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TIDBITS® TRIMS THE TREE by Patricia L. Cook This Tidbits examines ornaments used during the holidays. Some are historical, most beautiful, many breakable, and plenty just fun! • One of the dictionary definitions for ornamental is: decorative: serving as a decoration and having no practical use. • Historically it is said that the holiday tradition of decorating Christmas trees started in Germany. The first decorations were simple white candles followed by roses a bit later. • In 1605, a groundbreaking moment occurred when a tree in Strasbourg, France, a city on the Rhine River near the German border, was brought inside for decorating. It was adorned with paper roses, nuts, wafers, sweets and lighted candles. After this, more trees were brought indoors and making ornaments became a family holiday tradition. • Much imagination was used to come up with thoughtful and creative decorations, including cookies and painted eggshells. The introduction of tinsel in 1610 was a huge favorite, originally made with pure silver. • One of the first Christmas trees in England was an 1840 Royal Family celebration when Queen Victoria included a tree in honor of her German-born husband Prince Albert’s heritage. Being the great influence that she was, many people wanted their own trees!

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• Many of the ornaments in the early years of decorating trees were handmade from paper, cloth or even foods, such as cookies. Handstitched snowflakes were also very popular. • Special items that emerged for decorating trees in America were cranberries and popcorn. Early Americans would string the readily available, colorful foods for trimming their trees. •

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President Franklin Pierce was the first U.S. president to have a Christmas tree in the White House, in 1856. The first “national” Christmas tree erected was by President Woodrow Wilson in 1913. However, the first “official” tree was not switched on complete with electric lights until President Calvin Coolidge moved the tree to its location near the White House in 1923.

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• Up until the 1880s Christmas ornaments were mainly handmade by families and friends and given as gifts. Many were disposed of after a season. The only ornaments sold publicly were hand-cast lead and hand-blown glass German decorations. •

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German entrepreneurs saw the possibility of a market developing for mass marketed ornaments in the early1880s.

Lauscha, Germany became the hub of the glass ornament business and had many glass companies. For years they had been producing glass articles such as marbles and bottles and soon began creating glass molds for ornaments. Their first ornaments were molds of Christian saints, famous people, children, animals and more. These new ornaments were a huge success and were in demand. Nearly every family in the Lauscha area became involved in the business of making glass Christmas ornaments either in a home-based foundry or local factory

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TOOLS 4 LIFE BY DR. JIM COYLE

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• Ornaments became highly prized possessions with the special touches of individual craftsmanship. Germany captured the world market for glass Christmas ornaments for many years. • Another German city, Dresden, near Lauscha, started its own ornament businesses, different from the glass ornaments of their neighbors. The Dresden artists constructed brightly colored designs of birds, fish and other animals out of pressed and embossed paper. Their treasures were a hit as well; for weddings, birthdays and other occasions in addition to Christmas. •

As the decorations gained popularity in the United States, F.W. Woolworth, an early American mass merchandiser, began importing German glass ornaments in the 1880s. By 1890, he was reportedly selling approximately $25 million worth of the ornaments! When World War I broke out in 1914 many things, including sentiments toward purchases of Christmas ornaments, changed. There was a backlash against all things German. Sales and production of German ornaments slowed, but only for a while. Also, Japan started producing ornaments on a huge scale in the 1920s and took a slice out of the ornament market that Germany held. The Japanese specialized in newer and more colorful designs. The Czech Republic also became known for their fancy Christmas ornaments and shipped many to the U.S.

• More than 250 million Christmas ornaments were being imported to America by 1935, mostly from Germany, Japan, and the Czech Republic. This was when U.S. businessman and German immigrant, Max Eckhardt, an importer of ornaments, knew that America needed to be producing, not just importing.

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Eckhardt and Bill Thompson of the F.W. Woolworth Company worked together to convince the Corning Glass Company of Corning, New York to enter the ornament market. Corning had been making thousands of light bulbs out of very thin glass using a “ribbon” glassblowing machine. The machine could produce 2,000 bulbs per minute! Eckhardt believed the machine could be altered to produce Christmas ornaments instead of light bulbs.

• Corning began trials with their equipment and employees, making ornaments in various shapes and sizes. Soon, it was clear they had the equipment and abilities for the job. Woolworth’s requested production of over 230,000 glass holiday items for their stores. In 1939 they began selling the American-made ornaments. • By 1940, Corning Glass was producing nearly 300,000 decorations per day and shipping them all over the U.S. Corning actually sold most of their ornaments to Shiny Brite, a company owned by Max Eckhardt. Eckhardt’s business was so big, he had four New Jersey locations and his main office and display room in New York City. • Eckhardt’s Shiny Brite factories continued making glass Christmas balls and decorations throughout World War II. They used innovative solutions when products were rationed. When metal paints and varnish were not available, the company would use lighter paints and cardboard instead of the usual metal tops and heavy paint. • In the post-war era, Shiny Brite began using vibrant hues and used metal tops again for their ornaments. They were stamped to show that Shiny Brite ornaments were U.S.- made! The boxes were even marked “American made.” These are valuable collectibles today.

