Memorial Day, which takes place on May 31 this year, provides an annual opportunity to commemorate the men and women who gave their lives while serving in the United States military. One way to observe this occasion is to visit a veterans cemetery or memorial in your area. In fact, decorating the graves of fallen soldiers with flags and flowers has long been a tradition of this federal holiday. However, there’s another way veteran graves might be adorned.
The meaning of coins on headstones
If you visit a cemetery on the last Monday in May, you might notice that in addition to the more typical decorations, coins have been left on some headstones. While its origins are uncertain, the purpose of this tradition is to let the family of the deceased know that someone visited the grave. Here’s what each denomination signifies:
• Pennies. If someone places a penny on the headstone of a fallen soldier, it’s to show that they stopped and paid their respects.
• Nickels. If someone places a nickel on a headstone, it means they went through basic training with the deceased.
• Dimes. If someone places a dime on a veteran’s headstone, it indicates they served in the armed forces with that person.
• Quarters. If someone places a quarter on a headstone, it’s because they were there when the soldier was killed in action.
If you want to let the families of fallen service members know that you appreciate their sacrifice, bring a handful of pennies with you to the cemetery. Other ways to mark the occasion include attending a Memorial Day parade or sharing a meal with loved ones.
Five excellent reasons to visit a Christmas market
Every December, Christmas markets start popping up in towns across the country. Here are five great reasons to visit one in your area.
1. To find holiday gifts
Christmas markets are a great place to go if you’re looking for unique items for your friends and family members. You can find an assortment of handmade toys, crafts, baked goods, jewelry, and more.
2. To discover new products
Christmas markets typically gather hundreds of vendors in one place. If you decide to attend, you’re sure to discover new products to try.
3. To support local makers
If you want to support the artisans and producers in your region, visit your nearest Christmas market. By buying locally made goods, you’ll help stimulate your region’s economy.
4. To stock up on needed items
Christmas markets typically feature a wide range of exhibitors, so you won’t have to visit multiple stores to find everything you need for the holidays. You can load up on gourmet foods, handcrafted soaps, unique clothes, Christmas decorations, and much more.
5. To enjoy complimentary entertainment
Christmas markets frequently provide free entertainment. You may be able to enjoy a play, concert, or food tasting. In many cases, children’s activities are also offered. You can even bring the whole family and make a day of it.
This year, find out about the Christmas markets in your area and schedule a time to visit them.
December Celebrity Birthdays!
Do you share a birthday with a celebrity?
1 – Bette Midler, 77, singer, actress, Paterson, NJ, 1945.
2 – Nelly Furtado, 44, singer, Victoria, BC, Canada, 1978.
3 – Daryl Hannah, 61, actress, Chicago, IL, 1961.
4 – Jay-Z, 53, rapper, and music executive, born Shawn Corey Carter,t Brooklyn, NY, 1969.
5 – Margaret Cho, 54, actress (All-American Girl), comedienne, San Francisco, CA, 1968.
6 – Janine Turner, 60, actress (Northern Exposure), Lincoln, NE, 1962.
7 – C. Thomas Howell, 56, actor, Los Angeles, CA, 1966.
8 – Dominic Monaghan, 46, actor (Lord of the Rings), Berlin, Germany, 1976.
9 – Judi Dench, 88, actress, York, England, 1934.
10 – Melissa Roxburgh, 30, actress (Manifest), Vancouver, BC, Canada, 1992.
11 – Gary Dourdan, 56, actor, Philadelphia, PA, 1966.
12 – Sheila E, 63, singer, born Sheila Escovedo, San Francisco, CA, 1959.
13 – Emma Corrin, 27, actress, Royal Tunbridge Wells, England, 1995.
14 – Vanessa Hudgens, 34, actress (Spring Breakers), Salinas, CA, 1988.
15 – Adam Brody, 43, actor (The O.C.), San Diego, CA, 1979.
16 – Theo James, 38, actor (Divergent), born Theo Taptiklis, Oxford, England, Dec 16, 1984.
17 – Sean Patrick Thomas, 52, actor, Wilmington, DE, 1970.
18 – Billie Eilish, 21, singer, born Billie Eilish Pirate Baird Oâ€™Connell, Los Angeles, CA, 2001.
19 – Kristy Swanson, 53, actress, Mission Viejo, CA, 1969.
20 – Uri Geller, 76, psychic, clairvoyant, Tel Aviv, Israel, 1946.
21 – Kiefer Sutherland, 56, actor, London, England, 1966.
22 – Ralph Fiennes, 60, actor, Suffolk, England, 1962.
