Treasure Beach Forum: Inspirational Thoughts: INSPIRATION
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Glasceta Honeyghan on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 - 08:06 am: Edit Post

Dear readers:

Over the next few days we will be recognizing National Education Month. Our postings will be mainly poems dedicated to our teachers. If you are a teacher please celebrate yourself. If you had at least one great teacher in your life, perhaps you can dedicate one of these to him/her.As for me, I continue to prepare teachers to teach reading in our K-12 schools.


I believe I have been called by God to teach.
I believe in children...young and and and poor....each in need of learning.

I believe in blackboards, chalk dust, textbooks, and computers for each has a part in imparting knowledge.
I believe the love I give to my students will someday be reflected in their lives.

I believe the gift of teaching is not measured simply by marks, enrollment, or the end of the school year.

It is in the witness I give and the fullness of the life lived by those I teach.

I believe I have the power to lead those in need of learning to the threshold of their own minds.
I believe in my giftedness to use each of the tools available no matter how new or old..for the light of knowledge in the eyes of another is my goal.

I believe teaching is more than tests, diplomas, paperwork, and fundraising.
It is the values I breathe daily into another...slowly.

It is in the faith I share in Jesus...ever changing and growing...never ending.

I believe my success today goes unnoticed...until those i teach and touch can stand alone and say "in my life I have learned..."

I believe if I have taught and touched one God's name...I have used my gift to me justly..and can humbly say...
I believe in teaching....

Thanks to Julie McClellan

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ms.Deleon-Rowe on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 - 11:18 am: Edit Post

To all the wonderful teachers (especially Ms. Ditty,Ms P.T,Ms.Listerine Lettman , Ms. Totianna Gayle) and three special teachers from Pedro Plains School (Mr Vernon Buchanan, Mr. Fellow Blackwood and Ms. Sonia Wright)who have shaped me into the person I am today.Thank you all very much for a job well done.

Wonderful Teacher

With a special gift for learning
And with a heart that deeply cares,
You add a lot of love
To everything you share,
And even though
You mean a lot,
You'll never know how much,
For you helped
To change the world
Through every life you touched.
You sparked the creativity
In the students whom you taught,
And helped them strive for goals
That could not be bought,
You are such a special teacher
That no words can truly tell
However much you're valued
For the work you do so well.

--Author Unknown

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By YourStudent on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 - 10:24 pm: Edit Post

Who can forget Teacher McLean and his wife Miss Icelda, his sister Valrie, Miss PT, Miss Madge and a host of others who labored with souls like mine. Words cannot express the gratitude I feel. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Glasceta Honeyghan on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 - 10:56 pm: Edit Post

I Am A Teacher

I am a counselor and psychologist to a problem-filled child,
I am a police officer that controls a child gone wild.
I am a travel agent scheduling our trips for the year,
I am a confidante that wipes a crying child's tear.
I am a banker collecting money for a ton of different things,
I am a librarian showing adventures that a storybook brings.
I am a custodian that has to clean certain little messes,
I am a psychic that learns to know all that everybody only guesses.
I am a photographer keeping pictures of a child's yearly growth,
When mother and father are gone for the day, I become both.
I am a doctor that detects when a child is feeling sick,
I am a politician that must know the laws and recognize a trick.
I am a party planner for holidays to celebrate with all,
I am a decorator of a room, filling every wall.
I am a news reporter updating on our nation's current events,
I am a detective solving small mysteries and ending all suspense.
I am a clown and comedian that makes the children laugh,
I am a dietician assuring they have lunch or from mine I give them half.
When we seem to stray from values, I become a preacher,
But I'm proud to have to be these people because ...
I'm proud to say, "I am a teacher."

~Stacy Bonino~

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Glasceta Honeyghan on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 03:06 pm: Edit Post

The Hand Holders:
A Tribute To Caregivers

There is no job more important than yours,
no job anywhere else in the land.
You are the keepers of the future;
you hold the smallest of hands.

Into your care you are trusted
to nurture and care for the young,
and for all of your everyday heroics,
your talents and skills go unsung.

You wipe tears from the eyes of the injured.
You rock babies brand new in your arms.
You encourage the shy and unsure child.
You make sure they are safe from all harm.

