Coffee and Contemplation: Saint Nicholas Day

Saint Nicholas Day is celebrated worldwide on December 6, the anniversary of the death of a third-century saint known as Saint Nicholas. He is the inspiration of the modern-day Santa Claus but don’t confuse this celebration with Christmas. Though they have similarities, the tradition of leaving gifts in stockings or shoes is believed to have been started by Saint Nicholas and later incorporated into Christmas. St. Nicholas is known for selling all his possessions and giving his money to the poor. Raised as a devout Christian, St. Nicholas dedicated his whole life to serving the sick and suffering. 

Sailors, travelers, clergy, school children, and thieves, to name a few, all claim Saint Nicholas as their patron saint. He was born in what is now modern-day Turkey. This holiday is sometimes called the Feast of Saint Nicholas. This is the day to offer small, meaningful gifts. These could be candy, chocolate, or even a note to someone special. It need not be something elaborate. Start the holidays early with little mini gifts tonight. I’m down for this idea of a feast. Thanksgiving was recent but I’m hungry again. Perhaps that’s what I’ll start calling Thanksgiving from now on. The US celebrates the Feast of Saint Nicholas a couple weeks early. That sounds like an easy way to explain to foreigners what Thanksgiving is all about.

Wacky Wednesday: October 28

Today is a bit of a slow day for wackiness. We only have a couple holidays today. First our new funs words. Bespawler is a noun for someone who spits when they speak. I think we’ve all met someone like this before. It comes from the transitive verb bespawl meaning to spatter with. Next we have Bobolyne, a noun and old Tudor English word for a fool. It was coined by the 15th-16th century poet John Skelton who was one of Henry VIII’s schoolteachers. 

The first of two holidays we are celebrating today is National Internal Medicine Day. This holiday recognizes doctors who specialize in internal medicine. They are sometimes called internists or the “doctor’s doctor” because they are often called in for consultation. The holiday was established and recognized in 2019. Our next special day, which might be more important with Halloween just around the corner, is National Chocolate Day. This is the day to celebrate all things chocolate; unsweetened baking chocolate, sweet chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate. Research has found that chocolate, when eaten in moderation, can lower blood pressure. That’s means don’t eat too much chocolate this weekend. 

Wacky Wednesday: June 3

I’m trying something a little new this month with the Wacky Wednesday. We’ll have a couple fun words and then some fun holiday celebrations. Every day of the year has one or more weird things to celebrate. What sort of things could one possibly celebrate on June 3? Well, the first Wednesday of June is National Running Day. I’m didn’t go for a run and I suspect you haven’t either, so we’ll just skip that one. However, if you are a runner, I’m sure you’re celebrating in your own way and I hope you enjoy it.

Our first word is Argle-Bargle. Yes, it’s supposed to be hyphenated. This is a noun meaning “copious or meaningless talk or writing; nonsense.” One could argue that these Wacky Wednesday posts are argle-bargle. One could also argue that a certain public figure in the United States does nothing but speak argle-bargle. The next word is Bibliopole. Another noun meaning “a person who buys and sells books, especially rare ones.” I think that one is self-explanatory and doesn’t need examples. Go to any used bookstore and you’ll find many a bibliopole.

Most of the National holidays for June 3 revolve around food. The first is National Egg Day. Do you enjoy eggs for breakfast? Why not have some with lunch, dinner, supper, or maybe a Second Breakfast? Enjoy eggs all day! The next is National Chocolate Macaroon Day. That sounds like a lovely snack to have after having eggs with your supper. And finally, we have National Repeat Day. Some may repeat daily habits such as washing the dishes twice. Or they’ll repeat words and phrases like saying hello twice when greeting someone. You can also relive a fun day out with friends or family. Tell me what you did to celebrate these holidays in the comments. Enjoy! Enjoy!