In those days, Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. And everyone went to his own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests. When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another,
“Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed.
A survival guide for Valentine’s Day
How will I survive Valentine’s Day? It’s a question that many people ask themselves when the red hearts start to appear in stores at the beginning of February. For some of us, it can be hard to stop this Valentine’s Day anxiety from building up to alarming levels. If that’s how you feel, here are some tips to help you make the best of the festival of love and avoid all of Cupid’s traps.
Does your loved one claim that Valentine’s Day is not really all that important to her? Don’t fall into the trap of not doing anything for her on this special day! It’s quite possible that she’s calling your bluff. Despite her apparent indifference, she expects to receive a little something, even if it’s only a card. Yes, it’s a contradiction, but that’s the way it goes.
Do you have kids? It’s important to depart from your usual family routine for the day or at least plan a romantic evening together. Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to renew the ties that bind you, to spend some quality time together. Reserve a table at your favorite restaurant well in advance, and don’t forget to organize a babysitter.
Are you single? For you, Valentine’s Day can be a heart-breaking day, especially if you’ve just broken up. But isolating yourself at home and succumbing to the dangerous trio of romantic movies, pajamas, and chocolate certainly won’t help you in any healthy way. All it does is guarantee depression.
Distract yourself instead. Plan a night out with friends, go out for a drink in a bar, or participate in a singles’ activity. Who knows, your new soul mate may be there as well. Remember that Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love in all its forms. Take the opportunity to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you; that includes your parents, siblings, children, and friends.
Do you dread Valentine’s Day? Follow the survival guide!
Love, hormones, and chemistry
This Valentine’s Day, you’re proud to celebrate the love that blossomed and matured between the two of you over the years. You also feel a little nostalgic thinking about where you met each other for the first time and all the emotions that characterized the beginning of your relationship. Remember that euphoria? The light-headedness, pounding heart, and butterflies in the stomach? Why did they eventually fade away?
The chemistry of love
What we commonly call love at first sight is largely a physiological occurrence. It is caused by the hormones secreted when two people are attracted to one another. In that sense, it really is all about chemistry. Here is a breakdown of what takes place:
• Phenylethylamine causes a state of euphoria, relaxation, and wellbeing.
• Adrenaline elevates the heart rate and blood pressure.
• Serotonin affects the nervous system.
• Oxytocin contributes to self-confidence, sensitivity to other people’s emotions, and feelings of attachment.
• Dopamine stimulates feelings of pleasure and motivation.
• Endorphins cause sensations of pleasure and relaxation.
But when it comes to mature love, why does the euphoria go away? Especially if you’re still very much in love with each other. According to scientists, the concentration of love-at-first-sight molecules begins to decline after about 18 months of being together, and they disappear completely after a relationship has existed for four years. However, it is possible to stimulate the secretion of small amounts of these molecules with regular physical activity, making love (orgasm), and by consuming certain so-called aphrodisiac foods with your partner.
Science and love are interrelated. That’s why when you meet someone the “chemistry” is so important.
Valentine’s Day isn’t just for sweethearts
Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to show those you’re closest to how you feel, whether they’re your friends or family members.
Celebrating with friends
Why not use the holiday to celebrate the bonds of friendship? Avoid pricey, romantic restaurant options and instead consider:
• Throwing a potluck party at home
• Heading to a local diner for a down-to-earth dinner
• Hitting the town and dancing the night away
• Singing some tunes at a karaoke bar
When deciding what to do, make sure to choose something that will be fun for your entire group.
Celebrating with family
Valentine’s Day is also a great time to connect as a family. You could:
• Head to the cinema for a family movie night
• Have a delicious dinner at a nearby restaurant
• Go bowling
• Try out laser tag
• Work together to beat an escape room
Depending on the ages and interests of your family members, the right way to celebrate will vary.
Cooking for love on Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is all about romance and seduction. Perhaps the old saying “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” has some truth to it, and just maybe the reverse is true as well. So, why not tantalize your loved one with a mouth-watering meal. Here are three succulent reasons to don your apron and get out the pots and pans.
Primo, there’s something rather alluring about watching your better half lovingly create a dish just for you. Add a bottle of good wine, some mellow background music, a beautifully set table, the soft glow of candlelight, and you’ve all the ingredients required for concocting a romantic evening.
Secondo, the kitchen is full of all sorts of tempting foods. Every sense is stimulated during a successful dining experience. So, when you plan your menu, go for intoxicating smells, exquisite flavors, unctuous textures, and appetizing colors. Even your hearing can get involved; think of the sound of sauces bubbling gently on the stove, juices sizzling in the pan, and roasts crackling in the oven. Conjure the mouth-watering sound of a lobster claw being cracked open. And don’t forget the aphrodisiac properties attributed to certain foods and spices.
Terzo, for a meaningful romantic interlude, there’s nothing like sharing a delicious meal while gazing into each other’s eyes over the candles’ soft glow. Share a bite from time to time, and don’t forget to save room for dessert.
You don’t have the skill of a Cordon Bleu chef? Don’t worry. A favorite restaurant will do just fine. Buon appetito!
A romantic meal is a wonderful way to savor good food and some precious time together.
3 Valentine’s Day treats that aren’t a box of chocolate
Are you hoping to spoil your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day with something other than a box of chocolates? If so, here are some less common but equally decadent options that are sure to please and delight.
1. Candied fruit
Candied fruit isn’t just delicious in fruit cakes. It’s also great on its own or dipped in chocolate. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and grapefruits are common, but almost anything can be turned into a sweet, sticky treat. Try candied pineapple, cherries or even ginger for a spicy twist.
Pastries are the perfect treat to surprise a loved one with on Valentine’s Day. Though you may consider baked goods better suited to breakfast, rolls, pies and tarts are just as delicious for dessert. Some good choices include eclairs, cinnamon buns, cupcakes, fruit-filled Danishes and croissants of all kinds.
3. Anything chocolate-dipped
Chocolate-dipped strawberries are a classic, but almost any food can be made extravagantly delicious by coating it in chocolate. Indeed, fruits of all kinds can be used, as can nuts, pretzels, cookies and even coffee beans. And when you consider the many different kinds of chocolate available, the possible combinations are almost endless.
With an array of options out there, you’re sure to find the perfect Valentine’s Day delicacy to treat that special someone.
Happy New Year, 2020
Let the bells ring, and the cannon fire!
Happy New Year to all.
January 1 is the first day of the Gregorian calendar year. It’s a public holiday in the U.S. and many other countries. Traditionally, it is a day when people analyze their lives and decide what changes or improvements they want to make in the coming year.
This day has been observed as New Year’s Day in most English-speaking countries since the British Calendar Act of 1751. Before that time, the New Year began on March 25, approximately the date of the vernal equinox.
On January 1, the Earth begins another orbit of the sun, during which it will travel about 583,416,000 miles in 365.2422 days.
In some countries, New Year’s Day is called “Everyman’s Birthday,” and everyone becomes one year older on this day rather than on the anniversary of their birth.
In the U.S., many people encourage fate to bring them good luck in the coming year by eating “lucky” foods. Some like corned beef and cabbage. Many think black-eyed peas or red beans and rice will do the trick.
Whatever you believe, here’s hoping you have a new year filled with love, luck, and prosperity!