UNICEF Birthday

UNICEF, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, was founded on December 11, 1946, in response to the plight of children affected by World War II. Ludwik Rajchman, a Polish bacteriologist, is regarded as its founder and was its first chairman from 1946 to 1950. In modern times, UNICEF provides humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing country. Around the world, UNICEF responds when emergencies arise in war-torn countries, the aftermath of natural disasters and disease outbreaks.

According to the official UNICEF USA Website, UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories all over the world. Here are a few regions where it has focused its work recently.

  • Vanuatu Help children affected by Cyclone Pam
  • Syria Children caught in conflict
  • Philippines Aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan
  • Haiti Aftermath of 2010 earthquake
  • Central African Republic Children caught in conflict
  • South Sudan Children caught in conflict
  • Mali Children caught in conflict
  • Sahel Food crisis in central Africa
  • Horn of Africa Famine

They helped to immunize 45% of the world’s children in 2014. They also work to get clean water into areas, and prevent diseases like malaria. If you are looking for a worthy charity at this time of year, you can donate at their Webpage.


Here are some of the things celebrities associated with UNICEF have said:

Over the next two years UNICEF will focus on improving access to and the quality of education to provide children who have dropped out of school or who work during school hours the opportunity to gain a formal education!–Roger Moore

I look forward to working with UNICEF as they continue to make the world a better place for children.–Orlando Bloom

When the Haiti earthquake happened, I registered with UNICEF to set up an account, and posted to Twitter for people to donate to it. In a matter of a couple of hours, $30,000 had been donated. That, to me, was eye-opening.–Misha Collins

People in Ethiopia, the Sudan, etc., don’t know Audrey Hepburn, but they recognize the name UNICEF. When they see UNICEF, their faces light up, because they know that something is happening. In the Sudan, for example, they call a water pump ‘UNICEF.’–Audrey Hepburn

UNICEF is such a special organization, and to spread the word just makes me so happy.–Charlotte Sullivan

I feel that the most rewarding thing I have ever done in my life is to be associated with UNICEF.–Danny Kaye

I didn’t go to Latin America thinking, ‘I’m gonna write a book. This is what I’m gonna do.’ I went there to work for UNICEF and to learn.–Jenna Bush

I’ve been a UNICEF ambassador since I was 17– Selena Gomez

At a time when we aim to accelerate our efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and define a bold agenda for the period beyond 2015, the role of charity can and should grow. U.N. bodies such as the U.N. Volunteers Programme and UNICEF offer venues for people across the world to get involved.–Ban Ki-moon

Of those who die from avoidable, poverty-related causes, nearly 10 million, according to UNICEF, are children under five. They die from diseases such as measles, diarrhoea, and malaria that are easy and inexpensive to treat or prevent.–Peter Singer

I adore my family; they are my joy. However, I am committed to my work. If, on a Saturday morning when I was ostensibly going to be with the children, and something arose at RADA or at UNICEF or at the orphanage or whatever, I would allow the other pressures to take precedent.–Richard Attenborough

I’ve been a Goodwill Ambassador for the UNICEF and the UNICEF family for more than twelve years.–Danny Glover

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Christmas Card Day

On December 9, we honor Sir Henry Cole (1818 – 1874) of England. Cole created the first commercial Christmas card in 1843, likely around this date.

When I was a kid, my mother had a huge Christmas card list. It took her ages to get all the cards ready, particularly since she wrote notes in many of them. Others of us in the family were often dragged in to help stamp and address the cards, or as a child, I remember being set down to lick the envelopes. Of course, nowadays, most people’s lists are much shorter, partly because the price of stamps have gone up so much, and partly because folks just lead much busier lives. We no longer have many stay-at-home Moms. Ecards are also much more popular now, and it’s especially helpful to have a place to go when you have forgotten someone and need to send a card right away.

So however long your list, today is the day to make a start on those cards, unless you are like some and decide it’s simply too busy at this time of year, so you will send cards at New Years.

And let me hasten to add that although Christmas is the holiday I celebrate, you can also buy cards for HanukkahKwanzaaDiwali, Yule, and probably any other holiday you celebrate at this time of year.

Here’s hoping you get many wonderful cards this year!


Below are a few quotes and sayings suitable for Christmas cards in case you make your own, as I do, or are looking for suitable sentiments to put in an ecard. Many of them have unknown authors. You can also find a whole section of Christmas quotes on the Quote Lady Website.

