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DECEMBER Issue
	Table Of Contents 

	1. Holidays From Around The World

	2. Internet Resources

	3. For Boomers 

	4. Tax Break 

	5. Boomer of The Month

        6. Subscription 

        7. Unsubscription
   

SECTION 1: HOLIDAYS AROUND THE WORLD

  Merry Christmas, Fröhliche Weihnachten, Joyeux Noel, Feliz Navidad, Sawadde Pee Mai

  By Jeri Maier

  The holiday season is a fun-filled time as people from all around the 
  world are celebrating time-honored traditions.  Although we celebrate 
  Christmas and New Year in December, there are other holidays that are
  celebrated around the world during different time. 

  
  • In the U.S. Chrismas is Santa Clause, X-mas trees decorated with lights, tinsels, garlands, ornaments and the exchange of gifts. In Germany, there is a Kriss Kringle's fair in Nurnberg, which is also known as Chirstkindlmarkt. The fair offers crafts, toys, music and foods. The event had been going on for centuries as the German Christmas tradition of Christmas Stohlen. In Ireland, the plum pudding is prepared, the candle is lit on the windowsill. In France, children place shoes on the hearth which is a tradition that went back to the days when French children wore wooden shoes. In Holland, children fill their shoes with hay and carrots for Sintirklaas's white horses. When Sintirklass comes down the chimney at night, he gathers the goodies and replaces them with presents for the family. In Hungary, a small bundle of twigs accompanies the shoes as a reminder that children should behave during the new year. In the Northeast of Ireland, some Scottish Puritans do not celebrate Christmas. In Mexico, the nacimiento (nativity sccen) is the focal point of Christmas. Midnight mass, food and gift exchanges are also part of the tridition.
  • Hanukkah is the most historically documented of the Jewish holidays. In America, it is a tradition of giving Hanukkah gelt--money and lighting of Menorah candles. The holidays starts on December 23. In Israel celebrations are held in Modi'in, the hometown of the Maccabees, and torches of freedom are carried by runners to all parts of Israel.
  • Kwanzaa ia an African holiday celebration of family, community and culture based on an ancient African harvest celebrations. The festival starts on December 26th and continue for seven days. Each day the candle is lit for one of the seven Kwanzaan principals. The word Kwanzaa came from the Swahili words meaning "first fruits" of the new year. It is fast becoming a tradition observed by over 18 million people worldwide.
  • The Chinese celebrate New Year with Fire crackers, Dragon dance, festive foods, bean and rice cakes and red envelopes filled with money for the children. Next year, the Chinese New Year will be in February.
  • In Iran, the Persian New Year (Now Ruz) is on March 21 and the celebrations continue until April. Part of the celebrations included jumping over the bon-fire. The Iranians prepare foods the symbolize rebirth, heath, and love. Gold fish, new grown patch of green grass which symbolized growth and renewal and good luck for the arrival of the coming year are incorporated into the decorations.
  • Although Buddhist do not celebrate Christmas, they do however, celebrate the arrival of a new year on 31st of December. In Thailand, the Thai New Year is celebrate on April 13. Thai people in the northern region prepapre for this celebration many week ahead. On April 12 and 13, it is customary to splash water on each other in the street. Children also prepared gifts for the elders as a sign of respect.
  • SECTION 2: INTERNET RESOURCES
    
    Perhaps you've heard the vicious rumor that gardening is popular among
    Boomers. Of course this is just silly because gardening is for old people
    -- and by definition Baby Boomers do not grow old. Nevertheless, I've decided
    to point you to Suite 101's Gardening Splash Page (http://www.suite101.com/userfiles/79/gardening.html)
    so you may all inform your grandparents about what they have to offer
    -- and there's a lot.
    
    
    The 'Fish' is now a Public Defender. What am I talking about? 
    Go here: http://www.pacific.net/~melton/
    
    
    It was (and still is) a phenomenon rivaling the one surrounding the
    Beatles: http://www.suite101.com/articles/article.cfm/754
    
    Getting an itch to try and change the world ... again? Warm up here:
    
    http://www.interaction.org/
    
    
    Compiled by: Chuck Nyren, nyren@ibm.net
    Suite 101 -- Winner of Seven Canadian Internet Awards http://www.suite101.com/userfiles/179/splash.htm
    Fiction in: Pogonip: http://www.ior.com/~mww/pogonip/fiction/fiction.htm
    Eclectica: http://www2.polarnet.com/~eclectic/v2n1/toc.html
    GTO WorldWide: http://www.g21.net/
    The Yardbird Reader: http://www.yardbird.com/yardbirdreader.htm
    
    

    SECTION 3: TIPS FOR BOOMERS
    The Most Important Christmas Message
    
    By Mike Ballah
    
    
  • Most of us believe (if we are honest enough to admit it) that happiness comes through getting.

