A Poem and an Illustration that changed a Religious Holiday

So many of us start to buy things for Christmas on the afternoon of Thanks Giving, after the Macy’s parade, and all through December… The idea or concept of Good Will and Giving to others, giving gifts to family, friends and especially children, sometimes we seem to forget the religious part of the holiday, with Santa Clause, his elves and reindeer seeming to be recognized more so then Mary, the angel Gabriel and the Nativity…

Clement Clarke Moore largely responsible for the conception of Santa Claus in his childrens tail “Twas the Night Before Christmas”, first printed in Troy, New York, Sentinel on December 23, 1823… It was through this poem he established conception of Santa Claus from the mid-nineteenth century to today, including his physical appearance, the night of his visit, his mode of transportation, the number and names of his reindeer, and the tradition that he brings toys to children.

Thomas Nast in 1881’s illustration of Santa in “Merry Old Santa Claus”, from the January 1, 1881 edition of Harper’s Weekly… Some of his other illustration works also made their mark in our history- it was he who started doing political illustrations that became the logos for the two main political parties in the US being an elephant for the Republican Party and a Donkey for the Democratic Party and he also made his mark in doing the original Uncle Sam…

Roosevelt also had his hand in some of this marketing, as did Macy’s department store. It was On December 26, 1941 President Roosevelt signed this bill, for the first time making the date of Thanksgiving a matter of federal law. The day after would then be the beginning of sales for the next holiday, Christmas, to help the economy out of the great depression in sales, and Macy’s store who would help in making the Thanks Giving parade ending with Santa going through the parade to Macy’s store so children would be able to “Tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas”…

I often wonder, what images and concepts might come out of this world depression and out of these wars that might change the world…

Let us hope somehow, someway, it will be: Peace, Helping others, the Freedom Women’s Rights, Education, Rights of Good Health and Economic Freedom; for price of all those who have lost lives, loved ones and the economic challenges we in the US and the world are now facing…

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My Life Goal and the Steps I am taking to achieve it…

I’ve spent a fair amount of time this past year, soul searching, looking around at where I am and thinking of where I want to be- 10, 20, 30-40 years away from now… Hearing those people who stand in line scraping lotto tickets, hoping to suddenly become “Rich”…

I don’t have much faith in the Social Security System being of much help, as it isn’t much help now for seniors, it is still hard for them just to get by. Finding a job that will truly support retirement funds that far ahead, when even now, big business is already cutting back on retirement benefits… I have come to the conclusion; I will be working pretty much for the rest of my life… But how can I turn some of my goals and dreams into a lifetime of enjoyment and also make it cost effective in the “BIG PICTURE”…

I had thought I could do most of my goals here in this small town of Candor, at one point. Owning a small hobby farm of a few acres. But of late, have realized it isn’t enough, mostly some of the small town gossip here and how it has hurt my business, and the views of so many that it will never change… The town lacks a major sales point of tourism and future outlooks… The area is truly beautiful to see, with it’s seasonal changes, wineries and wildlife of the Finger Lakes Region but I have also grown tired of the deep cold winter brings here… The Spring Summer and fall seem to be getting shorter each year, and winter’s colder and longer…

But how does one achieve their dreams and goals? The answer is “Niche Businesses and Services you enjoy doing… One of my professors at college once said, “If you can do a job that you truly love doing, it is no longer a “Job” but a business of love and passion”… SO I sat back and asked myself, besides doing illustration, pen & Ink, water color and visual things with the computer, what other things do I enjoy doing that I might be able to tie together some how… I love Coffee, and I love helping people, and continued learning, and watching things grow and fresh air…

I think in some way, I have been lucky that I never settled down completely- meaning I never got married, no children and am/was able to take time from some of my endeavors to learn other things, with “Hands on learning Experience”, I could use in “The Big Picture” of my goals… For years now, I have wanted to open up a little internet café, and place to sell my artwork and also help people with computer needs in business, having this “Dream” since before this kind of business was even known as a cyber or internet café…

So, I was able to take some time off during summers between classes to learn Carpentry- as I knew that at some pint I would get the Family Farm, which is more then 120+ years old… I also was able to take some time off from doing web design and my artwork to continue learning Carpentry to the point of being a General Contractor, basically lacking only the knowledge and comfort of electric installing of the main electric box… But also got a chance to learn some about Green house warmth, solar power, shallow geothermal heating/cooling concepts and also got to learn a fair amount about growing plants, veggies, flowers and the business of it… Something that I had the pleasure to see and learn from my old High School History Teacher, not only the business but specialized flower growing…

So now, I have found a place that for a few years, my Mother has been telling me t “Sell the farm and come down and open that Internet café in… So I went down near her house to Chincoteague, VA, and found what I feel is a perfect location and has need f the type of Internet café I am wanting to set up. The local area has a plethora of natural beauty, from wildlife to beaches, migration of all sorts of birds and wild ponies that I could paint or draw, and offers a good population of both tourism and small business, with a good future for some growth of the area…

So, now I just need to finish fixing the farm up to get it’s highest value price, so I will be able to cover taxes and such and still have enough to open the internet café, and possibly find a small fixer up farm that has fallen off the tax maps down there…

I have looked around me and have noticed many older people that still work their small farms or small business tend to grow old with a smile on their faces, be healthier because they are both moving around and enjoying what they do and tend to eat healthier…

So adding all of these endeavors to my package of goals will allow me to be very self sustaining, able to grow or raise my own meats and veggies, create a café that I can run for the next 20-30 years, and also create a home that is very inexpensive to heat and cool…

So far, I have done some research into the area, have talked with local business in the area, including the Small Business Association, and have found there is large investments into that area for future growth in the NASA base near there, so there will be both population growth and tourism growth in the future and lower income families who would like to start their own business or enlarge their business’ onto the internet… So perfect area for the kind of Internet café and services I a planning to build…

But right now, I feel the crunch of time, as I want to be able to get there sooner then later, do to my mother’s health and the want to be able to not only spend time with her but to help her wit costs of meds and her want to help with the café business idea… So, I will be keeping people posted as to my working towards this Life Goal, and the steps it will need to accomplish it… One is also to be keeping an eye out for a job that might within a year’s time, allow me the income to start the café up without the need to sell this family farm so soon…

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