Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Have you ever wondered why January 1st is considered the New Year and why we make resolutions?

In 153 BC the Romans believed in Janus, a mythical king who had two faces and was known as the guardian of doors and entrances.  One of his faces looked to the past and the other to the future.  The month of January is named in honor of Janus . . . hence the fact we bid farewell to the past year and celebrate by ringing in the new year.  The calendar we have today was developed by Julius Caesar in 46 BC and reflected the seasons more accurately than the preceding lunar calendar.

The Romans used to exchange gifts on New Year's Eve and in the middle ages the Christians changed this gift giving event to December 25 which coincided with the birth of Jesus.

New Year's is considered the "oldest" holiday where it originally was celebrated for 11 days.  It is the only holiday that is celebrated across nationalities, countries and religions.
The entire world celebrates in some fashion . . .
In Wales, when they hear the first toll at midnight, the back door is opened and shut.  This is to release the old year and lock out any bad luck.  On the 12th toll, they open the front door and the New Year is ushered in.

In Sicily the "good luck" meal consists of lasagna.  However, eating any other type of noodle, including macaroni is considered back luck.
In Spain, everyone eats 12 grapes for good luck as each one represents the 12 months to come.

In the United States, people would wear masks on New Year's Eve.  The removal at midnight signified the washing away of evil spirits and then a kiss was a recognition of purification.

So resolutions are a form of biding farewell to the past and looking forward to the future.  The Queen's resolutions are to offer a comfortable atmosphere, innovative shopping opportunities and great customer service in each of our locations.

The Queen of Hearts wishes everyone a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2012.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Traditions and Symbols of Christmas

Traditional colors of Christmas are red and green.  Red symbolizes the blood shed by Jesus at his crucifixion.  Green symbolizes eternal life . . . using evergreen trees as they do not lose their leaves in the winter.

Silver, gold and white are also popular colors used at Christmas and symbolize the gifts the wise men brought to the newly born baby Jesus.


The Christmas tree that we know today was first “born” in Germany in the 18th century.  It was then introduced to Britain and then found its way to the U.S.

Candles in the windows is a custom that demonstrates a Christian's belief that Jesus Christ is the “Light of the World”.

Gift giving is associated with the bringing of gifts to baby Jesus.  Father Christmas was the name given to this gift-giving person.  Santa Claus can be traced back to the Dutch Sinterklaas.

Many old world looking Santa Claus' have bishop or clergy type clothing on.  The original St. Nicholas was a bishop from modern day Turkey.  He was a very caring and gift-giving person that assessed the  behavior of all children and awarded them with gifts on December 6.  Later this date was moved to December 25 to coincide with the birth of Jesus Christ.

We know that many families have traditions associated with Christmas . . . putting up the tree on a certain date each year, decorating the mantel with vintage ornaments and figurines, caroling with  neighbors, lighting candles to welcome friends and family. . . these traditions will be remembered by your family for years to come.

Are your traditions based on the childhood memories of what made you feel warm, loved and protected?  We hope so . . .