Candlemas Day

Shubenacadie Sam, Nova Scotia’s groundhog, did not see his shadow today. According to tradition this means we’ll have an early spring.

However, down in Pennsylvania, Puxsutawney Phil did see his shadow. It’s weird that spring will be in Canada before it arrives in the USA.

This is an ancient Christian celebration dating back longer than I’ve been alive. Known as Candlemas Day, it marked the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year while spring equinox is when there is an equal amount of daylight as there is night time. Today, we’re right smack in the middle. You might have noticed that it’s light for just a bit longer than it was at the same time a month ago.

Anyway, clergy would bless candles and then pass said candles out to the people. The superstition was as true back then as it is today. If there is sun we’ll have six more weeks of winter and if it’s cloudy then spring will come early. Sometime later, the Germans introduced the hedgehog into the prediction. If their hedgehog saw his shadow then we’d have more bad weather, a second winter.

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Winter has another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Winter will not come again

When the German then migrated to the New World they brought their lederhosen and traditions with them. However, due to a lack of hedgehogs in Pennsylvania, they switched to groundhogs.

In 1886, just 110 years after the US declared their independence, a newspaper by the name of Punxsutawney Spirit, printed the first news of Groundhog Day to be observed. The next year, The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club celebrated for the first time at Gobbler’s Knob.  The editor of that paper declared Punxsutawney Phil to be America’s whether forecasting groundhog.

Wikipedia lists 26 prognosticators. Thirteen saw their shadow and predict six more weeks of winter. For those you who struggle with math, that leaves thirteen others who are predicting an early spring. I guarantee at least half of the 26 are right.

Technically, we have 6 more weeks of winter no matter what the groundhogs and hedgehogs say.

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Questions I Asked My Kids

Time is marching on. Christmas is now just 17 days away and Crash and Bang have asked for some stuff that might require time for shipping or we’ll need to pull a lucky charm from our posterior to get them under the tree in time. Naturally, the Jolly Old Elf doesn’t bring everything they ask for. When they only ask for three things and one of them is all he talks about (see #4) you kind of do what you have to do. Especially after watching them do their random acts of kindness with such gusto. They’re trying so hard to be good!

I’m pretty sure this is what DW is getting from me this year. It’s only $69.95!

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You can thank me later, hon.

1. What is your favorite thing to do during winter?

Crash: Go snowboarding
Bang: Sit in the house and watch T.V…. NO NO! Actually, go sledding.

2. What has been your favorite Random Act of Kindness so far?

Crash: The cookies we delivered yesterday to the police and paramedics
Bang: Delivering treats to the ambulance drivers and the police

3. What has been your favorite thing that Woody and Elfis has done so far?

Crash: Make snowballs and snowmen with the marshmallows
Bang: Make some kindness on my birthday list (when they wrote back to him on the birtday note he wrote for Woody… see today’s Daily Elf)

4. What 2 things do you want for Christmas?

Crash: A drone with a camera that flies well and Minecraft mini figures
Bang: A button train to put around the Christmas tree and a remote controlled car

5. What do you think Mom wants for Christmas?

Crash: A Bra
Bang: Lipstick

6. What do you think Dad wants for Christmas?

Crash: (Bang wispers “lipstick” and giggles) Probably a drone.
Bang: An Ambulance

7. How old is Santa Claus?

Crash: 206
Bang: 103

8. Why do we celebrate Christmas?

Crash: Because that’s when Jesus was born and the wise men gave him gifts
Bang: Because it’s a special day because you get gifts. And Jesus was born that day.

frosty-the-snowman-advanced-graphics-emnsa7-clipart9. If we made a snowman and he came to life, what would you want to do with him?

Crash: Go thumpity thump thump over the hills of snow
Bang: Play with him just like Frosty the Snowman. We’d play baseball.

10. If Baby Jesus came to our house, what would you want to tell him?

Crash: I would want to tell him “You will save the world”
Bang: Merry Christmas

Bonus: (because this is the question Bang wanted me to ask him)

Why are ghosts invisible?

Crash: so they can sneak up on people
Bang: Because they want to attack you without people seeing you