If you are like most Americans, it’s hard to remember what day our country celebrates Memorial Day. Signifying the unofficial start of summer each year, it always falls on the last Monday of May. Memorial Day 2018 will take place on Monday, May 28th. But there is a lot more to the holiday than welcoming summer. Memorial Day has a rich history and is a great opportunity to honor the men and women who have served the United States of America as soldiers.
Many children know what Memorial Day means – a day off from school! While getting a day to enjoy the beautiful May weather is a reason to celebrate, it is also important to remember why Memorial Day is important. This federal holiday is a great opportunity to teach your children about duty, honor, and patriotism.
Heroes give young people someone to look up to and emulate. They teach students that they can have a positive impact on the world around them when they use their God-given talents and that greatness in the pure, unselfish sense is something for which we should striver. This does not mean we should focus only on their greatest accomplishments. Instead, we should accept that the whole life of a hero or heroine is part of their legacy.
We often feel the pressure in Christian circles to be something: Thankful. It’s actually become kind of stressful for me to be thankful lately. It’s a funny thing, and I deeply enjoy being thankful, but the pressure to be thankful around the holidays has begun to bother me.
Christians have commemorated Christ’s resurrection since this historical and miraculous event occurred. However, the celebration of Easter began in the 2nd century, roughly 1,800 years ago. By reading through the New Testament, we can see how crucial the resurrection is to our Christian faith. Peter writes in 1 Peter 1, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” And in 1 Corinthians, Paul writes, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.”
March 17th has long been observed as the feast day of St. Patrick in the greater Christian tradition. However, much of what is purportedly known about Patrick is traditional legend. Some of the stories that you may have heard about Patrick include his explanation of the trinity using a three-leafed clover, or the fact that Ireland does not have snakes because Patrick chased them all away. While these events cannot be definitively proven, and they do make for a great story, what we do know about Patrick is equally as fascinating and inspiring.
A new year is now in full swing, and I am sure that there are a number of New Year’s resolutions that we have already failed to keep. The anticipation of a New Year is always exciting, and we get caught up in the possibility of self-improvement. We think that a new year will bring a new version of ourselves, or a new life, or a new whatever. But when we wake up on the second of January, we soon realize that it is just another day, and we are still the same as we were the day before.
There was one summer when my mother sat me down to review what I should have learned in school the previous year. I don’t remember what words she used, but I do remember the emotions; she was rather upset when she found out I could not spell my name. We then practiced the multiplication table and I redeemed my illiteracy with a flawless recital of the multiplication table from two all the way to nine. In my defense, she never made me practice writing my own name, while I had to constantly recite the Korean song that sings the multiplication table (you can see an example here, although the one I had to sing was much duller and more tedious).
I have often wondered what was different about Mary. How did God choose her to be the mother of Jesus? What was in the heart of Mary, the peasant girl from Nazareth, that made her worthy to give birth to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords?
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas music is playing, trees are going up, cookies are being baked, and children are expecting to be visited by a heretic-slapping defender of the orthodox faith. Alright, you’ve probably never heard of that last holiday tradition, but St. Nicholas (apart from being the basis of the Santa Claus legend) is a big deal in the history of the church. He helped formulate one of the greatest creeds in Christendom.
When you think of Thanksgiving Day, do you think of eating large meals, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, or preparing for Black Friday? For many, these activities define the way we will spend this holiday, but how did Thanksgiving start and how did it become a widely celebrated holiday?
In the United States of America, we are about to inaugurate a new president into office. The word president means “the elected head of republican state,” and it is a word that ought to command the respect and honor of the people. “President” is a title that our country has bestowed upon 44, soon to be 45, leaders. For parents, it is particularly important that we teach our kids about the history of the inauguration, the importance of the peaceful transfer of leadership that it represents, the biblical principles that underlie our submission to the authorities placed above us, and the ways we can do God’s work in that submission.
When is Martin Luther King Day 2017?