  • Ebenezer Scrooge was unhappy not because of a failure to get but to give, and this, I submit, is the most important message of Christmas.
  • The baby in Bethlehem's manger was a gift, a present from a loving heavenly father to his lost and hurting children.
  • Why was Ebenezer Scrooge so unhappy? If you knew only the man's assets
    and had never read Dickens's "A Christmas Carol," probably you could not 
    guess the answer. Most of us believe (if we are honest enough to admit it) 
    that happiness comes through getting. If only I can get a new (pick one) 
    house, car, job, promotion, or relationship, I will be happy. But Ebenezer
    Scrooge was unhappy not because of a failure to get but to give, and this, 
    I submit, is the most important message of Christmas. 
    
    I had to become a parent before I discovered the principle for myself. 
    As a child the chief joy in life, especially at Christmas time, was 
    getting. I still remember the happiness I felt receiving my first new 
    Western Flyer bicycle, and what male child of the 1950s will forget his 
    first Daisy Red Ryder BB gun? I also remember how quickly the new wore 
    off of these gifts. And I remember my parents' dismay when, two days 
    after Christmas, my siblings and I were more interested in building a 
    fort from discarded boxes than playing with the expensive toys they 
    had housed.
    
    Similarly, as a parent I saw my own kids lose interest in their share of new
    toys. But it was worth it. Words simply cannot describe the joy Charlotte
    and I received watching our five open gifts on Christmas morning (a ritual
    that often began before 6:00 a.m. when we finally gave in to incessant and 
    insistent little voices at out bedside informing us that Santa Claus had 
    indeed arrived). 
    
    As I write these words, I think about the scooter Josh received at age four, 
    and I wonder if he will ever enjoy driving his pickup truck as much as 
    he did pushing that scooter. Similarly, I think of our Jonathan opening 
    Tolkein's Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and I wonder if he and his wife Holly 
    will one day receive as much pleasure reading them to their kids as his 
    parents did to him. I could go on. Janet, Jeremy, and Joni (all young adults 
    living away from home now) each call to mind a picture of a joyful child on
    Christmas morning, their delight surpassed only by that of their parents.
    
    But I don't need to illustrate the principle further; you have your own memories.
    By midlife all of us should know that our best joys come through giving. And 
    yet we forget; don't we? Maybe it's all those commercials that convince us we 
    really can't be satisfied unless we buy the new and improved version of some 
    product (translation: happiness comes through getting).
    
    Christmas is a good time of year to remind ourselves of the truth. The most 
    important message of Christmas is that of joyous giving. It's the message of 
    our seasonal classics like "A Christmas Carol" and "It's A Wonderful Life." 
    And, more importantly, it's the message of that first Christmas. For the baby 
    in Bethlehem's manger was a gift, a present from a loving heavenly father to his 
    lost and hurting children, a gift the Bible says brought "good tidings of great
    joy" to giver and receiver alike.
    
    Finally, the message of joyous giving is the most important message of this book.
    Where will we find happiness in the second half of life? The same place we found 
    it in the first half. Look around you. What are your opportunities to give with
    joy? These are your best chances at midlife happiness.
    
    For more information on this subject try: The Midlife's Moments. by Mike Bellah - Midlife's Moments Web Site. Write to Mike at :mike@bestyears.com

    SECTION 5: TAX BREAK

    The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, recently passed by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton on August 5, 1997. The Act includes several big-ticket items that will benefit individuals and businesses, including a middle-class tax cut for families with children, a lowering of the tax rate on capital gains, education tax incentives, new savings incentives, an increase in the estate and gift tax unified credit, alternative minimum tax relief for businesses and other measures.

    While many of the law’s provisions are aimed at “middle class” taxpayers, higher-income investors, business owners, and people with accumulated wealth may also benefit from the changes. At the same time, the new law eliminates or reduces some tax breaks—and contains numerous snares for the unwary.

    The newly enacted changes are extensive and the effects on you, your family and/or your business may be significant. We will provide further details in the future. Internal Revenue Service also issues guidance on these provisions. You should consult with your tax advisor for specific applications to these situation.

    SECTION 6: BOOMER OF THE MONTH December 1997
    Congratulations to : Jan Simas
    Check out Boomer Of the Month at: http://boomersint.org/boomotm.htm
    

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