Building Your Future in the United States The Immigration Insider
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Celebrate Something Every Day with These Odd December Holidays
1. World AIDS
17. National Maple Syrup Day
The holiday season is a time of festive joy and an opportunity to create lasting memories with the people closest to you. Inevitably, that includes the folks you work with every day. Only the Grinchiest of business owners keep every semblance of the holiday season from entering the office. Spreading a little cheer and creating a festive environment can help boost morale and end the calendar year on a high — but only when you go about it the right way. Unlike traditions held among your family and closest friends, there are some rules to follow for celebrating the most wonderful time of the year at work. It’s important to make sure that you don’t create distractions or allow things to get too rowdy at the office. Striking the right balance can be delicate, but it’s much easier if you remember the following suggestions. Spread Holiday Cheer at Work Through GoodDeeds and Kindness It is perfectly acceptable to put up a tree, string lights, and adorn your office with Christmas- themed decorations. Heck, you can even invite Santa to stop by if you like. That being said, the holidays should be a time of inclusion and celebration, not a time of leaving people out. If you have members of your team who celebrate holidays other than Christmas at this time of year — such as Ramadan, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa — be sure to include some nods to their personal and cultural traditions. And it’s just as crucial to ensure that you don’t force anyone to participate in activities that could make them feel uncomfortable. The workplace is not an ideal setting for, say, Nativity reenactments. Focus on aspects of the holiday season Celebrate Inclusively
2. Fritters Day
18. Bake Cookies Day
3. National Roof Over Your Head Day
19. Look for an
4. Wear Brown Shoes Day
20. Go Caroling Day
21. Look on the Bright Side Day
5. Repeal Day
6. Mitten Tree Day
22. National Date Nut Bread Day
7. Letter Writing Day
8. Brownie Day
24. National Egg Nog Day
9. International Children’s Day
25. National Pumpkin Pie Day
10. Human Rights Day
11. Noodle Ring Day
26. Boxing Day
12. National Ding-a- Ling Day
27. Make Cut-Out Snowflakes Day
13. Violin Day
28. Card Playing Day
14. International Monkey Day
29. Pepper Pot Day
30. Bacon Day
15. Bill of Rights Day
31. Make Up Your Mind Day
16. Chocolate Covered Anything Day
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that resonate with everyone, and you’ll avoid awkward situations and unneeded controversy.
of work, and it’s a way for your company to give back to the community. That’s a type of shopping even Scrooge could get on board with.
clock out for it. Decorating may be within the purview of the role of office manager, but it’s certainly not what you’re paying salespeople to do.
Thank People Relentlessly
Sorry to say it, but nobody on your team is going to remember the cookie-cutter, generically messaged cards you printed off en masse. There’s no use in giving meaningless gifts to employees or colleagues out of a sense of obligation. Put some thought into it, and your staff will be thankful. If you have a small team, you can probably come up with something personalized for each employee. Gift-giving at the office shouldn’t be required, but it shouldn’t be forbidden, either. Again, the key is to create an atmosphere where people can participate in what they want to and opt out of what they don’t. A powerful way to put the spirit of giving to good use is to partner with local charities to provide presents to children in your area who are underprivileged. There are countless organizations that do this sort
It’s cute when a kindergarten classroom features a hodgepodge of amateur holiday decorations, but it’s less charming at a place of business. You have to create rules to keep decorations to a level below outrageous, especially if you have customers visit your office. In general, it’s a good idea to mark which spaces can and can’t be decorated and set some boundaries in terms of what’s acceptable. You also need to monitor how much time decorating takes away from work. If teams want to make paper stockings at their weekly meetings, you should allow it. However, if somebody wants to spend multiple hours to really get in the spirit — time that could be spent on other tasks — don’t feel bad about asking them to
Gratitude is one of the core values of the holidays, making it the perfect time to express your appreciation to your staff. You should give props and share kind words year-round, but upping your efforts during the holidays will have a huge impact. For some businesses, the holiday season is the busiest time of the year. For others, it’s the slowest. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, odds are you have employees who are stretched thin and expending extra effort. Maybe they’re covering for others on vacation. Perhaps they’re juggling work and creating a memorable season for their kids. Acknowledging their presence and thanking them for all the work they’ve done this year is bound to put a smile on their faces.
Multicultural Celebrations Teach Your Kids About Winter Holidays
According to the Pew Research Center, Christmas is the most celebrated December holiday in the U.S. Yet, like the melting pot it is, the U.S. contains many cultures from across the globe, each with their own traditions. Teach your kids about some of the holiday celebrations from different cultures this season.
festival includes the lighting of candles or lamps, feasting, and giving gifts to family and friends. Diwali also celebrates the Hindu new year and is the largest, most widely celebrated festival in India. This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but educating your children about holiday practices other than Christmas will give them a broader worldview and inspire them to gain further knowledge about cultures outside their own. Your local library is a great
Kwanzaa Created in 1966 by black studies professor Maulana Karenga during the Black Nationalist Movement, Kwanzaa is a seven-day celebration and reflection period for African Americans.
government that took them captive in an attempt to eliminate Judaism. The tradition of
the eight-day celebration and the lighting of the menorah candles comes from the story of a miracle that happened during the rebellion, when a one-day supply of oil burned for eight days in a temple. Diwali Though celebrated in late fall, Diwali is a Hindu holiday that’s known as the festival of lights. Its main purpose is to celebrate the triumph of good over evil, and the five-day
The week offers African Americans the opportunity to connect with African culture and history by celebrating the seven principles of African heritage, which include unity, self-determination, and creativity.
resource for children’s literature on these holidays, and there are also TV programs from PBS that feature episodes on these traditions. Enjoy the winter holiday season, however you decide to celebrate!