May you have
The gladness of Christmas which is hope;
The spirit of Christmas which is peace;
The heart of Christmas which is love.
Ada V. Hendricks

If I could wish a wish for you,
it would be for peace and happiness
not only now, but for the whole year through!
Catherine Pulsifer

From home to home, and heart to heart,
from one place to another.
The warmth and joy of Christmas,
brings us closer to each other.
Emily Matthews

As you celebrate the miracle of this special season may your heart be filled with joy and peace. May blessings of the holiday linger in your home and stay with you throughout the year.

Dear Santa, I can explain…

Keep calm and jingle on.

May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!

During this wonderful Season of Christmas, I wish you happiness, joy and good times that last into the new year!

Have a magical holiday season.

Have a lovely Christmas day!

I hope Santa is good to you this year because you only deserve the best.

May God bless you and your family on this very special day. Merry Christmas, with love from all of us.

May the miracle of Christmas fill your heart with warmth and love.

May your Christmas be filled with joyful noise!

May your home and heart glow with the magic of Christmas!

Peace, good will and happiness for you at Christmas and always

The Magic of Christmas never ends and its greatest of gifts are family and friends, like you!

To a joyful present and a well-remembered past. Best wishes for a blessed Christmas and a magnificent New Year.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas touched with wonder and filled with love.

Wishing you peace, joy, and all the best the holiday has to offer. May this incredible time of giving and spending time with family bring you joy that lasts throughout the year.

Find more than 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list, as well as quotation related merchandise, at http://www.quotelady.com. Also visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Quote-Lady/133258553807 and on Twitter: https://twitter.com/kloberst (@kloberst)

National Cotton Candy Day

I really did think about doing a more serious piece on Pearl Harbor Day, but there will be lots of other people doing that. Instead, I want to celebrate a treat from childhood. Many will remember eating cotton candy at the circus or a fair or as I did, at the zoo. I loved it when I was a kid, at least partly because I loved watching it being wound around the stick as the machine spun it out.

However, I didn’t love it as much as the Days of the Year Calendar does. Here is how they rhapsodize about this confection: “There exists in the world small clouds of utter delight, floating multicolored strands of spun-sugar all wrapped around a stick or served in a bag. Everything from the machine the produces this treat, to the men and women who operate it, and the very flavor it leaves in your mouth is purely magical. When a treat has gained notoriety around the world and utterly defines what it means to attend a country fair, you know that it deserves a holiday of its very own.”

It’s unclear exactly when and where and by whom cotton candy (candy floss in England) was invented. We know that John C. Wharton and a dentist friend of his (yes, a dentist) William Morrison created a machine to make cotton candy (called fairy floss then) in the late 1800s. They presented it at the 1904 World’s Fair, where it’s said they sold 68,655 boxes for twenty-five cents each, which doesn’t sound like much but was half the price of the admission into the fair itself.

One good question someone asked on one of the sites I read is why is cotton candy day celebrated in December when most of it is eaten in the summer? There seems no good answer.

One piece of trivia: cotton candy is 100% sugar, but actually has less sugar than a can of average soft drink, because it is all fluffed up with air.


Quotes about cotton candy and then about candy in general

Cotton candy is the most amazing form of caramelization ever invented by man.–Jose Andres

I think life is cotton candy on a rainy day. For those who grew up with cotton candy the old-fashioned way, it is very delicate. Pre-made cotton candy that has preservatives is not nearly as good or true. True cotton candy is sugar, color, and air and it melts very quickly. That was the metaphor – it can’t be preserved, it can’t be put aside, it can’t be banked. It has to be experienced, like life.–Nikki Giovanni

I feel like cotton candy: sugar and air. Squeeze me and I’d turn into a small sickly damp wad of weeping pinky-red.–Margaret Atwood

But if they ever saw a sunrise on a mountain morning
Watched those cotton candy clouds roll by
They’d know why I live beneath these Western Skies.
~ Chris LeDoux

All I really need is love, but a little candy now and then doesn’t hurt!–Charles Schulz

Once in a young lifetime one should be allowed to have as much sweetness as one can possibly want and hold.–Judith Olney

Candy is childhood, the best and bright moments you wish could have lasted forever.–Dylan Lauren

Fruit only angers my need for chocolate.–Jason Love

There’s no denying that candy is comfort food and it’s affordable.–Dylan Lauren

Every once in a while, my sweet tooth gets the best of me and I have to snack on some candy.–Derrick Rose

I think people always want candy, whether you’re a kid or an adult.–Dylan Lauren

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December 5 is Krampus, sometimes called Krampus Night, or Krampusnacht. This is a custom from western Europe which never became popular in the New World. Where we think of Saint Nicholas (his day is tomorrow), or Santa Claus tending to both the good and the naughty children, in some countries, such as Germany or Austria, we have Krampus who attends to the naughty children. In some ways, he is Saint Nicholas’ shadow.