You foster the bonds of friendships,
letting no child go away mad.
You respect and you honour their emotions.
You give hugs to each child when they're sad.

You have more impact than does a professor,
a child's mind is moulded by four;
so whatever you lay on the table
is whatever the child will explore.

Give each child the tools for adventure,
let them be artists and writers and more;
let them fly on the wind and dance on the stars
and build castles of sand on the shore.

It is true that you don't make much money
and you don't get a whole lot of praise,
but when one small child says "I love you",
you're reminded of how this job pays.

author unknown

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Glasceta Honeyghan on Thursday, November 16, 2006 - 11:53 am: Edit Post


On Monday, Billy didn't have his homework
And when the teacher asked him why,
He said, "Because a monster ripped it up,
After I told him a lie."
"Now Billy," said the teacher.
"You know monsters don't exist,
And if you don't turn in your homework
No recess you will get."

On Tuesday, Billy had a stomach ache,
and when the teacher asked him why,
He said, "A monster took away my dinner,
Even my cherry pie."
"Billy, I've told you once before,
Monsters are not real.
You’ll have to wait till lunchtime
before you get a meal."

On Wednesday Billy had a bandage,
which covered his right eye.
When the teacher asked him how it happened.
This was his reply;
"A monster was running after me
when I ran into the door."
"Billy, please," the teacher said,
"I don't want to hear any more."

On Thursday, Billy refused to sit down.
And when the teacher asked him why,
Billy said, "A monster whipped my bottom,
because I started to cry."
"Billy," said the teacher, "this is getting out of hand,
and if you continue with these stories,
in the corner you will stand."

On Friday, Billy didn't come to school,
And when the teacher found out why,
She said a little prayer to God
In hopes Billy would survive.
For a monster had beaten Billy
and threatened him with a knife.
Now Billy lay in a hospital bed,
Fighting for his life.

So teachers please remember,
That monsters are for real.
Listen closely to kids' stories,
A wonder heart you may heal.

~Christina Brinsley~

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Glasceta Honeyghan on Saturday, November 18, 2006 - 07:36 pm: Edit Post

Childhood Doesn't Wait

I was sitting on a bench
while in a nearby mall,
When I noticed a young mother
with two children who were small.

The youngest one was whining,
"Pick me up," I heard him beg
but the mother's face grew angry
as the child clung to her leg.

"Don't hang on to me," she shouted
as she pushed his hands away,
I wish I'd had the courage
to go up to her and say...

"The time will come too quickly
when those little arms that tug,
Won't ask for you to hold them
or won't freely give a hug.

"The day will sneak up subtly
just as it did with me,
When you can't recall the last time
that your child sat on your knee.

"Like those sacred, pre-dawn feedings
when we cherished time alone
Our babies grow and leave behind
those special times we've know.

"So when your child comes to you
with a book that you can share,
Or asks that you would tuck him in
and help him say his prayer...

"When he comes to sit and chat
or would like to take a walk,
Before you answer that you can't
'cause there's no time to talk

"Remember what all parents learn
so many times too late,
That years go by too quickly
and that childhood doesn't wait.

"Take every opportunity,
if one should slip away
Reach hard to get it back again,
don't wait another day."

I watched that mother walk away
her children followed near,
I hope she'll pick them up
before her chances disappear

by Kathie Davis

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Glasceta Honeyghan on Sunday, November 19, 2006 - 09:43 am: Edit Post

"Reflect on your blessings, of which every man has plenty, not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some."

~Charles Dickens~

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Glasceta Honeyghan on Monday, November 20, 2006 - 10:21 am: Edit Post


Sometimes lips whose soft touch
Warmed you,
Told you what you needed/wanted to hear,
Spoke words of love and tenderness,
Are not so dear.
Things happen . . .
And those same lips can cut and sear.
The world's not perfect.

Sometimes those people that you love
To the point you'd give your life, if necessary,
To save them
Can disappoint, let you down, betray your trust.
The world's not perfect.

I look at you, you look at me--
We see what we want to see,
Or maybe what we need to see,
But let us not stop believing
That we both are still striving
To do our best. We must keep trying
To earn, and learn to, trust.
The world's not perfect.