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• Mount Everest is in what is called the Sagarmatha Zone of Nepal, in the Himalaya Mountains, on the border with Tibet and China. Sagarmatha is the Nepalese name for the mountain, meaning “the head in the great blue sky.” • Scientists say that the shifting of tectonic plates in the region continue to push the whole Himalaya mountain range higher by 1.6-3.9 inches per year. • Mount Everest was originally named “Peak XV” (15) by Sir George Everest, who first recorded the location in 1841. He was Surveyor General of India from 1830-1843 and in 1865 the name was changed to honor him. • There are records of expeditions trying to ascend Mount Everest as far back as 1924. The first successful summit was not achieved until Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the top on May 29, 1953. • That first ascent was via the first of fifteen routes that have been mapped to the top. Since that ascent there have been more than 3000 people who have reached the summit over 5000 times. More than 75% of those climbs have been since the year 2000. The popularity of extreme sports and the availability of guides and travel privileges for many people have made mountain climbs of this caliber a reality for more people. • Mount Everest is not a very hospitable place for man or animals. In ascending to the top, as the altitude increases, the oxygen levels decrease. Consider that at 9,800 feet the oxygen present is only about 2/3 of what it is at sea level. At 20,000 feet, the level is down to roughly half. By the time the summit of Everest is reached at 29,035 feet (the new figure for its height) the oxygen is severely depleted to only about 1/3 of the normal at sea level. • The low oxygen is why climbers stop at camps along the way to acclimatize so they can breathe in the high altitude. Base camp is set at 17,500 feet and then there are four other camps along the way before reaching the summit. • Another thing that is done, that seems counterintuitive, is that climbers move up and down again for about 30 days allowing their bodies to get accustomed to the reduced oxygen; all part of the acclimatization. • Sherpas have been guiding expeditions on Mount Everest since the first ascents many years ago. Sherpas are a group of Himalayan people who live in Nepal and Tibet, usually Buddhists, who are famous for their skills as mountain guides. Good Sherpas are essential for successful trips up Everest and other mountains in the Himalayas. They are aware of the needs, including the acclimatization, of the climbers they assist. • Along with the low oxygen on Everest, another major challenge is the strong winds. The blast of the jet stream is almost always present, with winds reaching hurricane force at times; sometimes more than 118 miles/hour. The best times for climbing to the summit are in early May and a few days in the fall.

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STRANGE BUT TRUE by Samantha Weaver

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A recent British study showed how those over 50 can stay young. American seniors aren’t so different, are we? Maybe we can learn a few things from their list of preferred activities across the pond. Food was big on the list. Trying new food, and eating sweets, spicy dishes and chocolate were all favored. To that I would add trying a new restaurant. Reading books that are challenging -perhaps exploring new authors or another genre entirely -- offers brain stretching. Beating younger relatives at games and socializing with grownup children and grandkids, perhaps at a first-run movie in the theater, helps us learn what they’re thinking and talking about. Playing practical jokes and watching stand-up comedy points to the necessity of finding things to laugh about. Exercise wasn’t left off the list. Yoga, Zumba, salsa dancing and cycling were favorites. One of the most popular ways to stay young, according to the survey, is to surf the Web, as it combines many favorite activities. That means owning electronic gadgets -- computers, e-readers like Kindle and iPhones (including apps) and iPads. These are all ways to connect and stay front and center in what’s going on in the world. Facebook can be a fun way to keep in touch online, as long as we’re aware of the dangers and use the right settings to control who accesses the page. Twitter can be challenging for those brave souls who can handle the flow of messages. One very notable characteristic of those in the survey: 40 percent considered themselves to be rebellious. We’re not afraid to think out of the box, are we?