What is Krampus? He has sometimes been described as half-goat, half-demon, wearing chains, is usually brown or black, has cloven hooves, and horns. The origins of the figure are not known. Krampus is probably pre-Christian, an old horned god, but in later centuries, he became identified with the devil. In middle Europe, there are still Krampus festivals, and people send Krampus cards, but it isn’t really an amusing figure. Krampus carried a basket in which to place naughty children to carry off for drowning, eating, or transport to hell. I get the feeling that in modern times, though, the festivals are more a chance to raise a ruckus than anything else.

If the story of Krampus intrigues you, it is possible to buy a Krampus tree topper from Archie McPhee. (If you have never looked at their catalog, this is a great time of year to do so. You can find all sorts of strange and weird things for that hard-to-buy-for person on your Christmas list.)

I must admit I’m glad only Saint Nicholas made it over here!


There don’t seem to be any quotes about Krampus, except from the 2015 movie, so here are some quotes about Santa Claus.

Santa Claus is anyone who loves another and seeks to make them happy; who gives himself by thought or word or deed in every gift that he bestows; who shares his joys with those who are sad; whose hand is never closed against the needy; whose arm is ever outstretched to aid the weak; whose sympathy is quick and genuine in time of trouble; who recognizes a comrade and brother in every man he meets upon life’s common road; who lives his life throughout the entire year in the Christmas spirit. –Edwin Osgood Grover

Here comes Santa Claus!
Here comes Santa Claus!
Right down Santa Claus Lane!
He’s got a bag that is filled with toys
for the boys and girls again.
Hear those sleigh bells jingle jangle,
What a beautiful sight.
Jump in bed, cover up your head,
–Gene Autry, Oakley Haldeman

They err who thinks Santa Claus comes down through the chimney; he really enters through the heart.–Mrs. Paul M. El

Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year.–Victor Borge

You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
He’s making a list,
He’s checking it twice,
gonna find out who’s naughty or nice.
Santa Claus is coming to town!
–Haven Gillespie

Alas! How dreary would be the world if there was no Santa Claus! … There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.–Francis P. Church

All the world is happy when Santa Claus comes.–Maud Lindsay

Christmas is coming; it is almost here!
With Santa and presents, good will and cheer!
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies!–Francis Pharcellus Church

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there
Clement Moore

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National Cookie Cutter Week

One of my fond memories growing up is making sugar cookies at Christmas time. I loved helping cut out the cookies and then helping to frost them and sprinkle on the colored sugar. We had cutters shaped like a tree, a bell, a star, and, of all things, a chicken.

The first week in December is National Cookie Cutter Week. The holiday was started by Paula Mullins of Kentucky in 1996. When she was gathering signatures for the petition to create the holiday, she gave a cutter shaped like a horse’s head to each person who signed. Members of the Cookie Cutters Collector’s Club can sign up each year to receive a newly created cutter during this week. You can see some of them on their page here.

By the way, the name cookie comes from the Dutch word koekje or koekie meaning “little cake.” According to Gone-ta-Pott, there are four basic ways to cut out cookies:

  • Cutouts: Cutouts are the simplest of cookie cutters and only “cut out” the shape in the dough.
  • Detail Imprint: Imprints not only cut out the dough they also leave an imprint in the dough that will last through baking.
  • Cookie Molds: Springerle molds are the most ancient of examples (can be traced back to the 14th century) and perhaps the beginning of cookie & cracker shaping.
  • Cookie press: Automated or hand operated press used to make large batches of cookies quickly (note from me – when I use a cookie press, nothing happens quickly except I get frustrated!)

Did you know there is a cookie cutter museum? It is located in Joplin, Missouri, and its official name is the National Cookie Cutter Historical Museum. A free plastic cookie cutter is available to any visitor who wants one.

When I was looking up quotes about cookie cutters, I quickly realized the phrase is most often used pejoratively, meaning something not original – a cookie cutter plot is one with no imagination. Guess it’s best to stick to actual cookies!