But it can be.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Glasceta Honeyghan on Tuesday, November 21, 2006 - 08:25 am: Edit Post

Once the truth
is told,
you never need
to pretend

~author unknown~

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Glasceta Honeyghan on Tuesday, November 21, 2006 - 07:03 pm: Edit Post


Direction: Check a yes/no response to each of the following prompts, by indicating whether you personally engage in or are acquainted with anyone who…

1 eats thirteen-bean soup, or the thirteen individual beans at different times. 2. refers to all beverages served cold (or lukewarm) as ‘drinks’

3. stirs the ice in one’s drinks with an awful rattling sound, to make it colder, faster

4. plays domino every Friday and Saturday evening, rain or shine, or even on Sundays or any other day of the week (if circumstances allow)

5. declare themselves as “We run t’ings ‘roun’ here,” although there is a legitimate boss/supervisor

6. says a greeting with the expression “Whaagwaan? Or “Whaapen?”

7. “drop hint” by talking loudly (usually to an audience) about someone but not mentioning the person’s name.

8. is familiar with a “setup” at the home of a deceased, that lasts all night, with sankey singing, domino playing, and coffee and white rum drinking.

9. refers to any traveling distance as "jus' roun' di corner” or “Jus’ up atop deh so"

10. has a lamp with a 'home sweet home lampshade' somewhere in the house.

11. never throws any leftover food out, no matter how small the portion.

12. pronounces the name 'Smith' as 'Simit'

13. views Miss Lou as the language expert.

14. uses words twice for emphasis (fool-fool, fenke- fenke, pyaan-pyaan, so-so, big-big)

15. refers to Saturday as Satday

16. familiar with something edible called “Stinking Toe.”

17. pronounces dog as “dawg”

18. makes a distinction between time (regular) and “Jamaican Time,” where one shows up anywhere from one to eight hours late for a function.

19. refers to a child who is curious, as “De pickney facety aan bareface?”

20. says all Jamaican speak good English?

21. drops the aitch (h) in holiday and say “’oliday”

22. adds an aitch (h) and say “ halligator?”

23. points with the mouth?

24. expresses disgust by hissing the teeth?

25. 'cut yu eye' when you are upset with someone

26. distinguishes between 'good clothes' and 'judging clothes'

27. refers to any place outside Jamaica as “Oversea.”

28. says the day after Monday is Choosday

29. refers to eraser as “rubba”

30. refers to the bathroom as “toilet”

31 refers to a special-needs child as “idiot”, “haard aize” and “duncy head?”

32. views Bob Marley as the expert on political, psychological, emotional, and philosophical issues; for instance, on the subject of slavery and oppression one might say, “As Bab Maaly sey, “Emancipate yuself from mental slavery.”

33.cleans the house and have soup (most likely beef soup) for dinner every Saturday

34 cannot enjoy Sunday dinner without rice & peas?

35 makes a distinction among dumplings—fry dumpling, cornmeal dumpling, corn dumpling, cut-spoon, festival, spinners, dumpling (regular), and cartwheel

36. refers to both male and female as 'him'

37. refers to a short person as “dung grow”

38. uses the term “Nowherwian” to refer to someone (usually a male) who is a rolling stone or who has no specific home of his own?

39. refers to all rude female children 'facety likkle gal pickney'

40. refers to all stubborn children as 'hawd aize pickney!'

41. refers to anything of a sexual nature as “slackness,” “rudeness,” or “nastiness?”

42 does not go to see a movie, but goes to a 'show' or a 'flim show'

43. develops photographs and say, 'me clean' dem

44. goes to the bathroom to TIDY.

45. takes Carib Carbolic soap to the beach?

46. travel suitcase stinks of the combination of roast breadfruit, ackee, fish, and white rum.

47. refers to one’s wife as “Dis is Di Missis”

48. refers to an albino as “Doondus”

49. eats too much and then you feel “Clyde.”

50. uses knife and fork simultaneously.

51. has parents who do not understand school terms like "grade" or GPA"

52. has a father who asks his children “how old you are?” or “What is your middle name.”

53. meets their half brothers/sisters for the first time in your teens.

54. has Bayrum, Dettol, Milo, or Horlicks in your cupboard.

