-duty
model. A lightweight model is easier to handle and will allow you to maneuver through the wood with
minimal effort. You will also gain in confidence as you continue to use your chainsaw, and you can build
on this confidence to handle the more complex models. When searching for chainsaws, be sure to
include the word “beginner” in your search. You’ll find lots of interesting models to choose from at
affordable prices.

Ease of use

One of the most important things to look out for in a chainsaw is its grip. Make sure the grip needs to be
comfortable enough to handle as it would be dangerous to have the chainsaw slip out of your hand
when in the middle of a cutting operation.

If you’re buying at a local store, hold the chainsaw in your hand to have a feel of how it would be like to
use it. Make sure it has a stable center of gravity, which ensures a proper sense of balance. If you’re
buying a chainsaw online, be sure to carefully read the description to see if it meets these requirements.
Also take a moment to go through the customer reviews get a picture of the first-hand experience of
other users.


When it comes to chainsaws, the safety of the user is of paramount importance. A good chainsaw
should have enough safety features that help prevent injury. These include a kickback guard, chain

brake, throttle lock, chain catcher and bar scabbard. Some cheaper models may be missing one or two
of these features, making them less safe to use.


To pick up from the point above, checking out reviews by other users is one of the best ways to know if
a chainsaw would be the right fit for your needs. You will often find some customer reviews on the
product, but these might not always suffice. This is where in-depth reviews by trusted independent
reviewers like Chain Cutting can come in handy. Using such resources will help you cut down on the
time it usually takes to find the best chainsaw options. You may even find some hidden gems—tools that
are not only of a higher quality, but also cheaper prices.


Pricing is almost always a top consideration when shopping for equipment of any kind. Be careful not to
go for the most affordable deals, however. A good chainsaw should be able to serve you for a number of
years without any significant problems. So it’s always best to go for the best quality you can find, even if
it means paying a few extra dollars. Be on the look for any special sale offers at your local hardware or

When purchasing a chainsaw, remember to put safety considerations first. Chainsaws can be quite
dangerous f not handled properly, but with the best safety features built-in, you will be facing a lower
risk of injury. When starting out, be sure to also check out safety guides and best tips for operating your

Online Badge Printing, the Most Reliable Option for Employees Identification

Online Badge Printing, the Most Reliable Option for Employees Identification

For easy identification of your employees, you need badges. Most people would want to produce their badges at home, but this is challenging since the machines used for the task are expensive.  Apart from the cost of purchasing the devices, you will regularly incur the most of maintaining the equipment to ensure that they give you excellent services.  Producing the badges also requires specific skills and deciding to train your employees to make the badges can be costly.  The best way to get the right badges for your staff is hiring people who have the right expertise and experience in producing these identification badges.

The badging firm you chose should be able to offer you solutions that are online. Online solutions will save you the cost of traveling to their firm to have the badges printed. Services that are internet based are effective and cost efficient, and earned a good reputation in giving clients badging solutions for many years.  This firm allows you to get best badges at an affordable cost and you can get a solution promptly.

Buying soft wares and printers can be very challenging, but with the badging solutions that this company offers, you do not have to worry about your badging needs.  The first process is to register an account at the EasyIDCARD website and then upload the photos used when printing the badges.  All the orders are sent online, and after paying for the job, the company begins working on your badges.  All your badges are printed using the latest printers to ensure that all the badges shipped to your company are high quality.  Badges are printed and sent in a period that does not exceed 24 hours and shipping is done across the world.  There is no particular amount of orders; you are given excellent services even when the company is printing one badge.

Your data is held with a lot of confidentiality to ensure that it is not used by other people for fraudulent deals.  The company website is functional to allow you to preview the cards before you receive them. If there are adjustments required you are supposed to make a request to ensure that the cards you receive match your needs.  To ensure data is secure, there are passwords in all the computers and they are monitored all the time.  The following are the major requirements;

    • 1MB digital photo that has 300dpi resolution
    • Availability of internet
    • A browser that has Macromedia Flash plug-ins
    • A period of 3 minutes

Approval of your orders does not take long, and printing begins immediately.  The cost of shipping is affordable to ensure that you get your badges across the world.  If your order is received on Friday evening or during the weekend, it is delivered on Monday because a significant number of people do not work during the weekend.  The company gives clients two shipping alternatives that you can choose from i.e.

