Your Guide To December

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

 

 

Hanukkah Begins

An eight-day celebration also known as the Festival of Lights that includes lighting a menorah and exchanging small gifts.

 

 

 

 

Pearl Harbor Day

 

A day of remembrance honoring the lives that were lost in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

 

 

  

 

Nobel Prize Day

 

These awards commemorate outstanding achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and the promotion of peace.

 

 

Winter Solstice

 

The first day of winter and the shortest day of the year in the Northern hemisphere.

 

   

 

Festivus

 

An offbeat holiday dedicated to the airing of grievances and demonstrating feats of strength. Don’t forget your aluminum pole!

  

 

Christmas

 “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” ― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

 

 

 

 

Kwanzaa Begins

 

Spanning seven days, this African-American and pan-African holiday is a celebration of family, community, and culture.

 

 

 

New Year’s Eve

 

Farewell 2018; hello 2019!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re all familiar with the Santa Claus-costumed volunteers that collect donations in front of stores for the Salvation Army, but did you know that practice has been going on since the 1890s?

December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month: a reminder to shop smart and choose safe, age-appropriate toys to prevent injuries to the little ones in your life.

The first New York City ball drop took place in Times Square in 1907. An estimated 2 million people crowded the five square blocks on New Year’s Eve 2017.

 

Looking for ways to give back this year? 

Here are a few ideas you can use to spread some cheer this season:  

 

 

  • Build a Home: Volunteer with your local Habitat for Humanity® and spend a day building or repairing homes for families in need.

  • Spread Joy: Contribute to Toys for Tots® and bring the joy of the holidays to children who are less fortunate. Hosting a holiday party? Ask guests to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate.

  • Share a Meal: Donate non-perishable food items such as canned goods and dry pantry staples to your local food bank to ensure every tummy is filled this holiday. 

What Is Veterans Day?

Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans—living or dead—but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.

When Is Veterans Day?

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  • Veterans Day occurs on November 11 every year in the United States.
  • In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
  • In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed by Congress, which moved the celebration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. The law went into effect in 1971, but in 1975 President Gerald Ford returned Veterans Day to November 11, due to the important historical significance of the date.
  • Great Britain, France, Australia and Canada also commemorate the veterans of World War I and World War II on or near November 11th: Canada has Remembrance Day, while Britain has Remembrance Sunday (the second Sunday of November).
  • In Europe, Great Britain and the Commonwealth countries it is common to observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. every November 11.

Veterans Today

The military men and women who serve and protect the U.S. come from all walks of life; they are parents, children, grandparents, friends, neighbors and coworkers, and are an important part of their communities. Here are some facts about the veteran population of the United States:

  • 16.1 million living veterans served during at least one war.
  • 5.2 million veterans served in peacetime.
  • 2 million veterans are women.
  • 7 million veterans served during the Vietnam War.
  • 5.5 million veterans served during the Persian Gulf War.
  • Of the 16 million Americans who served during World War II, about 558,000 are still alive.
  • 2 million veterans served during the Korean War.
  • 6 million veterans served in peacetime.
  • As of 2014, 2.9 million veterans received compensation for service-connected disabilities.
  • As of 2014, 3 states have more than 1 million veterans among their population: California (1.8 million), Florida (1.6 million) and Texas (1.7 million).
  • The VA health care system had 54 hospitals in 1930, since then it has expanded to include 171 medical centers; more than 350 outpatient, community, and outreach clinics; 126 nursing home care units; and 35 live-in care facilities for injured or disabled vets.

 

Find Out Where You Can Be Apart Of Veterans Day Celebrations

Your Guide to November

 

  

General Election Day

 

Determines our elected officials on the federal, state, and local levels. Remember to vote!

 

 

 

 

 

Veterans Day (Observed Nov. 12)

 

 

In honor of all the brave men and women who have served our country: Thank you for your service.

 

 

 

 

 

 

World Diabetes Day

 

A global campaign to raise awareness for people with diabetes. Learn more and take action atworlddiabetesday.org.

 

 

 

 Great American Smokeout

 

An event sponsored by the American Cancer Society that challenges people to stop smoking and provides resources to help them quit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Adoption Day

 

Brings awareness to the more than 117,000 children in foster care who are awaiting a forever family.

 

 

 

 

 

 Thanksgiving

 

A time to gather with the ones we love and reflect on what we’re thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

 

 

 

 

 

  

Black Friday

 

The official kickoff to the holiday shopping season, for those who love a good deal and don’t mind a crowd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cyber Monday

 

For those who love snagging a deal but do mind a crowd, shop from the comfort of your computer. Happy shopping!