Now that the holiday season is over, it may seem like there isn't much left to celebrate. Many of us are focused on getting back into the swing of things at school and making good on our New Year's resolutions. Regardless, January is full of holidays, from Russian Christmas to Chinese New Year and Fun at Work Day. Although you can find something to celebrate nearly every day of the month, one January holiday stands out from the rest. Martin Luther King Day is a very important holiday in the history of the US, is federally recognized as a national holiday, and falls on Monday, January 16th this year.
In this blog article, you will learn more about the important significance of this holiday, including:
The reason we celebrate Martin Luther King Day
Little-known Martin Luther King Jr. facts
Some of Dr. King’s famous quotes
The history of Martin Luther King Day as a holiday
A list of the public and private offices that are closed to observe Martin Luther King Day
There is no better time than Christmas to inspire creativity and have fun while doing crafts. This year, I looked to the Bible for ideas and was inspired to make a baby Jesus craft. “Hark! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger." Luke 2:12. The most iconic image of the nativity is baby Jesus lying in the manger.
This scene had been prophesied in the Old Testament and had long been awaited by God’s chosen people. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:6-7. This is a great theme to center a baby Jesus craft around. The craft I’ll be sharing today is appropriate for children ages 4–10 and is easy enough that you can do it at home, school, sunday school, or for a children’s ministry! Gather the kids around and reflect on the miracle of Christ’s birth while creating baby Jesus in a manger.
If you're anything like me, you start organizing details well in advance of Thanksgiving to ensure the month of December goes off without a hitch. I find myself making shopping lists, sending greeting cards, planning exquisite dinner menus, scheduling Christmas parties, and attending Christmas services. At the heart of many of my preparations is carrying out the traditions our family has handed down from one generation to the next. Having celebrated many Christmases, I've come to realize how easy it is to get distracted by all the hustle and bustle of our Yuletide celebrations.
Although some planning and preparations are necessary to make sure the family gets fed and transported from point A to point B, it is important to take some time and meditate on the reason for this season. JESUS. As part of our family tradition, we read the story of the nativity in the Bible, recite "The Night Before Christmas" and sing "Away in a Manger". I'm concerned that these traditions have become rote over time and we do them without actually experiencing the season in a way that touches our soul.
This year, I'm choosing to find new and intentional ways to reflect on Christ's birth, so I don't get stuck in the rut of complacency. This means that I may have to break tradition somewhat and find some new ways to celebrate this special time of year. Starting with the Bible, which is rich with beautiful poetry and has spoken to many hearts over the years, I decided to explore some non-traditional Christmas poems to help me stop and reflect on the gift of Jesus Christ. Perhaps you'd like to break tradition and share these Christmas poems with your family, too.
If you're like me, you did not grow up in a Jewish household and really don't have much first-hand knowledge of celebrating Hanukkah. Aside from recognizing the shape of the Menorah and finding amusement in Adam Sandler's "Hanukkah Song," I have not had a lot of exposure to celebrating Hanukkah or any other Jewish traditions, for that matter. Like so many other holidays we grow up somewhat aware of, I had no idea of the rich history and culture behind this special time of the year.
Christmas lights illuminate the streets and songs fill the air while the Thanksgiving leftovers sit simmering in the pan. The holiday season brings a mix of emotions, memories, smells, and plans. Have you ever thought about where some of the traditions we celebrate originated? Here are some Christmas fun facts for you to enjoy during this festive time of year.
Eating turkey and pumpkin pie, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day 2016 Parade, or looking at Black Friday ads. Are these some of the things that come to your mind when you think “Thanksgiving Day 2016?” For many, these images encapsulate the way we will spend November 24th, but how did Thanksgiving start and how did it become a widely celebrated holiday?
Veterans Day is a day in America when everyone remembers those who have fought for our country in the past and now. Not only is Veterans Day important for those who have fought for our country, but all their families. Sometimes, many Americans have a hard time on what to say to veterans when it comes to Veterans Day. The typical “thank you for your service” comment seems repetitive at times. A great way to observe Veterans Day and to express your gratitude to veterans is with Veterans Day poems. Below, I will give examples of Veterans Day poems that others have written and my thoughts on them.