27.12.07

#138 ~~ 365 Days ~~



What Are You Doing New Year's Eve

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It has been a very exciting 365 days here in Clay-land, starting with a memory from Christmas 2006 and a very brief summary of 2007. 2008 shows all signs of being just as delightful..Spamalot, new CD to look forward to, and who knows what surprises he will have in store for us.


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December 2006-photo by Scrpkym

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SRHP tour summer 2007 - photo by Fivegoldens


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New Year World Customs


January 1 is traditionally a religious time, but since the 1900's, it has become an occasion for celebration.
People all over the world celebrate this time of the year and follow different customs.

In Canada many people gather on New Year's Eve and see this day as a time for family reunion and to have a great feast. Some spend a good deal of them eating at home.



In Spain the Spanish ritual on New Year's Eve is to eat twelve grapes at midnight. The tradition is meant to secure twelve happy months in the coming year.


In Mexico some people, especially women, wear red meaning they hope to find love in the next year. here are also people who take out their suitcases and walk around the block, meaning they wish they could travel in the upcoming year.


In Oshogatsu, Japan, at midnight on De. 31, Buddhist temples strike their gongs 108 times, in an effort to expel 108 types of human weaknesses.


In Netherlands the Dutch burn bonfires of Christmas trees on the street and launch fireworks. The fires are meant to purge the old and welcome of the new.


In Brazil, most New Year's Eve customs are related to good luck or fortune. Most people wear white clothes on New Year's Eve to bring good luck and peace for the year that will follow.


In United States one of the most well known traditions is the dropping of the New Year's ball in Times Square, New York City, at 11:50 P.M. Thousands gather to watch the ball make it's one-minute descent, arriving exactly at midnight.




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Christmas in the Heartland, 2007 - photo by Invisible926



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Christmas in the Heartland 2007 - photo by Invisible926


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Clay and Sasha - Celebrities on Ice


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December 2007 - UNICEF Ambassador Clay in Mexico

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Click for January 2008 calendar








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22.12.07

#137 The Night Before Christmas

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Who Hung the first Christmas stocking by the chimney with care?


According to legend, the tradition of hanging up Christmas stockings began in the 4th century.
The tale centres on a rich family who fell upon hard times. The mother died and the kind-hearted father lost his fortune.

The man's daughter didn't have a dowry and so couldn't get married. Wanting to help, St. Nicolas tossed a bag of gold through their window one evening during the Christmas season. The gold landed in one of the stocking the girl had hung by the fireplace to dry, and it was just the right amount for a proper dowry.

Children have been hanging up Christmas stockings ever since.

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'Twas the night before Christmas,
When all through the house
Not a creature was stirring,
Not even a mouse.


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The stockings were hung
By the chimney with care,
In the hopes that Saint. Nicholas
Soon would be there.


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The children were nestled
All snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums
Danced in their heads.


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And Mama in her kerchief and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap;
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.


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Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of midday to objects below.


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When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer;
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.


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More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name:
"Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On Cupid! On, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"


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As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.


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As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.


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His eyes ... how they twinkled! His dimples ... how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.


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The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.


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He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.


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He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk,
And laying a finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;


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He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL ...
AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!"

~ Clement C. Moore ~


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136 the night b4 Christmas


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