 

 

 

 

 

 

November = Movember: a movement that encourages men to grow a mustache as a symbol of celebrating men’s health and to raise awareness regarding different male diseases.

November is the birth month of famous people such as Mark Twain, Winston Churchill, Georgia O’Keeffe, Bruce Lee, Scarlett Johansson, Martin Luther, Demi Moore, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Gordon Ramsay.

The Parker Brothers introduced the world to the Monopoly game on November 5, 1935.

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Fall Maintenance

Exterior Fixes
• Regularly clean gutters and downspouts. Make sure all drainage areas are unblocked by leaves and debris. Consider installing gutter guards to make the job a lot easier.

• Use a screwdriver to probe the wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks. Use caulk to fill the holes or completely replace the wood.

• Inspect your roof, or hire a licensed professional to examine your roof for wear and tear. If the shingles are curling, buckling or crackling, replace them. If you have a lot of damage, it’s time to replace the entire roof. Also, check the flashing around skylights, pipes and chimneys. If you have any leaks or gaps, heavy snow and ice will find its way in.

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The change in temperature and humidity and normal wear and tear can cause window seals to crack and shrink. Check your windows and doors inside and out for leaks and drafts. Caulk cracks or install weather stripping around windows and doors, including the garage door. Replace screens with storm windows and clean them if needed

• To prevent exterior water pipes from bursting when the weather gets below freezing, turn off the valves to the exterior hose bibs. Run the water until the pipes are empty. Make sure all the water is drained from the pipes, if not; the water can freeze up and damage the pipes.

• Wrap water pipes that run along exterior walls with heating tape. It will save energy and prevent them from freezing.

 

 

System Maintenance
• Clean and replace filters in your furnace or heating system. Contact a licensed heating contractor to inspect and service your gas heater or furnace to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

• Check the attic to make sure the insulation is installed properly. The vapor barrier on insulation should face down toward the living space. If it is installed incorrectly (with the vapor barrier facing up) then the insulation will trap moisture causing possible water problems. Cut slits in the vapor barrier to allow moisture to escape.

Fall Garden Maintenance
• Fall is the perfect time to divide or move perennials. Remove dead annuals and mulch hardy perennials. Annuals typically die when temperatures drop below freezing. But perennials often appear as though they too have bitten the bullet. That’s because their top growth dies back, although in most cases the root ball is hardy enough to survive even extreme temperatures, especially if it’s covered with a layer of mulch.

• Trim dead branches out the trees to prevent them from coming down and causing damage in a winter storm.

• Rake up the thick layers of leaves that settle on lawn surfaces. Large leaves in particular, especially when they get wet, can compact to the point where they suffocate the grass below and lead to all kinds of insect and disease problems. So it’s a good idea to routinely rake or blow them off the lawn or, better yet, use a mulching mower to shred them into fine pieces.

• Fall is a good time to aerate your lawn; it will allow moisture and nutrients to get into the roots. When you’re done, spread fertilizer then grass seed.

• This will be the ideal time to sow cool-season grasses such as fescue and rye – it will give them the opportunity to germinate and develop a good root system before freezing temperatures arrive. It’s also the right time to fertilize turf grasses, preferably with slow-release, all-natural fertilizer. When given adequate nutrients, turf grasses have the ability to store food in the form of carbohydrates during the winter months. That will mean a better-looking lawn come spring.

 

Check For Pests
• Pests love attics because they are full of nice warm insulation for nesting, and they offer easy access to the rest of the house. With gable vents that lead into the attic it is a good idea to install a screen behind them to keep those critters out.

• Even after closing off those entryways, pests can still find a way in. The first place to check for any unwanted guests is under the kitchen cupboards and appliances.

 

Safety Checks
• Each fall, check carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms and put in fresh batteries. These are very important detectors to have in a home. A smoke alarm can save lives in a house fire. A carbon monoxide detector can also save lives if a home has oil or gas-burning appliances, like a furnace or water heater. 

• Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless byproduct of burning oil or natural gas, and it can be deadly. For just a few dollars, a carbon monoxide detector will sound an alarm if the levels get too high.

• Always install carbon monoxide detectors according to manufacturer’s instructions. Generally they should be installed near each potential source of carbon monoxide, and within ear shot of the living and sleeping areas.

• Have your wood-burning fireplace inspected, cleaned and repaired to prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.