- Al Sharpton, Trayvon Martin’s parents rally against Fla. ‘stand your ground’ law
- Hillary Clinton campaign got illicit funds from D.C. scandal figure
- Obama administration backs off plan to cut prescription-drug program
- Tickets linked to stolen passports purchased by Iranian middleman
- More than 3,500 police planned for Boston Marathon
- Ottawa day care suspends 2-year-old for ‘outside’ cheese sandwich
- Liam Neeson tells NYC mayor to ‘man up’ in horse carriage fight
- Real-life Dr. Doolittle to reveal how to talk to animals
- Climate change could bring back smallpox, researchers say
- Shoe-bomb witness to speak from London at N.Y. trial
SIMMONS: A season to be jolly all around the world
It’s not a most wonderful time of the year for all Americans, as 1.3 million face a loss of unemployment benefits if Congress doesn’t act by Dec. 28.
Yet try to put on a happier face for all mankind.
The Salvation Army is jingle belling and lots of folks are trying to be of good cheer.
After all, Americans aren’t the only people who celebrate Christmas.
In South Korea on Wednesday, the penguins stole the show.
Dressed in miniature reindeer, Santa and colored Christmas tree costumes, a family of nine African jackass penguins waddled in the holiday spirit at an amusement park.
The jackass penguin, named for its braying sound, is a protected class found off the coast of Africa.
And speaking of Africa, move it, move it along the coast to Madagascar, where our seasonal floral stars, poinsettias, are flaming year-round stars.
In fact, poinsettias grow as large as shrubs in Madagascar and are the island nation’s national flower.
And leave it to France to mix hearth, worship and not just food, but good rich food and wine.
Christmas Eve night or early Christmas morning, tradition calls for yule logs of cherry wood to be sprinkled with red wine to create a nice aroma when burning. While Americans leave milk and cookies for Santa, the French leave food and drinks for Mary and baby Jesus.
The main meal, called Reveillon, is a feast, of course — on everything from roasted goose or turkey, to venison, foie gras and various cheeses, to pastries and desserts with fruits and nuts.
The Irish pretty much celebrate Christmas the same as we do here in the United States and in the United Kingdom, and indeed honor St. Stephen's Day, too. That is when on the day after Christmas, soccer and horse races take place, and an tradition called the Wren Boys Procession takes place, where young folk dress in costumes and go house-to-house carrying a long pole decorated with a holly bush and sing a rhyme about the wren, a very small bird.
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About the Author
Award-winning opinion writer Deborah Simmons is a senior correspondent who reports on City Hall and writes about education, culture, sports and family-related topics. Mrs. Simmons has worked at several newspapers, and since joining The Washington Times in 1985, has served as editorial-page editor and features editor and on the metro desk. She has taught copy editing at the University of ...
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