"Setting out on the voyage to Ithaca you must pray that the way be long, full of adventures and experiences."
- Constantine Peter Cavafy "Ithaca"
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©2008 Ruth Kozak

S E A S O N A L - T A L E S !


A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES: MEMORIES OF DYLAN THOMAS - by W. Ruth Kozak
In 2014 Swansea, Wales is celebrating the centenary of the birth of one of the English languages most distinctive voices. The year-long celebration will honour the works and legacy of Dylan Thomas. Dylan Thomas has been acknowledged as one of the most important Welsh poets of the 20th century.
THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and His Creator
The “Story of Rudolph” takes place in the “holy city” of Chicago. In 1939, the powers-that-be at the gigantic catalog and retail company Montgomery Ward were looking for a story that the company could print and give away to children at Christmastime. Robert L. May was assigned the task.
CHRISTMAS WITHOUT SANTA CLAUS in Athens, Greece
One of my most memorable Christmases was the first Christmas I spent in Athens, Greece in December 1982. It was my first Christmas away from my family. Christmas the Greek way was very different than I was used to but I managed to find some decorations and tiny lights, bought a small bay-leaf tree and made myself a Christmas tree.
NO ORDINARY CHRISTMAS: Bolivia, South America
Magically, as our bus enters the lakeshore city of Puno, the sounds of flutes, drums and bells float across the air. Craning our necks out of the window, we see elaborately costumed dancers twirling to the rhythm of the music. “Puno is the festival capital of Peru!” says our bus driver.
CHARLES DICKENS: A REAL FATHER CHRISTMAS: England
His name is synonymous with Christmas and visions of plum pudding and a warm fireside. Charles Dickens probably has more influence on the way we celebrate Christmas today than any single individual (except one). It was Charles Dickens’ Christmas stories that rekindled the joy of Christmas.
AN HERITAGE CHRISTMAS AT BURNABY VILLAGE MUSEUM: Canada, British Columbia
Warm Christmas cheer greeted me and made it a pleasant winter's outing when I visited the Burnaby Heritage Museum. From the blazing coloured lights to the Victorian Christmas decorations I was quickly transported into the spirit of the Holiday Season.
GETTING INTO THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT: Nuremberg, Germany
This city of half a million people might really overwhelm you the first time you venture into it. But because many of the city’s major attractions are within its old city walls and because of its user-friendly and extensive public transport system, Nuremberg soon becomes small town manageable.
AWAY FROM HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS: Athens, Greece
Christmas in 1983 was the first time I had ever spent Christmas away from my family. I couldn’t have been any farther away from Vancouver, Canada than Athens, Greece. It looked as though it would be a dismal time. Donald and Barry became my saviors, cheering me with their Irish humor and lively music.
MAKING CHRISTMAS MEMORABLE: Germany
Christmas in Germany is taken really seriously and has much historical significance. Decorated Christmas trees originated in Germany in the 16th century when Christians started bringing decorated fir trees into their homes (a symbol of their faith because of its triangular shape that represents the Holy Trinity).
I’M DREAMING OF A DICKENS CHRISTMAS: London, England
I've always dreamed of celebrating Christmas in London, a real Dickens Christmas where the famous writer once lived. A Victorian Christmas with all the old traditions set right in the place where they all began. Charles Dickens probably had more influence on the way we celebrate Christmas today than any single individual.
A VISIT TO THE SITE OF THE FIRST CHRISTMAS: Israel, Bethlehem
Set on the edge of a hill in the little town of Bethlehem, the gray stone Basilica of the Nativity is built over a cave housing the traditional site of Jesus’ birth. Divided between the Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Armenian Churches, the structure is as complex as the relationships between the Christian sects.
BURNABY HERITAGE VILLAGE: YE OLDE FASHIONED CHRISTMAS: British Columbia, Canada
Every December, this village reopens for its heritage holiday schedule. With festive dress and special activities, it’s an opportunity for visitors to rediscover the true meaning of Christmas. Entering this charming 1920’s village, families cross a bridge above a murmuring creek and step back to a simpler era.