Holidays

05/23/2016 - 2:23pm

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, calculated according to when the crescent moon is sighted.

During this entire month, adult Muslims do not eat from sunup to sundown. This is called fasting. In the evening, the day's fast is broken with a meal called iftar. Before the day's fast begins, Muslims eat a pre-dawn meal called suhoor. When the month is over, Muslims celebrate a three-day holiday with feasting and gift exchanges, called Id-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast).

04/07/2016 - 10:36am

Officially, May Day is the 1st of May, but really anytime during this splendid spring month is a perfect opportunity to share small gifts of the season with everyone: teachers; friends; neighbors; and family. You can do that with May baskets—a wonderful, old-fashioned tradition.

01/11/2016 - 10:22am

What's better than a store-bought valentine with your name on it? Add a little something sweet to make it a valentine to remember. Sure, you can buy pretty candy at just about any store this time of the year, but you can also get creative and make it yourself.

01/11/2016 - 9:50am

Your family does a lot for you: helping with homework, cooking your meals, and taking you to fun places. Why not give them a treat on Valentine's Day? A relaxing breakfast with a few special touches is a great way to show how much you love them.

11/17/2015 - 4:12pm
Homeless dog

For many people, the day after Halloween is the official kick-off of the holiday season. Lights are out in front of the mall, the stores put their holiday wares front and center, cookie recipes are dusted off, and children pull out a fresh sheets of paper for their wish lists. The season heats up even more on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as people start stressing out over gift lists, school events, and merry-making to-do lists.

For many other people, however, the holiday season is one of a different kind of stress. There is worry about the colder months and the heating bill, about not having enough money for gifts, or getting through the season without a loved one. This season, instead of perusing the “Hot Toys of 2015” lists, why not set a personal or family goal to make it truly a season of giving, rather than receiving?

11/02/2015 - 2:40pm

Popcorn was grown by Native Americans long before the Europeans came to the New World. The Aztecs used it, strung into garlands, in their religious ceremonies. Peruvians toasted and ate their popcorn, which was called pisancalla. During the 1830's, it was "discovered" by American farmers who, using a new kind of plow, planted acres and acres of it during the 1850s. By the turn of the 19th century, popcorn vendors could be found in every big city. They'd sell their wares by the bag or the ball and make a profit of about 70 cents on every dollar!

10/26/2015 - 11:35am

Brimming with the fruits of the harvest, the cornucopia has become an important symbol of American Thanksgiving. Its origins go further back in time to the ancient Greeks. According to their myths, young Zeus gave his foster mother Amalthaea a goat's horn that could be filled with whatever she wished.

09/30/2015 - 7:47am
Grab Your Pumpkin, and Plan for Halloween Fun!

It’s time for hayrides, apples, and sweaters. And pumpkins. Can’t forget the pumpkins. What will you do with your pumpkin? Will you carve it into amazing shapes, paint it with swirls and maybe sparkle it with glitter? Or, will you turn it into a pumpkin pie?

Pumpkins are so much a part of all fall celebrations—and Halloween brings out our imaginations. For one night, you can pretend to be someone else brave or magical or silly or scary. 

Halloween is also a great time for a party! Whether you make it a just a bit frightening or create something calm and low-key, you can make it happen with cool crafts, stories, games, food and fun.

10/01/2015 - 11:57am
Young girl in a butterfly costume

If you’d like to make a one-of-a-kind costume, throw a not-to-be-forgotten Halloween party, or carve a prize-winning pumpkin, we’ve got just the books you need to get started. We’ve also got CDs with Halloween music and scary sound effects. Plan for a perfectly frightful evening with our Halloween Fun resource list.

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