55. knows what cryptic messages such as “fioofa,” “imma,” and “Kyaar” mean; for instance one might say, “afioofa kyaar dat imma jive.

56. lived in England for over forty years and return and say, “When I were in Englant.”

57. eats soup as a five course meal in one—with red peas, oxtail or pig’s tail, hard food such as— yellow yam, sweet potato, dasheen, breadfruit, coco, and baddu--dumplings, coconut milk, and bammy to dip in.

58. has a real name such as Harold Anthony and a pet name such as Emanuel.

59. refers to someone who eats a hearty meal as “Craven.”

60. refers to “etcetera” or “and so on” as …ray ray.

61. closes the deal on a home and say you “pass paypas.

62. refers to all documents—your driver’s license, birth certificate, school diploma, green card— as “paypas.”

63. knows a male by the name of Deloy, Leroy, Kilroy, Glenroy, Fitzroy, or Kenroy.

64. knows a female by the name Paulette, Bridgette, Antoinette, Novelett, Suzette, Lizette, Burnadette, or Marrionette ? Or Shereen, Nadine, Francine, Cardalene, Moreen, Doreen, Dereen, Maxine, Josephine, Clementine, Oliveen, Narine, or Evarine.

65. refers to swear words as “you cuss a big dutty badwud”

66. says likkle for little,such as “Me likkle sweetie pie, for you me will surely die.”

67. say “tree” for “three” as in “Me likkle bredda tree eer hole.”

68. says “ax” for “ask” as in “Me ungle ax you a question.”

69. refers to a pair of pants as Chowziz

70. saves all plastic containers and paper bags

71. refers to females over thjrty years is “Aunty” or “Mammy”

72. drinks fish tea and suck on the bones, making a hissing noise.

73. serves Manish Water or bun and cheese as hors d’oeuvre (or appetizer)

74. must eat a patti with a cocobread and drink a soda

75. still has a picture of Queen Elizabeth, Alexander Bustamante, or Norman Manley on your wall.

76. catches a goat, kill it, curry it, and eat it, and use its enthralls to make a soup called “Manish water.”

77. eats fish—fried, boiled, steamed, jerked, or escoveitched—only if bones are still intact and the eyes are staring up at you.

78. refers to taking a shower as “ketch a bade.”

79. is denied the opportunity to take a taxi by yourself, but instead you ease in, squeeze in, and sit with about three persons sitting on top of you.

80. refers to any hot beverage as “Tea”

81. serves callalu, salt mackerel, ackee and saltfish, cow liver, or porridge (cornmeal, peanut, green banana, plantain, oats, arrow root, or flour) for breakfast

82. drinks cerrase tea to cure belly ache, headache, diabetis, heart murmer, cancer, and anxiety disorder.

83. refers to a male and female having an intimate relationship as “Dem dey.” And use the same term “Dem Dey” to refer to “Those?—“Me no keep company wid dem dey people.’

84.refers to persons who tell untruth as “ole liad.”

85. refers to someone who has no manners as “Him don’t have no broughtupsy.”

86. makes optimum use of coconut—the husk for floor brush, the water for drinking, the jelly for eating, the milk for coconut oil, soap, grater cake, drops, gizzada, rice and peas, mackerel run down, corn pone, cornmeal pone, cassava pone, potato pone, soup, porridge, toto, the trash to feed the fowl, the shell to make ornaments… and more?

87. refers to a child having a little fun as “ horse-play” or a little laughter as “horse-laugh.”

89. refers to someone who’s full of envy as “red eye”

90. refers to someone who is self-confident as “boasie”

91. refers to perm hair; as “ cream your hair.”

92. refers to an aggressive person as bwoysterous and contacarous

93. refers to a ghost as “a duppy.” And when that duppy is set for someone else, that is “obeah.”

94. lives in America for about fifty years and still eats rice and peas and oxtail or curried goat on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, Martin Luther King’s Day, Fourth of July, and Jamaica Independence Day?

95. refers to your American-born child and say “oonu American pickney too faas, aan lazy aan rude?

96 owns one home abroad (where you live) and one in Jamaica “because me going back a yaad.”

97. gives your American-born child one “bax” and tell him, “Go call de Social Worker and I will “bax” her too.”