    • Express- this is the fastest option because you will receive your badges in 1-3 days
    • Ground- this option will take a longer period of 5-7 days

Sourcing badging solutions has a lot of benefits which include;

    • You do not incur the cost of buying and maintaining a printer
    • You do not buy accessories that a printer requires printing badges
    • Data security is assured
    • You can easily manage a large stock of badges
    • Your badges are printed by trained individuals

EasyIDCARD manufactures all cards using the highest quality PVC to ensure that all the cards are durable.  When choosing a company for your badges, you should be keen on experience. EasyIDCARD has been offering badging solutions to clients for decades.  An experienced firm gives you the most outstanding services to give you a reason to come back. Online badge creation is instant and you do not waste a lot of time working on the badges.  You have the option of customizing your cards to suit your needs, and you can use the designs available at the company website. The online designs can be created in a short time, and they are all unique.  To ensure that you have the best quality cards you should always log into the company website to proof that the cards are perfect.

The company ensures that your badges are professional and authentic.  If you submit a fake card EasyIDCARD does not process your cards. This is done to ensure that the company complies with the laws and ensure that they do not get involved in any fraudulent deal.  The company website has all the transaction history to ensure there is transparency.  When paying for the badges the company requires you to add an extra amount of cash for sales tax. PDF files format are not accepted when sending photos because the company equipment only works with GIF, PNG and JPEG files.  The equipment used at EasyIDCARD does not accept files that exceed 2MB.  Always reduce the size of your files before sending them for processing.

Best Overall Centrifugal Juice Machine

Best Overall Centrifugal Juice Machine

If you’re in the market for a centrifugal juicer, you might have discovered there are many models available today. You might be wondering, what’s the best one for the buck? Never fear, Juicer Cruiser is going to break it all down for you.

Our pick for the best overall centrifugal juicer is the Breville BJE820XL. Even though this is at the high end of the price range for centrifugal juicers, you’ll get the best juicer with the most features.

What is a Centrifugal Juicer?

A centrifugal juicer has a single spinning blade that slices and dices foods to allow the juice to be collected. Think of the blades in your blender, and you’ll have an excellent idea of how this juicer works.

Centrifugal juicers have some advantages over masticating juicers, which use gears to mash and grind foods. They have less pre-juicing prep time because they can handle larger pieces of fruits and veggies. But, they require a lot of produce and usually result in a lot of wasted food.

What to Consider

In searching for a centrifugal juicer, you’ll want to look for a few things that will offer a better juicing experience.

Motor Wattage

Most juicers have motors ranging from 600-1,000 watts. Why is this important? Because the motor spins the blade, more is always better. Think about the kinds of foods you’ll want to juice. Take carrots, for example. They’re a hard, dense food and will require more power to break up.

Speed Settings

Different speed settings allow you to easily break up a variety of produce. Soft foods can be juiced on a low speed setting, while dense food requires the highest speed setting. But, a juicer with more than two speed settings can properly extract juice from foods with a medium density, like pineapple.

Extra Features to Look For

If you’re after a centrifugal juicer, there are some features you’ll want to keep an eye out for.

Pulp Extractor with Cup

Using a centrifugal juicer produces a lot of waste, or pulp. It will be a lot easier to clean a juicer with a pulp extractor, which sends the excess food into a cup for easy removal. A larger cup means less emptying, so you might want to look at this when you shop for a juicer.

Wide-Mouth Feed Tube

If you want to make juice, you must feed produce into the juicer. A large feed tube means less pre-juice preparation. A smaller feed tube will mean more work for you, in cutting the fruits and veggies into smaller pieces.

The Breville BJE820XL

As far as centrifugal juicers go, the Breville BJE820XL has the largest motor on the market, producing a whopping 1,200 watts. A motor of this size is going to last you a long time, and power through even the toughest of produce. You won’t have to worry about it overheating or bogging down.

The BJE820XL offers five speeds, giving you a wider range of options for juicing produce. Soft density foods can be ground at a lower setting, around 6,500RPM (revolutions per minute), while denser foods like carrots and celery can be broken down at 12,000RPM. But, you also get the option for a speed setting in between, for foods like apples and pineapples.

The Breville juicer comes with overload protection. If the machine’s sensors pick up on possible motor overheating, it will shut off the juicer to allow it to cool. Also, the juicer has an excellent locking system, so it can’t be operated unless the lid is properly secured.

This juicer has an extra-large feed mouth, so it’s easy to drop in small whole fruits and veggies without cutting them up. Plus, it has a jumbo-sized pulp extractor, so you won’t have to empty it as often. And, it comes with a large pitcher for collecting juice.

For the cons, the BJE820XL takes up a lot of counter space. It won’t produce much juice from green, leafy vegetables; for that, you’ll need a masticating juicer.

Even though the Breville BJE820XL is a more expensive centrifugal juicer, its features are more than worth the price of the unit. The juicer has a strong motor which will power through tough produce and stand the test of time, not to mention the safety features and ease of use. While it’s not effective for juicing leafy greens, it’s an excellent choice for serious juicing.

