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Pledge of Allegiance Day

Girl Pledging Allegiance to the FlagOn December 28, 1945, the Pledge of Allegiance was officially recognized as the American flag salute by the U.S. Congress.

Baptist minister Frances Bellemy wrote the verse in 1892 and it was published in a children’s magazine called The Youth’s Companion. The first version of the pledge was simpler than the one we know today and read, ”I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

The pledge has since gone through a few revisions, the first being in 1923 when it was updated to say, “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” In 1954, it was again revised to include the words “under God,” due to the urging of Dwight Eisenhower, who feared communism at the time. This addition has proven to be controversial in the years since its addition.

Prior to World War II, the pledge was recited with the right arm raised up, pointing toward the flag. Because this was a gesture used by Nazis during WWII, the gesture made while reciting the pledge has since been changed to putting the right hand over the heart while reciting the pledge.

To celebrate this day, you can reflect on what the words of the Pledge of Allegiance mean to you, learn more about the history of the pledge, and recite it when you are in the presence of those red, white, and blue stars and stripes!

Sources:, Every Day is Special

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New Year’s Resolution: Spend More Time With Your Kids

Family schedules can be crazy and hectic. Between school, work, chores, extracurricular activities and whatever else your family has on its plate, it can be difficult to spend quality time together. The new year is approaching fast, so if you’ve felt that you did not get enough bonding time in with your kids this past year, we have thought of some excellent ways to resolve this.

familygame1. Start a family board game night. Pick one night of the week to keep everyone’s schedules clear – don’t schedule any extra curricular activities, make sure all your chores are done that night, and set aside those distracting electronic devices you are constantly glued to. Switch it up every week by letting a different member of your family pick the game for the week. Playing games together is a great way for your family to actively engage with one another, and having a specific night for this will give your children and yourself a sense of stability and relaxation to interject into your busy schedules.

2. Cook together. Even if your child is very young, they can still help you do simple things like mixing pre-measured ingredients together, tearing up lettuce, or garnishing dishes. If you ask your children to help you plan meals, it will make them feel special for contributing to an important part of family life. As your children grow older and begin making their own meals, they will appreciate the time you took showing them how to plan and prepare meals.

3. Have family dinners. Segwaying from cooking together, having dinner together is another important step in building relationships with your children. Studies on families have shown that having family dinners together have a  significant impact on your child’s life. Children who often eat dinner with their families tend to make better grades and are less likely to develop rebellious habits. Families can discuss their daily happenings over dinner, sharing successes, failures, and staying constantly tied in with each other’s lives.

4. Work together. No matter the size of your family, there are always chores to do and projects to work on at home. Including your children in chore duties and house projects can help them feel a sense of accomplishment and pride while working alongside you and spending quality time together. It can also help them feel independent and responsible as they grow older because they will have the know-how to take care of themselves and their future homes.

drsuess5. Read together. Reading with your child, especially starting at a young age, is not only a wonderful way to spend time with them, but they will also learn a great deal about language, rhythms, sounds, and grammar. It’s no secret that exposing your child to a variety of literature while they are young will help them a great deal in school. Reading with your children is also an excellent opportunity to bring up topics that might not come up in normal conversations. It’s a calming and relaxing experience as well as a way to increase brain power!

Use these methods and any others you can think of to bring your family together and create lasting and loving relationships that are sure to last a lifetime!

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When is Thanksgiving in 2013?

November 28, 2013

Learn more about Thanksgiving.

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When does Hanukkah begin in 2013?

November 28, 2013

Learn more about Hanukkah.

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All Souls’ Day

allsoulsdayNovember 2 is All Souls’ Day, also know as Commemoration of All Faithful Departed. It is a day originally dedicated to praying for the deceased who are trapped in Purgatory in an effort to help them move on in the afterlife. It has since evolved into a day for honoring and remembering all those dearly departed.

The day was first celebrated during the Easter season around Pentacost, and was later moved to follow All Saints’ Day which honors all those faithful in heaven on November 1. All Souls’ Day was instituted on November 2 sometime in the tenth century by Abbot Odilo in a monastery in Cluny to pray for those poor souls in Purgatory. It soon became a popular tradition and spread throughout the Christian world. It wasn’t until Medieval times when Europeans began to combine All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day that records of many traditions that have come into existence were recorded. Though All Souls’ Day has primarily become known as a Roman Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox holy day in which formal masses are held, it is still informally celebrated by some Protestants.

Two plenary indulgences are usually attached to All Souls’ Day, and they are visiting a church and visiting a cemetery. The prayer and almsgiving efforts of those observing All Souls’ Day in this way are performed by the living, but the merits of these indulgences are applicable to the souls in Purgatory.

Veneration of dead ancestors has been a custom practiced worldwide through different events like the Chinese Ghost Festival, the Japanese Bon Festival, the Roman Lemuria or the Mexican Day of the Dead. It is believed by some that the origin of All Souls’ Day in European folklore came about through the practice of these customs.

Sugar Skulls are a well-known symbol of Day of the Dead.

Sugar Skulls are a well-known symbol of Day of the Dead.

The Mexican Day of the Dead can be traced back to Aztecs and other pre-Hispanic civilizations, 3000 years ago. Skulls were collected for rituals to represent rebirth and death. Known as “Dia de los Muertos” to Latin communities, Day of the Dead is one of the more prominent All Souls’ Day celebrations in America due to the parades, festivals, and other large gatherings Latin American communities participate in. These festivities are often marked by the elaborate costumes, make-up, and skull face paint known to adorn the celebrators. They also make elaborate decorations and altars or ofrendas at home to honor their lost loved ones. Offerings in the form of flowers (traditionally orange Mexican marigolds), food (shaped or decorated to mimic symbols of death), candles, and other gifts are often placed on altars or graves of the deceased. It is a widely popular belief that on this day, the dead return to earth to visit their families and friends. A door or window is often left open for the dead, and some even leave extra plates at their dinner tables for the deceased.

No matter how you choose to celebrate All Souls’ Day, it is meant to be a celebration and remembrance of the life and death of those we have lost.

Sources: Wikipedia,,


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Fire Prevention Day

October 9 is Fire Prevention Day!

Fire Prevention Day was established in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. As the story goes, a cow kicked over a lantern in a barn owned by Patrick and Catherine O’Leary, starting a fire that lasted from October 8 to October 10, 1871. The Great Chicago Fire killed hundreds of people and burned down over 3 miles of land in Illinois.

The first Fire Prevention Day was held 40 years after the incident with the aim of educating people on fire safety and steps to take in the unfortunate event of a fire. In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson announced Fire Prevention Week with the same goal.

Sources: Yahoo! Voices, Holiday Insights

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When is Columbus Day in 2013?

October 14, 2013

Learn more about Columbus Day.

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World Day for Farm Animals

October 2 is World Day for Farm Animals!

Founded in 1983, this holiday sets out to expose the cruelty that many animals raised on farms for slaughter endure. October 2 was chosen as World Day for Farm Animals because it aligns with Mahatma Ghandi’s birthday, who advocated for the improved treatment of animals.

Each year, 65 Billion animals are killed for food, many of which suffer confinement and mutilation on factory farms. You can help end the suffering by staying informed and educating others on the ill-treatment of farm animals worldwide.

Sources: Day for Animals, PETA

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When is Rosh Hashanah in 2013?

September 5, 2013

Learn more about Rosh Hashanah.

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When is Labor Day in 2013?

September 2, 2013

Learn more about Labor Day.

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