98. still refers to all kinds of pain reliever as phensic.

99. frequently exclaims “Kiss Me Granny,” or “Tenk you Jesas.”

100. refers to a party as ‘bashment’


Rules: You do not have to be born in Jamaica or even be a naturalized Jamaican citizen. This test is based solely on correct responses in the affirmative.

100 points You are a true Jamaican
75 points You are redemptive
60 points With a little training, you have lots of possibilities
50 and below You need an intensive Jamaican country-area training

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By 100% Jamaican on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 - 07:38 am: Edit Post

Miss Glasceta I laugh til me nearly dead.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Glasceta Honeyghan on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 - 07:55 am: Edit Post

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

~Mary Anne Radmacher-Hershey~

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rebecca on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 - 03:47 pm: Edit Post

The Jamaican test is great Miss Glasceta!!! I just tested myself along with a born and bred Jamaican, Amanda Sutherland. She got 77 and I got 54. Guess I need to be a Jamaican for a bit longer, eh?

Great fun. Thanks so much!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Justice on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 - 06:06 pm: Edit Post

Neva laugh so haad in years!

A must to expand...and publish Dr!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By God us all on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 - 11:04 pm: Edit Post

Miss Honeyghan,I laugh so hard i almost wet my self i was on my knees like i am praying, when i get to the goat i was on the floor, thanks you made my day.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Glasceta Honeyghan on Thursday, November 23, 2006 - 07:38 am: Edit Post

Dear Readers:

Over the next few days we will focus on ideas for our students (and for all others as well):


Truth is we really don't know where the tradition of playing pranks on people came from.
There are a few theories floating around though.

• When the western world used the Julian calendar, the year began on March 25th because they celebrated the start of a new year with the start of spring. However since that fell in the Holy Week, the celebrated it on the first of April. However when we switched to the Gregorian calendar in the 1500s, we moved the New Year to the first of January. According to the most widely told story, those who still celebrated the New Year on April 1st were called April fools.

• The Encyclopedia of Religion and the Encyclopedia Britannica thinks that the timing of April Fool's Day is directly related to the arrival of Spring, when nature 'fools' humans with erratic weather.

• The Country Diary of Garden Lore has a theory that April Fools Day commemorates "the fruitless mission of the rook (the European crow) who was sent out in search of land from Noah's flood-surrounded ark."
So, on April 1st are you going to be the tricked or the trickster?
Did you know?

•In France, April Fools day is called "Poisson d'Avril" meaning April Fish. The tradition is that French children will tape paper fish to the backs of their friends. When they would discover the fish on their back, the prankster would yell "Poisson d'Avril!" The origin of this is unknown.

•In Scotland the April fool is called April "gowk" which is Scottish for cuckoo. The Cuckoo is an emblem of simpletons.

•In Canada, CHEZ FM fooled the listeners one April Fools Day making listeners believe that it was the last day that the treasury would honor all the two-dollar bills still in circulation. The same year they had people going through their change looking for the mysterious two-dollar coins that had mistakenly been minted from real gold.

•One newscaster on the news show CBO Morning announced that the clock in Ottawa's Peace Tower was being switched to digital.

•On 1 April 1957 on BBC's show Panorama opened with a line about Spring coming early this year, prompting the spaghetti harvest in Switzerland to be early as well. In the normal news manner, spaghetti's oddly uniform length was explained as the result of years of dedicated cultivation. The report stated that the ravenous spaghetti weevil had been conquered.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Glasceta Honeyghan on Friday, November 24, 2006 - 07:18 am: Edit Post

How did superstitions begin?

