Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

What is the history of Thanksgiving in United States? The initial "Thanksgiving" feast, held in 1621, was really a traditional English harvest celebration. The Pilgrims shared it with the Native Americans because they had taught the colonists to plants crops and hunt wild game. Without the Native Americans, the Pilgrims may not have survived the harsh winter and been able to celebrate their first harvest of plentiful crops in the New World. The colonists' first harvest feast lasted for three days. Food was served all at once, instead of in courses, so people ate whatever they pleased in the order that they desired. The more important members at the feast were given the best pieces of meat, while the rest of the diners ate whatever was closest to them. Since the Pilgrims didn't use forks or plates, they ate their meal straight off the table with spoons, knives or their fingers. They used large napkins to wipe their hands and also wrapped it around food when it was too hot to hold.

The history of Thanksgiving demonstrates that feasts like the one at Plymouth were held throughout the colonies after fall harvests. However, all thirteen colonies did not celebrate Thanksgiving at the same time. In 1789, George Washington became the first president to declare Thanksgiving a holiday. By the mid-1800s, many states observed the Thanksgiving holiday. Meanwhile, the poet and editor, Sarah J. Hale, had begun lobbying for a national Thanksgiving holiday. During the Civil War President Abraham Lincoln looking for ways to unite the nation, discussed the subject with Hale. In 1863 he gave his Thanksgiving Proclamation declaring the last Thursday in November a day of Thanksgiving.

In 1939, 1940, and 1941 Franklin D. Roosevelt, seeking to lengthen the Christmas shopping season, proclaimed Thanksgiving the third Thursday in November. Controversy ensued, and Congress passed a joint resolution in 1941 decreeing that Thanksgiving should fall on the fourth Thursday of November, where it remains. What is Thanksgiving today? At its heart, it's a holiday where family and friends congregate to catch up, reminisce, tell jokes, share scrumptious food and generally give thanks for all the good things in life-exactly what they did at the very first Thanksgiving.


Steve Peralta

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Christmas Orchids are a Great Flower to Use for Decorating and Giving this Christmas

For many like me there is no more magical time than Christmas and orchid plants and flowers take that magic to another dimension. The worlds most popular flower plant, the poinsettia can be combined with the second most popular flowering plant to create a holiday theme like no other - orchids are great when used in traditional and modern interiors. You can also combine Christmas orchids with other popular holiday plants like Holly, Miniature Christmas Trees and Amaryllis. Although the beautiful orchid stands on its own, there is no rule that says you cannot combine Christmas plants.

Various colors of Christmas orchids can be used when decorating. You can use traditional white using white phalaenopsis orchids. You can use large or small flowering types to create contrast. Trust me, placing just a few of these Christmas orchids in your decor will help your decor shout: elegance! No other blooming plant, not even the poinsettia can compare to the elegance orchids create in any home, office, hotel or skyscraper.

You can use red using red Mokara orchids orchids. These are very popular cut orchid flowers but Mokara orchids are especially popular on Christmas. You don't need a lot of stems to create a beautiful effect. Between five and ten red Mokara orchid stems nestled in a clear vase should do the trick. Mokara orchid stems generally have between ten to 12 blooms. They come in essentially two shades. A shade that is blood red. The other shade is darker because a closer look at the flower reveals spots that make the flower look darker red. Either one should add another dimension to your Christmas decorating.

Cut Christmas orchids also give you more bang for your buck (especially in this great economy we're living in..). They are long lasting and really add a real dimension of elegance against other Christmas flowers like red roses, red carnations and white chrysanthemums. I love red carnations, don't get me wrong and their beautiful scent but what most orchids lack in scent (most orchids don't have a fragrance we as humans can smell, but bees can!) is beauty and elegance. With cut orchid flowers you only need to use a few flowers to create holiday magic. So get to buying some orchids to add to your decor or give as a very special gift.

With the advent of the Internet - you don't have to drive to an orchid show (although I highly recommend everyone visit an orchid show) or your local florist (don't tell them I said that) you can shop hundreds of fine Internet orchid sites. is a great place to start. On these sites you can find orchids currently in bloom for the months of November and December. For example, in California, the Cymbidium orchid season (another popular Christmas orchid) starts in November. Many growers and retailers only charge a little extra to get an orchid with blooms or in spike as its commonly called with an orchid is in bloom. This is a special treat in Christmas because orchids truly are an excellent Christmas gifts not to mention they make your decor look something out of the space age! Meaning its decorating ahead of its time.

Finally, Christmas orchids can add a twist to your holiday decor. Yes Christmas looks beautiful in all red but change it up a little, have fun! Two pink phalaenopsis orchids should do it - and it won't hurt you to spend something on yourself either. Orchid growers and breeders are now creating spectacular orchids originating from the United States, Taiwan, Holland, and Singapore. A desire to create more spectacular orchid plants will require florists and interior decorators to be more creative in both selling and designing with differently colored orchids like pinks, yellows and harlequin orchid types.

Merry Christmas Orchid from everyone at We hope this Christmas is as magical as your most magical Christmas ever.

Steve Peralta

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