Quotes about cookies

Cookies are the sweetest little bit of comfort food. They are very bite-sized and personal.–Sandra Lee

Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.–Barbara Jordan

The house smelled musty and damp, and a little sweet, as if it were haunted by the ghosts of long-dead cookies.–Neil Gaiman

“Empty?! You took all the cookies!”
“They were crying to get out of the jar… Cookies get claustrophobia too, you know!”–Charles M. Schulz

I am sorry; I cannot help you. I am only a cookie.–Chinese fortune cookie

Whatever happened, at least we had cookies.–Diana Rowland

Everyone knows that if you eat a cookie, and the cookie next to it is broken, you’re required to eat that broken cookie as well to keep the package looking clean.–Michelle M. Pillow

In the cookie of life, friends are the chocolate chips.–Salmon Rushdie

My grannies would both bake things like shortbreads and cookies. I think whenever I smell those kinds of things it really takes me back to my childhood.–Curtis Stone

I like cookies, any cookie you put in front of me – animal cookies, sugar cookies, anything crunchy.–Maria Shriver

I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas.–Hillary Clinton

Christmas for me is all about spending time with my family. I cherish any chance we have to spend all day together making gingerbread houses, baking cookies, or sitting around and watching movies.–Blake Lively

Christmas cookies can’t help but be retro – they are memory first, sugar-flour-egg-redhot-gumdrop-sparkle reality second.–Dana Goodyear

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Antarctica Day

December 1st seems like a good time to feature Antarctica. In 1959 the Antarctic Treaty was signed on that day by 12 nations (now 48 nations), setting aside nearly 10% of the Earth “forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes… in the interests of all mankind.” Although the treaty was signed way back then, the holiday is relatively recent, being first celebrated in 2010. It was initiated by the Foundation for the Good Governance of International Spaces as an annual event to build global awareness of this landmark institution that brings hope and inspiration for future generations.

The Good Governance site mentioned above, called Our Spaces, has lots of activities and information. You can launch a virtual balloon to celebrate the day either from their site or by clicking here. You can download, or read online, a book written to explain the treaty to younger folks. Adults might also find it helpful, and besides, it has adorable penguin pictures. There’s even a movie about international flags made by children all over the world and sent to McMurdo Station.

According to the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists, the goals of Antarctica Day are:

  • To demonstrate how diverse nations can work together peacefully, using science as a global language of cooperation for decision making beyond national boundaries.
  • Provide strategies for students learning about Antarctica through art, science and history.
  • Increase collaboration and communication between classrooms, communities, researchers and government officials around the world.
  • Provide a focus for polar educators to build on each year.

So if you are like me and don’t like to be cold, you can celebrate this day where people are much colder than you are! And if you love the cold, you can dream about going there.


Quotes about Antarctica

If Antarctica were music it would be Mozart. Art, and it would be Michelangelo. Literature, and it would be Shakespeare. And yet it is something even greater; the only place on earth that is still as it should be. May we never tame it.–Andrew Denton

At a time when it’s possible for thirty people to stand on the top of Everest in one day, Antarctica still remains a remote, lonely and desolate continent. A place where it’s possible to see the splendours and immensities of the natural world at its most dramatic and, what’s more, witness them almost exactly as they were, long, long before human beings ever arrived on the surface of this planet. Long may it remain so.–David Attenborough

Antarctica is otherworldly, like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Stark, cold, beautiful desolation.–Mark Hoppus

Antarctica is a very alien environment, and you can’t survive here more than minutes if you’re not equipped properly and doing the right thing all the time.–Jon Krakauer

Some journalists have described the South Pole as “hell on earth.” Others refer to my time here as “an ordeal.” They would be surprised to know how beautiful Antarctica has seemed to me, with its waves of ice in a hundred shades of blue and white, its black winter sky, its ecstatic wheel of stars. They would never understand how the lights of the Dome welcomed me from a distance, or how often I danced and sang and laughed here with my friends. And how I was not afraid.–Jerri Nielsen

The literature of the emperor penguin is as forbidding, as inaccessible, as the frozen heart of Antarctica itself. Its beauties may be unearthly, but they are not for us.–Ursula K. Le Guin

I am hopeful that Antarctica in its symbolic robe of white will shine forth as a continent of peace as nations working together there in the cause of science set an example of international cooperation.–Richard E. Byrd

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