Superstitions began centuries ago when our ancestors tried to explain mysterious circumstances or events as best as they could with the knowledge they had.
For instance, before the development of science explained such strange things as why mirrors show our reflections or why shadows appear when it's sunny, ancient people reasoned that a shadow or reflection was part of their soul.
If someone broke something onto which the shadow or reflection appeared, people believed that their soul was harmed. Therefore, when a person broke a mirror it was considered unlucky or harmful.
Today we know that reflections and shadows are not part of our souls but if someone still believes it is bad luck to break a mirror they are said to be superstitious.
So a superstition is a belief or practice that people cling to even after new knowledge or facts prove that these silly beliefs are untrue.
Common superstitions:
• Do not walk under a ladder or you will invite bad luck.
• Breaking a mirror will bring you 7 years of bad luck.
• It's bad luck to have a black cat cross your path.
• If you see a shooting star it will bring you good luck.
• The number 13 is bad luck.
• Carrying a rabbit's foot in your pocket will bring good luck.
• Don't eat chicken on New Year's Day or you will be scratching for money but if you eat pork you will be fattened with prosperity/money
• People believe that when you visit someone you should leave through the same door you came in or otherwise it is bad luck.
• If you step on a crack you will break your mother's back.
• If it rains on your wedding day you will be showered with good luck.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Glasceta Honeyghan on Friday, November 24, 2006 - 05:57 pm: Edit Post

Why does the Jack O'Lantern represent Halloween?

Jack, a stingy, drunken Irishman, is the reason why jack o' lanterns have been associated with Halloween for centuries.

One popular version of an Irish legend tells of Jack drinking too much liquor at a local pub on All Hallow's Eve. The more drinks Jack consumed the more his life was slipping away. As the intoxicated Jack stumbled home, the Devil demanded that Jack come to Hell with him because of his evil ways. Jack, who was not too eager to die, convinced the Devil to climb a nearby tree to pluck him an apple. As the Devil climbed the tree, Jack carved a cross in the tree's trunk--preventing the Devil from coming back down. The angry and deceived Devil demanded that Jack release him. But first, the clever Jack wanted to make a pact with the Devil. Jack made the Devil promise that when he died the Devil would not claim his soul. The Devil agreed and Jack set him free.

On the following All Hallow's Eve Jack died from his excessive drinking. He was forbidden to enter the gates of Heaven because of his mean and evil habits. Desperate for a resting place, Jack tried entering Hell, but the Devil denied Jack access because of their previous promise. The Devil gave the rejected Jack a lighted coal to help him find his resting place. Jack, who was munching down on a turnip at the time, placed the coal inside the turnip to light his way through the dark night.

Since then, Jack has been roaming the world with his jack o'lantern looking for a place to rest.
The use of Jack O'Lanterns as festive lights at Halloween is a legendary custom that descended from the Irish who used carved out potatoes, beets, or turnips as lanterns.

Pumpkins were not used until Irish immigrants came to America and realized that these big orange squashes were more abundant and cheaper than beets or turnips.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Glasceta Honeyghan on Saturday, November 25, 2006 - 06:54 am: Edit Post

Why is Valentine's Day Celebrated?

We celebrate Valentine's Day, because until 1969, it was one of the many Saint's Days observed by the Catholic Church. It was dedicated to the patron saint of romantic causes, St. Valentine.

Although it was removed from the Church's calendar in 1969, the religious meaning coupled with Valentine's Day's roots in Roman paganism have allowed it to continue as a holiday for everyone.

Early Christians saw Valentine's Day as a way to honor St. Valentine, of whom there were actually three. The Catholic Church recognizes three saints by that name, all who were martyred on February 14.

The St. Valentine the day is named for was, most likely, a priest in the 3rd century who performed secret marriages when the Roman Emperor Claudius II thought single soldiers were more likely to enlist in the army. That St. Valentine was imprisoned and executed on February 4, 270. It is believed he was responsible for giving the jailer's blind daughter back her eyesight, and before his execution, he sent herss a note saying, "From your Valentine." The phrase is still widely used on valentines today.

It wasn't until 1537 that St. Valentine's day was declared an official holiday. England's King Henry VIII, known for his ways of disposing of wives, declared February 14th a holiday. It was another century and a half before religious devotional cards became non-religious cards to reflect the change in the holiday.

In 496 A.D., February 14, was declared in the name of St. Valentine by Pope Gelasius. It remained a Church holiday until 1969, when Pope Paul VI took it from the calender.

On February 14, the ancient Romans celebrated the Feast of Lupercalia in honor of Juno, the queen of the Roman gods and goddesses. Juno was also the goddess of womesn and marriage so honoring her was thought to be a fertility rite.