Hanukkah Hanukkah pays homage to a two-year Jewish rebellion against an oppressive Greek-Syrian
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Wise Men or Sorcerers? The History of the Magi
The story of the three wise men visiting Jesus is a focal point in the Judeo- Christian telling of the birth of the Christ. Their gifts of gold, frankincense, andmyrrh demonstrate reverence for the child through symbolism: Gold symbolized kingship; frankincense was commonly burned in temples and represented the spiritual stature that Jesus would hold; andmyrrh was used in preparing bodies for burial, foreshadowing his eventual crucifixion. While the Magi’s role in the birth of Jesus is well-known, not much is understood about the men themselves and their connection to the baby in the manger. Historically known as Magi, the three“wise men”are known for their study of the stars. The Magi were some of the earliest astrologers. Until the 17th century, astrology and astronomy weren’t separate fields of study. Astrology included both the study of how the stars and planets affect human life and the position andmotion of the cosmic bodies. In the Persian Empire, Magi were known as astrologer-priests, delineating the fate of men they saw written in the stars. But while they are known for interpreting the significance of planetary movements for human life, many historians suggest there could have beenmore to their jobs than astrology.
“Magi”comes from the Greek word“magos,”whichmeans magic. Early interpretations of magos included alchemy and sorcery along with astronomy. Speculations swirl amongmany biblical scholars about the true nature of the Magi, as some tellings portray them as illusionists or fortune-tellers. In a cultural context, the Magi were revered across the Middle East. Along with their knowledge, they had stature and wealth that allowed them to bestow gifts upon those they deemed important. The act of giving presents to a child wasn’t a regular practice for the Magi, and thus the event was significant for the time. While only three Magi are portrayed in the familiar nativity story, the real event would have includedmany servants. As a matter of fact, the Bible never mentions the number of Magi who visited Jesus, leaving interpretations open as to howmany Magi traveled to Bethlehem. In the early seventh century, the Magi were pushed to the outer rims of Africa and India due to the rising popularity of Islam. Since someone could only be considered Magi by birth, it is widely accepted that the line of succession eventually ended, and the Magi faded into history.
Take a Break!
ROAST PRIME RIB
1 bone-in prime rib (6–7 pounds)
4 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 cups red wine
1. 30 minutes before cooking, remove roast from fridge and let sit until it reaches room temperature. 2. Heat oven to 350 F. 3. Make small slits in prime rib and stuff with slices of garlic. Liberally season with salt and pepper. 4. Place a rack inside a roasting pan and roast prime rib for 2 hours, until medium-rare.
5. To make au jus, place roasting pan with drippings from roast over 2 burners on high. Add wine and scrape pan as liquid reduces. Add beef stock and cook until reduced by half. Finally, sprinkle in thyme. 6. Slice roast and serve topped with au jus.
Recipe courtesy of Food Network
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of Clare PAGE 1 Holiday Spirit at the Office PAGE 1 Teach Your Kids About Holidays PAGE 2 The History of the 3 Wise Men PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Holiday Roast Prime Rib PAGE 3 Indulge Your Sweet ToothWith Less Sugar This Holiday Season PAGE 4
Surviving the Season of Sweets How to Indulge Your Sweet Tooth With Less Sugar
Cookies, cakes, and pies, oh my! The holiday season is brimming with sweet treats of all kinds. Sometimes it can feel like candy and sugary desserts are around every corner, and yet you still want to indulge. However, when you consider that over 50 percent of Americans are insulin-resistant, prediabetic, or diabetic, that piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream starts to look more dangerous than appetizing. During the holidays, how can you satisfy your sweet tooth without worrying about consuming excessive sugar and calories? Skip the candy and go for the fruits and nuts. Keeping a bowl of fruit and nuts nearby can help keep sugar cravings at bay. Dried fruits, such as cranberries, pineapple, or apricots, are both sweet and nutritious. Just be sure to check the packaging for added sugars. You can even make your own dried fruit with a food dehydrator. This way, you are completely in control of the ingredients. No matter what you do, just be mindful not to overindulge. Dried
fruit is high in sugar and calories, but the fiber and vitamins make fruit much healthier than just about any other sugary treat. Another way to cut down on your sugar intake is to use dark chocolate in all your chocolate- based treats. Dark chocolate has about half as much sugar as milk chocolate, twice as much healthy fat, less cholesterol, 4–5 times more iron, twice as much potassium, fewer carbs, and more flavonoids and theobromine. The antioxidant properties of the theobromine
and flavonoids make dark chocolate as good for your heart as it is for your soul. If you have a recipe that calls for chocolate, reach for the dark stuff, whether it’s dark chocolate chips, cocoa powder, or baking chocolate. While it may seem as though everyone and their grandma is overindulging in sugar this season, know that you have the choice to opt for healthier sweets. And come NewYear’s, you won’t have to spend the first few months of 2019 working off that extra cookie weight.
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