Wedding Venues: What You Need To Know

Wedding Venues: What You Need To Know

Having everything fall into place when planning a wedding is no mean task. This is the one time that you have to start on the right footing failure to which things could go hogwash. Finding the perfect venue is one of the prime factors that can never be overlooked and it is important to know what it takes to get this right. Talked about in the article here are recommendations to help you get a venue that will leave you smiling like a Cheshire cat.

Truth be told, most newlyweds that are just taking baby steps in the world of marriage do not have the privilege to be spendthrifts. This is by no way surprising as the economy is pinching in most corners of the globe. For couples that are part of this statistic, it would be prudent to first come up with a budget so as to clearly draw financial lines that cannot be crossed. Though they say money can never buy love, financial matters need to be taken seriously as this has been seen to cause issues even in couples that have been together for years on end.

Talking of money matters, weddings done in an outdoor setting help keep costs down. It’s no secret that a good amount has to be slotted to the budget to cater for decorations and this can take its toll on finances. You will be glad to know that inclining towards outdoor venues ensures that you take advantage of courtyards and gardens with designs that are nothing short of heavenly.

Being open minded about the date or location is a step in the right direction. If you were to remain fixated on specific timelines, chances are high that you will have a hard time getting a venue that is unoccupied on your preferred date. Keep in mind that some of them are even booked months in advance and it would be good you start searching for this early. If you are wondering of how to wrap your fingers around this, you could start by contacting sawyer family farmstead today and see what they have to offer.

Majority of weddings have a theme and it is likely that you have one in mind. Though this is something that brings out the needed ambience, you must never identify one without first addressing the venue aspect. There are places that will never allow their décor to be altered in anyway be it a wedding, birthday party, you name it. Give them a call first so as to know whether they are a good match for your theme.

Having an approximate of the expected guest size will definitely work to your advantage. The better part of venues will be limited in terms of number of people it can host at a go. Ask people to confirm their attendance so as to keep congestion issues at bay. Overcrowding can actually put you on a collision course with the fire marshals as they always advocate for sufficient space so that there is always a way out during emergencies.

Your wedding is supposed to be an auspicious occasion. Getting venue matters right will ensure the day unfolds as you would like. The aforementioned are tips to help you in this regard.

When Buying a Child’s Car Seat: A 5 Pronged Guide

When Buying a Child’s Car Seat: A 5 Pronged Guide

A car seat is critical safety requirement and an essential purchase for your child. In fact, some hospitals will not permit families to leave the hospital after discharge without presenting a car seat. In the U.S, the law and regulations requires that your child should be properly restrained in the seat until they are 7 years of age. If you look at the statistics, you will understand why the rules surrounding this are so tight. Statistics of 2014 indicated that 167,000 children got injuries from automobiles and more than 1000 died. As you shop for a car seat for your child, let these essentials guide you.

1. Five Point Harness systems

A five-point harness system includes two straps, a chest clip, and a crotch strap. Of all other type of seat restraints, these are considered the safest. In the event of an accident, five-point harness systems hold children more effectively as compared to models that have fewer restraints. Furthermore, they provide better control. Also, with this model, your child will not wiggle out of the seat. This model shouldn’t be hard to find since it’s the standard system for most convertible car seats.

2. Weight, and Height Limits

Although each car seat comes with a manual detail with height and weight specifications, some general rules are:

Rear-facing seats are meant for infants and newborns. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that children should ride in rear-facing seats for as long as possible. Billings explains that once your child’s head is 1 inch of the top of the car seat, then it means they have outgrown the rear-facing seat. When you notice this change, know it’s time to think about a forward-facing seat. The height should be the ultimate indicator.

Forward-facing seats are for children at least 2-years-old. When a child outgrows the rear-facing seat, they graduate to the forward-facing car seat.

Booster seats are for Children around 8 years of age and over 40 pounds.  Children this age should never seat in the front seat of the car. Ensure that the seat belt fits snugly both on the lap and the shoulders.

3. Easily Fits in the Vehicle

Car seats are available in different shapes and sizes thus you should make sure your purchase will properly fit in the vehicle. A car with a large base, for example, may not fit in smaller models of cars. Not only should it slide easily into the car, make sure the seat leaves room for installation.

4. Protection for Head and Side Impact

Good car seats should come with side impact and foam head protection. This addition is critical because head injuries in case of an accident can be severe. In the event of a  car wreck, the foam sides cushion your child’s head from force and impact.

5. Go for a New Seat

Though second-hand car seats are readily available in the market, parents should be extremely careful when purchasing them. After about six years, the rubber and foam in a car seat start to wear out which reduces their effectiveness. Besides, if a car seat has been involved in a car wreck, regardless of how minor the wreck was, it shouldn’t be reused. This because the seat may have structural damage that is not obvious to the eye.

Finding the best seat for your child takes thorough window-shopping. Take a peek at the best toddler car seats right here at Best Toddler Car Seats | Top Reviews 2017 – BabyShop.Tips and find the perfect size for your child.