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• Maltese: These tiny spaniels are easy to identify thanks to their long, silky coats. The American Kennel Club groups them with other “Toy Dogs” like Pugs and Yorkshire Terriers. Feline aficionados also use the term Maltese to |describe anniversary | birthday just because cats that have a similarly silky, grayblue coat. Hurry! Flowers from $19.99 +s/h • Colombian: This term means different things Visit www.ProFlowers.com/always or call 888.483.7528 to different people, depending on how you “jones.” Narcotics Joinget Over your 12 Million People Who Have Found adealers Better Waymay to Sendrefer Flowers todiscount their products as Colombian, the *20% off will appear upon checkout. Minimum purchase of $29.00. Doesalthough not apply to gift cards or certificates, same-day or international delivery, shipping and handling, taxes, or third-party hosted products (e.g. wine) and actual source is often unknown. Luckily, cannot be combined with other offers or discounts. Discounts not valid on bulk or corporate purchases ofthe 10 units or more. Offer expires: 12/31/12. majority of us prefer a bit of legal Colombian, as in the coffee grown in the South American nation. The prevalence of coffee shops throughout America is proof enough that many of us just can’t get along in the morning without a hot cup of Colombian.

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• Chinese: The generic term “chinese” now represents types of food that are very different from the meals that are (or ever were) served in China. That said, the same argument could be made about what we consider “American” food. Hamburgers? Ice cream? Hot dogs? Pizza? Our national favorites seem to have originated everywhere except in the United States! Information in the Tidbits® Paper is gathered from sources considered to be reliable, but the accuracy of all information cannot be guaranteed.

Can’t Get Enough

TRILOGY III

(Alabama residents LIMITED EDITION BOOK SET please add $1 sales tax.) Reprints of Books I, II & III WHILE THEY LAST!

The Tidbits® Paper is a division of Tidbits Media, Inc. · Montgomery, AL 36106

1Q2009 :: Wk 03 :: Jan 11 - Jan 17 :: Pg. 8 All Rights Reserved · Copyright © 2009 Tidbits Media, Inc.

Matilda Charles regrets that she cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into her column whenever possible. Write to her in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to columnreply@gmail.com. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

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December 19th 2012

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CLASSIFIEDS WORK!

Fruit cake has been baked as a holiday treat since at least the 16th century – and maybe before. Some think the same cake has traveled the globe many times and no one wants to eat it! • Fruitcake, sometimes spelled as one word, other times as two, is defined as: “ 1) a rich cake containing nuts, dried or candied fruits, and spices; also as: 2) a foolish, eccentric, or crazy person.” • The earliest known recipe for fruitcake that exists was from ancient Rome. Among the ingredients were pomegranate seeds, raisins, and pine nuts, mixed in a barley mash. Later, honey, preserved fruits and spices were added. • Because fruitcake’s dense consistency and its longevity allowed for it to be held for many days, early hunters and warriors took it with them on long journeys. • In 16th century Europe, fruitcakes were baked at the end of the nut harvest and saved until the beginning of the following year’s harvest. The thought was that this would help bring another successful harvest the next year. Europeans also referred to fruitcake as plum cake and it was reserved for special occasions because it was so “sinfully rich.” It later became an essential serving for Victorian tea time. •

In 18th century England, a belief arose that if unmarried wedding guests put a slice of fruitcake under their pillow at night they would dream of who they were destined to marry.

• December is National Fruit Cake Month and Claxton, Georgia is the Fruit Cake Capital of the World.

Contractors, this is a great place to list your service.

• Even though fruit cake is and has been the butt of many jokes for years, Albert Parker saw a fine product with a future when he purchased the Claxton Bakery in 1945.

360-3936

• The Claxton Bakery was opened in 1910 by Savino Tos, an Italian immigrant who had moved to Georgia from New York City. He operated the bakery until 1945 when he sold the business to Albert, who had worked there since he was 11 years old.

Call for more information about placing your ad.

AUCTIONS

.25 per word! $5.00 Minimum. Post on-line

www.tidbitpapers.com We do accept classified’s by US mail and phone. Send your content and payment to: Hawkeye Publishing 162 Collins Rd. NE PMB 321 Cedar Rapids, IA 52402 For more info, call Russ 319-360-3936

Hawkeye Publishing L.L.C. considers it’s advertisers reliable and verifies as much data as possible. Consequently, readers using this information do so at their own risk. It is suggested that the investors contact the appropriate consumer agency before sending payment. Although persons and companies ® mentioned herein are believed to be reputable, neither Tidbits of Linn county publication, Hawkeye Publishing L.L.C., The Nations Online Listings nor any of it’s employees accept any responsibility whatsoever for their actions. For more information about credit scams and advanced fee loans write: FTS Washington, DC 20580