At the feast held the next day, the women would write love letters and stick them in a large urn. The men would pick a letter from the urn and for the next year, pursue the woman who wrote the chosen letter. This custom lasted until the 1700s when people decided their beloveds should be chosen by sight, not luck.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Glasceta Honeyghan on Saturday, November 25, 2006 - 06:32 pm: Edit Post

How did the idea for Santa Claus originate?

The American version of the Santa Claus figure received its inspiration and its name from the Dutch legend of Sinterklaas (a Dutch variant of the name Saint Nicholas). Dutch colonists took this tradition with them to New Amsterdam (now New York City) in the American colonies in the 17th century.

As early as 1773 the name appeared in the American press as "St. A Claus," but it was the popular author Washington Irving who gave Americans their first detailed information about the Dutch version of Saint Nicholas. In his History of New York, published in 1809 under the pseudonym Diedrich Knickerbocker, Irving described the arrival of the saint on horseback each Eve of Saint Nicholas.

This Dutch-American Saint Nick achieved his fully Americanized form in 1823 in the poem A Visit From Saint Nicholas more commonly known as "The Night Before Christmas" by writer Clement Clarke Moore. Moore included such details as the names of the reindeer; Santa Claus's laughs, winks, and nods; and the method by which Saint Nicholas, referred to as an elf, returns up the chimney. (Moore's phrase "lays his finger aside of his nose" was drawn directly from Irving's 1809 description.)

The American image of Santa Claus was further elaborated by illustrator Thomas Nast, who depicted a rotund Santa for Christmas issues of Harper's magazine from the 1860s to the 1880s. Nast added such details as Santa's workshop at the North Pole and Santa's list of the good and bad children of the world. In the first Nast illustration, Santa was delivering Christmas gifts to soldiers fighting in the Civil War. The cartoon, entitled "Santa Claus in Camp" appeared in Harper's Weekly on January 3, 1863.

A human-sized version of Santa Claus, rather than the elf of Moore's poem, was depicted in a series of illustrations created by Haddom Sundblom for Coca-Cola advertisements introduced in 1931. In modern versions of the Santa Claus legend, only his toyshop workers are elves.

An advertising writer named Robert May, invented Rudolph, the ninth reindeer, with a red and shiny nose, while working on a catalog for the Montgomery Ward Company in 1939.

In looking for the historical roots, one discovers that Santa Claus, as we know him, is a combination of many different legends and mythical creatures.

The basis for the Christian-era Santa Claus is Bishop Nicholas of Smyrna (Izmir), in what is now Turkey. Nicholas lived in the 4th century A.D. He was very rich, generous, and loving toward children. Often he gave joy to poor children by throwing gifts in through their windows.
The Orthodox Church later raised St. Nicholas, miracle worker, to a position of great esteem. It was in his honor that Russia's oldest church, for example, was built. For its part, the Roman Catholic Church honored Nicholas as one who helped children and the poor. St. Nicholas became the patron saint of children and seafarers. His name day is December 6th.

In the Protestant areas of central and northern Germany, St. Nicholas later became known as der Weinachtsmann. In England he came to be called Father Christmas. St. Nicholas made his way to the United States with Dutch immigrants, and began to be referred to as Santa Claus.
In North American poetry and illustrations, Santa Claus, in his white beard, red jacket and pompom-topped cap, would sally forth on the night before Christmas in his sleigh, pulled by eight reindeer, and climb down chimneys to leave his gifts in stockings children set out on the fireplace's mantelpiece.

Children naturally wanted to know where Santa Claus actually came from. Where did he live when he wasn't delivering presents? Those questions gave rise to the legend that Santa Claus lived at the North Pole, where his Christmas-gift workshop was also located.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Glasceta Honeyghan on Sunday, November 26, 2006 - 07:32 pm: Edit Post


Tears flow from our eyes when we cry because they contain chemicals and hormones produced by our bodies.

When we become upset, our brains and bodies overreact and work overtime by producing chemicals and hormones.

Crying helps eliminate these extra chemicals that we don't need.

The chemicals and hormones disappear from our body through the form of tears. As our tears flow, they sooth our sadness or distress by withdrawing these chemical agents.

That is why many people feel calmer or more refreshed after crying--because the tears get rid of these hormones that are produced when we are sad, happy, or distressed.