Hang A Bee On Your Tree!

A bee ornament is a natural addition to your Christmas tree. These ornaments range from the silly to the sublime! All are available online.

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And of course we can’t forget our Batty friends!

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“Franksgiving” – The First “Thanksgiving Versus Shopping” Controversy

The controversial decision by some stores to stay open on Thanksgiving is not the first time holiday shopping has caused a Thanksgiving brouhaha. In fact the one in 1939 was MUCH worse!

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In late October of 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving up one week, believing that doing so would help bolster retail sales during one of the final years of the Great Depression. This led to much upheaval and protest, causing some to facetiously rename the holiday Franksgiving.

In August 1939, Lew Hahn, general manager of the Retail Dry Goods Association, warned Secretary of Commerce Harry Hopkins that the late calendar date of Thanksgiving that year (November 30) could possibly have an adverse effect on retail sales. At the time, it was considered bad form for retailers to display Christmas decorations or have “Christmas” sales before the celebration of Thanksgiving.

In keeping with a custom begun by Lincoln in 1863, U.S. Presidents had declared a general day of thanksgiving to be observed on the last Thursday in November. In late October of 1939, President Roosevelt decided to deviate from this custom and declare November 23, the second-to-last Thursday, as Thanksgiving that year.

The short-notice change in dates affected the holiday plans of millions of Americans. For example, many college football teams routinely ended their seasons with rivalry games on Thanksgiving, and had scheduled them that year for the last day in November; some athletic conferences had rules permitting games only through the Saturday following Thanksgiving. If the date were changed, many of these teams would play their games for empty stadiums or not at all. The change also caused problems for college registrars, schedulers, and calendar makers.

A late 1939 Gallup poll indicated that Democrats favored the switch 52% to 48% while Republicans opposed it 79% to 21%, and that Americans overall opposed the change 62% to 38%.

FDR’s declaration was not binding on the states, and each state government could independently determine when to cancel work for state (and in some cases, municipal) employees. Twenty-three states’ governments and the District of Columbia recognized the non-traditional date, twenty-two states preserved the traditional date on November 30, and the remaining three – Colorado, Mississippi, and Texas – gave holidays in both weeks.

In 1940, 32 states’ governments and the District of Columbia observed the earlier date on November 21, while 16 states chose what some were calling the “Republican” Thanksgiving on the 28th.

Unfortunately for Roosevelt, a 1941 Commerce Department survey concluded that the earlier date did nothing to increase sales. November of that year once again saw 32 states and the District of Columbia observing the holiday on the 20th, while the remaining 16 states did so on the 27th.

After three years of Thanksgiving chaos, Congress passed a law on November 26, 1941, designating the fourth Thursday in November of each year as Thanksgiving Day.

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Beautiful Beekeeping – Carving Bee Pumpkins!

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I love Halloween, especially the pumpkin carving. Last year I carved the bee pumpkins above!

It’s easy and fun!  All you have to do is find a template you like and print it out.  Below are some suggestions.  As you can see, your design can be as simple or as complicated as you wish. You can also design your own!

Remove the seeds, pulp and flesh of your pumpkin. Tape the template to the pumpkin and poke holes along the outlines. Make the holes close together so you can see the design clearly when you remove the template.

Then, carefully using a sharp knife, cut out your design. Add a light and enjoy your Bee-utiful Pumpkin!

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Rosa Cinco De Mayo

Rosa Cinco de Mayo™

The abundant flower clusters of this repeat-blooming Floribunda are of a novel, smoky-russet hue that makes it a standout, while also blending well with other colors. It looks great in a cottage garden, and bees are attracted to their yellow “target”!

Cooler weather brings out the smoky tones in its 3 1/2-inch, ruffled double flowers. Growing 2-4ft tall with glossy green leaves and bushy habit, Cinco de Mayo™ is equally suited for use as a specimen in a border or for mass planting.  A 2009 All-America Rose Selections winner.

I found it at White Flower Farm.