• When Albert noticed that grocery stores were starting to sell fresh bread and other bakery items on their shelves, he knew that he needed to do something to set his bakery apart. He decided to specialize in the “high quality fruit cake” that townspeople had been enjoying during the holiday season each year. In the first year that his company mass produced fruit cakes, Parker and his small crew of employees baked 45,000 pounds of Claxton Fruit Cakes! • Even if you think you don’t like fruit cake, maybe you should try a Claxton specialty. Look for the cakes with a unique horse and buggy label. They are sold by mail order and in many stores every year during the holidays. They are also used for fundraising by more than 1,000 civic organizations in the U.S. The Civitan Club of Tampa, Florida first started the fundraising tradition in the early 1950s. • The term “nutty as a fruitcake” was coined in 1935 when some American bakeries with access to cheaper nuts started adding larger quantities of nuts to their cakes. Claxton Fruit Cakes are “approximately 70% choice fruits and nuts.” • By the way, December 27th is National Fruitcake Day. Also, just so you are aware, there is an internet web presence for “The Society for the Protection and Preservation of Fruitcake!”


1st

December 19th 2012

Hawkeye Publishing, L.L.C.

e Av

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-Tidbits® The paper that readers of all ages can enjoy-

www.tidbitpapers.com For Distribution E-mail: russ@tidbitpapers.com or Call (319) 360-3936 Diagonal

303 8th Ave S.E. Cedar Rapids, IA 52401 319-363-5010

eepsake 2 types.

“Life is unfair!” declared Mike. “I lost my truck keys at a ball game and never found them. I lost my sunglasses at the lake and never found them. I lose socks in the washing machine a lot and never find them. But… I lost seven pounds on a diet this fall and during the holidays, I’ve found them plus three more!

No more need to fight for the good seat with these theater seat groups!

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B O C E L L LT C I E

This word means: Things considered to be worth collecting; not necessarily valuable or antique

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2/16/63 2/17/74 Don’t forget our Clearance 12/18/46 12/19/80 1. Glass balls and yarn figures 6 2. More than 3000 21/57 3.man Postcards Q: Did you hear about the who tried to donate 2/22/45 4. 1915 a gift to a local charity but the gift was declined?

corner : 724

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5. Christmas and Valentine’s Day

1. When Hallmark introduced “Keepsake “Life is unfair!” declared Mike. “I lost my truck Ornaments” in 1973, there were 2 types. keys at a ball game and never found them. I What were they? MOMENTS IN TIME lost my sunglasses at the lake and never found 2. Approximately how many different On 17, machine 1903, The History Channel Keepsake Ornaments has Hallmark prothem.●I lose socksDec. in the washing a lot near Kitty Hawk, N.C., Orville andI lostWilbur ● On Dec. 18, duced? 1777, the new United and never find them. But… seven pounds Wright make the first What did Hallmark start with inday on asuccessful ight ofI’vea self-propelled aircraft. States celebrates3.1910? its product first national diet this fall and duringflthe holidays, piloted the gasoline-powered, them plus three more! of thanksgiving,4. When commemorating did Hallmark start producing the foundOrville greeting cards? American victory at the Battle of Saratoga propeller-driven biplane, which stayed 5. What holidays did they firstBurgoyne produce aloft for 12 seconds and covered 120 feet after the surrender of Gen. John cards for? 1. In 1935 there were more than ___ million

A: It was a fruit cake of unknown age and origin!

on its inaugural flight.

and 5,000 British troops that October. idays and Christmas ornaments being imported to the buy the United 10 States. 2. What ths to useAmerican company started issuing 4th Quarter 2012 t colorskeepsake to ornaments in 1973? Week 51 y reusable, kins. When “The worst gift is fruitcake. There is seem to be only one fruitcake in the entire world, table, you and people keep sending it to each other”. - Johnny Carson eaning.

B O C E L L LT C I E

This word means: Things considered TEXT : 319-530-36948 FOR CURRENT DEALS! to be worth collecting; not necessarily valuable or antique www.atdnorthliberty.com

ANSwERS

When the Corning Glass Company started making Christmas ornaments they “silvered” the inside of the ornaments with metallic oxide pigment to make them shine brightly for longer periods. When 1. World250 million War II started in 1939, there was a severe shortage of materials that forced Corning 2. Hallmark to change this method. They decorated the clear glass balls with thin stripes in pastel colors instead. (Any of these are now precious collectibles.)

Benjamin Bratt 2/16/63 Duff Goldman 12/17/74 Steven Spielberg 12/18/46 Jake Gyllenhaal 12/19/80 Dick Wolf 2/20/46 Ray Romano 12/21/57 Diane Sawyer 12/22/45

HOCUS-FOCUS

● On Dec. 21, 1970, rock star Elvis Presley pays a surprise visit to President Richard Nixon at the White House to discuss the war on drugs. Presley apparently was not searched before being granted admission: Upon meeting Nixon, he presented the president with a gift -- a World War II-era Colt .45 pistol. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

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