23 – Susan Lucci, 73, actress (All My Children), Westchester, NY, 1949.
24 – Louis Tomlinson, 31, singer (One Direction), Louis Austin at Doncaster, England, 1991.
25 – Rachel Keller, 30, actress (Fargo), St. Paul, MN, 1992.
26 – Beth Behrs, 37, actress (Two Broke Girls), Lancaster, PA,1985.
27 – Olivia Cooke, 29, actress, Manchester, England, 1993.
28 – John Legend, 44, singer, born John Stephens, Springfield, OH, 1978.
29 – Iain De Caestecker, 35, actor (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Glasgow, Scotland, 1987.
30 – V, 27, singer (BTS), born Kim Tae-hyung, Daegu, South Korea, 1995.
31 – Tim Matheson, 74, actor (Bonanza), Los Angeles, CA, 1948.
How to become an early childhood educator
If you love working with children and want to contribute to your community, consider becoming an early childhood educator. High school graduates, retirees returning to the workforce, and anyone seeking a new profession may want to pursue this career path. After all, these experts are in demand.
A skilled professional
Early childhood educators are often misunderstood. They’re not babysitters; they’re hard-working, qualified individuals who are responsible for the following:
• Creating educational programs to promote children’s development
• Assessing the abilities, interests, and needs of toddlers
• Preparing various documents, including evaluation reports
• Helping children develop good habits
There are a number of university and college programs you can take to acquire the skills you need to pursue this profession. In some cases, scholar¬ships and work-study programs may be available.
Four considerations for an online Christmas party
If you can’t visit your loved ones during the holiday season, consider getting together with them online. A virtual celebration is an alternative option that simply requires a bit of preparation. Here’s what you’ll need to think about.
When picking a date and time for your online event, consider everyone’s availability. Don’t forget to factor in time zone differences, if applicable.
There are several online applications you can use to host your virtual get-together. Select the most appropriate one based on how many people will be attending as well as their computer skills and available internet access. Some platforms also allow guests to join by telephone.
Plan a few activities to make the event more fun. For example, arrange for everyone to eat a similar meal or drink the same cocktail. You can also play games that work well remotely, like trivia challenges and bingo.
Set up your computer in an appropriate location, and if you need a table or room to move around, prepare accordingly. Then, add some festive decorations to your background. Consider wearing a headset for superior sound quality.
If you’re giving gifts to your loved ones, mail them ahead of time so they can unwrap them online during the celebration.
Four myths about Black Friday
The shopping phenomenon known as Black Friday grows in popularity every year. To help you find the best sales and discounts, here are four common myths you should know the truth about.
1. Myth: It’s best to wait until Black Friday to start your holiday shopping
Fact: Waiting until Black Friday to start your holiday shopping may seem wise. However, the gifts you want to buy may not be available with today’s supply-chain shortages. Consequently, starting your holiday shopping as early as possible is best.
2. Myth: You can’t use coupons or price match on Black Friday
Fact: There may be some heavily discounted items during Black Friday sales, but this doesn’t mean you can’t use coupons or price match. Many retailers will meet or beat their competitors’ prices, even on Black Friday.
3. Myth: Everything is cheaper on Black Friday
Fact: Items such as clothing, furniture, and the newest video game consoles aren’t usually discounted during Black Friday events, and you may get a better deal on these items at other times of the year.
4. Myth: You can get injured at Black Friday sales
Fact: You’ve probably seen news footage of shoppers getting trampled as they rush into stores for door-crasher sales. However, there’s a statistically better chance of getting struck by lightning than getting injured at a Black Friday event. If you’re wary of crowds, visit retailers later in the day.
Keep in mind that Black Friday sales typically start in early November and last until after Cyber Monday.
59 years later … where is Jackie’s hat?
When her husband was assassinated on November 22, 1963, Jacqueline Kennedy was wearing her iconic pink suit and pillbox hat.
Today, nearly 60 years later, nearly every detail is known about that dark day except one: What happened to Jackie’s hat?
Her suit, covered in her husband’s blood, is kept in a secret location at the National Archives and Records Administration’s complex in Maryland. It will never be cleaned. It will stay there until 2103 when the family can decide if it should be displayed.
But the hat won’t be there. Jackie had it on in the car and at the hospital, but she didn’t wear it when she stood by Lyndon Johnson as he took the presidential oath of office. It is known the hat traveled from Dallas to Washington, D.C. From there, it seems to have disappeared. According to the Seattle Times, it is possible that the hat was sold or stashed in an attic. It might surface eventually, but for now, it’s a mystery.