Apple’s HomeKit: Control Several Devices From a Single Device

Apple’s HomeKit: Control Several Devices From a Single Device

With the advent of smartphones and smart living, Apple Inc. jumped into the fray with its HomeKit, which seeks to put various devices in your home at the beck and call of your Apple watch and smartphone. Apple’s peek into the future sees a situation where the kit will talk to your ceiling fans, smart lights and work seamlessly with the thermostat in your home. Apple is already halfway there, with various systems working with the kit already. Here are some of the “magic” you can weave in your home with the HomeKit.

Control Your Shades

The biggest task in every home each morning and evening is running around to close your shades. This is what inspired Lutron to come up with its innovative Caseta Wireless Smart Bridge, which, together with Siri (Apple’s voice app), can open and close Serena battery-powered shades. Getting the Smart Bridge Pro gives you greater leverage, expanding the types of Lutron shades you can control from your phone.

Adjust Your Home Temperature

Honeywell has come up with a thermostat that comes with support for Apple HomeKit. This thermostat uses Siri to tap into a host of temperature tweaks. The thermostat can also adjust the indoor temperature depending on external conditions, send text, and email alerts. This thermostat comes with advanced geofencing features that detect when you are home or out, and adjust the temperature accordingly.

Control Your Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fans have a long history behind them, and it is hard to think of this common home appliance as “smart”. However, Hunter has gone ahead to change this notion and give you the ability to control ceiling fans, thanks to Apple HomeKit and Wi-Fi. The ability to support the HomeKit means that you get to control a single fan or a group of them using Siri.

Hunter takes the automation to another level, allowing you to use scenes in home automation. Scenes enable you to use one voice command to execute several actions. For instance, you can come up with a scene that turns the fans off, opens the doors and closes the garage door. You can get more information on smart ceilings on

Detect Leaks

Grid Connect has come up with a HomeKit-enabled temperature and humidity sensor for areas that can’t fit a thermostat such as storage areas, greenhouses, and your basement. The sensors detect leaks in these spots and alert you via your apple device. You can use voice commands to change settings or the status of the sensor.

Open and Lock Doors

With key-free entry becoming the norm, Kwikset came up with Premis, a HomeKit-compatible smart lock. All you need is to use voice commands via Siri to open or close the door. Premis also works with other HomeKit-enabled systems, such as thermostats and lighting controls. It gives you the luxury of 30 unique voice commands.

Are You Ready for a Smart Home?

Managing a home, whether big or small can be a daunting task for any family. Hectic routines and busy schedules can reduce the efficiency of your home, thereby eating away at your resting time. Some of the small tasks such as closing your shades can take more of your precious time. Apple HomeKit rescues this time for you by creating a platform that integrates various smart devices in your home.

The Importance Of Beauty Enhancement Procedures

The Importance Of Beauty Enhancement Procedures

Every woman wants to look beautiful and attractive. A woman is a special creation of God and even God could not resist her charm and beauty. The beauty of a woman is not merely limited to her face, color of her skin etc. It is her overall body parts which shape her personality. Having a well toned and maintained body with attractive features, appealing and elegant looks add to the definition of being beautiful and confident.

With advancement in technology and implementation of technology in enhancing the attractiveness of women pertaining to their looks and physical features, looking beautiful till a certain age has become easy and affordable. To look good, feel good after a certain age women nowadays are taking the help of various beauty treatments and surgeries which enhance the looks of a woman to a great extent. These beauty treatments and surgeries make a woman feel good and confident about herself by significantly improving her physical and facial features.

Looks and the right kind of treatment-

A woman has many physical features which she needs to look after to look presentable and attractive. Any kind of flaw with respect to any part of her body, be it her face, her physical features or weight issues, can have a negative impact on her overall personality and attractiveness. All these flaws can be removed or worked out with help of plastic surgeries or beauty treatments.

Some of the most advantageous beauty treatments and surgeries which are suitable for different aspects of a women’s body are as follow –

  • Facial features – a woman who is not blessed with attractive features related to face like perfect lips, ears, and nose can always take the help of plastic surgery to get a perfect shape for her lips or nose. Various celebrities over time have been going for plastic surgeries to enhance their beauty appeal.
    In addition to this if age has caught up with you and your face has gone dull then you can go for face lift or mid facelift surgeries which will certainly help you to look a lot younger and attractive.
  • Physical features– often a woman is low on confidence regarding her physical assets. Every woman irrespective of her age wants to have perfect breasts. A perfect pair of assets is a matter of pride for every woman. If you are under nourished or want to reduce your breasts size than you can opt for breast augmentation and breast reduction surgeries to achieve a perfect figure in respect to this feature of your body.

Various other treatments are available like liposuction to reduce your tummy fat, butt lift surgery to give a proper and attractive shape to your bumps.