Happy Father’s Day!

Today we take extra care to recognize and celebrate our Fathers.  Here at the Yule Log we must be sure to include Father Christmas in the recognition.  Father Christmas is one of the oldest representatives of the Christmas spirit.  He is known as many other names including Papa Noel, Pere Noel, and Bobbo Natale.  You might also have heard him called Old Father Christmas, Sir Christmas, or Lord Christmas.  Father Christmas may have lived in the mountains in Lapland, Finland.  He grew out of the tradition of the Anglo-Saxon god Woden, or Odin in Norse mythology.  Father Christmas wore green robes (until writers and custom of the Victorian era switched him to red) and embodies the good cheer that is the Christmas spirit.  He was not a gift bringer or associated with children, more seen as the leader of adult feasting and drinking.  The Victorians started to merge his actions with those of the more child-centered St. Nicholas.  He also heavily influenced the creation of what would become Santa Claus in the United States and Canada.  Today we interchange Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, and Father Christmas easily.  We have morphed them all into a singular idea and persona when in fact they have a varied background and differing origin tales.   Father Christmas was the one to lead the people into a time of focus on good cheer and strong community.  Regardless of the name used, I know we all enjoy family, especially Dad, at Christmas and today.  Happy Fathers Day 2012!

Memorial Day Sales? Christmas shopping strategy

Thanksgiving morning I’m industriously circling sales fliers while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  My sister-in-law invariably says, “My shopping is already done.”  Those are words that cause inward angst and irritation.  She’s raising four children! How does she do it?

I received a sales magazine for Uncommon Goods today.  I admit that at least half of my Christmas purchases came from their products last year–not on sale. This flier was a reminder about Father’s Day in two weeks.  All of the man-friendly gifts are concentrated in this month, so why don’t I buy them now for Christmas?

In fact, I bet there is a “best time” to buy just about everything.  I am always sharing my  “get rich slow” schemes (Here’s my best latest idea:  Chicken Portraits–FowlPhotographer.com), and I’m delighted to report that there’s an entire website called Get Rich Slowly: Personal Finance that Makes Cents.  In staff writer April Dykman’s post, she chronicles every type of item and the best time for the best prices.  Right now, according to her blog post, Father’s Day inspires great hardware store deals.  Also, new vacuum models come out in June, so there are clearance sales of older models. (I know there is a taboo about buying vacuums and appliances for the spouse for Christmas, but I don’t agree.)  Because this is wedding season, there are deep discounts on pots, pans and dishes.

My goal is to have it all done early!