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Almanac Companion Newsletter
November 30, 2010

December Cheer

To brighten the darkest month of the year, people since the ancient times have created festivals of light and ceremonies of renewal. December has long lost its original meaning of “ten” (decem), for the old Roman calendar’s tenth month, and now is more synonymous with “decorate.” The Yule log, evergreens, colored glass ornaments, wassail bowl—all of these have antecedents lost in time but are designed to make the season bright. Starting out the month is Chanukah on December 2. This 8-day Jewish festival begins at sundown on December 1; each night brings the lighting of the ChanukiahSee more.Christmas Day,  a Christian holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. Enjoy holiday history with our article on Christmas Firsts.

As always, December 25 brings Christmas Day, a Christian holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. Enjoy holiday history with our article on Christmas Firsts.

Quick Clicks

• Star light, star bright! Venus is at its best! See December Sky Watch.
• Keep holiday entertaining hassles to a minimum.
Take potluck!
• If  you have pets, don’t forget to
enter our Fall photo contest.

Expert Advice

December Gardening Jobs
• Look over
stored vegetables frequently and remove decaying specimens.
• Cover your compost pile to prevent rains and snows from leaching out nutrients. Read 
“How to Compost: Hot and Cold Methods.”
• Prune dead and dangerous limbs from trees. Here are pruning pointers.
See all December gardening tasks.

Weather Wisdom

Enjoy a weather history fact, Q&A, and lore in our short monthly video. Watch now!

 Hark, how all the welkin rings,
 ‘Glory to the King of kings’;
 Peace on Earth, and mercy mild,
 God and sinners reconciled.

Charles Wesley (1707–88)

Great Almanac Giveaway

Almanac Giveaway Prize See this month’s prize:
Enter to win a prize from our friends at Boston Acoustics.

Glass ornaments


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