From the Bullpen

What Happened to Thanksgiving? • December Around the World • Thanksgiving Trivia • Travel Tips

From the Bullpen -  The Ankenbrandt Group, Newport Beach, CA

Thanksgiving Trivia

Thanksgiving holiday is descended from Puritan day of fasting and festive rejoicing.

The 1621 “First Thanksgiving” idea was invented in Victorian times. According to several web sites, we found the actual first Thanksgiving occurred in 1623, and most likely at the end of July with a church service but no feast.

In 1921, The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) undertook “Americanizing” new immigrants and published a guide “DAR Manual for Citizenship”. This book of “needs to know” included The Pilgrims and the Thanksgiving story which helped to cement the Thanksgiving celebration of today. To date, more than 10 million manuals have been distributed.

What Happened to Thanksgiving?

It is that time of the year again. It is time for the great gobbler to come and stuff us all. Good food, good family, friends and good times. If you look around the retail stores and what the media is putting out, one would think that they are trying to stuff us with something else, An Early Holiday Season!

What is wrong with Thanksgiving? It seems like every year the holiday decorations come out earlier and earlier. This year some stores had Christmas decorations next to the Halloween candy. In high school, I worked in a retail store and the owner insisted on putting Christmas decorations up right after Halloween and he was Jewish. We fought round and round about it and he always told me it is sales that dictated the season, not the calendar. Well to that I say BA HUMBUG!

Thanksgiving is a holiday that EVERYONE can and should celebrate. After all, we all have something to be thankful for. Even in “interesting” times like we are in now, we all have either family, friends, our health (ok, maybe not all of us on the health thing) and some of you even have a good job. I am a firm believer that if you take care of yourself and those close to you, the rest will fall into place. If we all were thankful for those special things that are close to us, everything should fall into place, right?

Looking back on it, my boss might have been wrong, at least for one day of the year. This year, take the time on Thanksgiving Day to look around you and see what you are thankful for and make it a point to let them know. Then on Friday, go ahead and go shopping and enjoy all of the holiday sales and decorations.
Happy Thanksgiving!

From the Bullpen -  The Ankenbrandt Group, Newport Beach, CA
From the Bullpen -  The Ankenbrandt Group, Newport Beach, CA

December Around the World

December is a time for celebration all around the world. Here are some celebrations of other cultures.


Hanukkah is a Jewish celebration commemorating the military victory of the Maccabees over the Syrians. Hanukkah also commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in 164 BCE.


Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.


Kwanzaa is a 7 day festival celebrating the African American people, their culture and history. Kwanzaa begins on December 26th, and continues until January 1st.


This is the ninth month of the Muslim year, during which the first revelation of the Koran is commemorated. Muslims fast during daylight hours for a month and celebrate with a feast on the last day. This is not always in the month of December.

Guadeloupe Day:

The Virgin of Guadeloupe Day in Mexico where Catholic worshippers make a pilgrimage toTepeyac, a town outside of Mexico City, to honor the Virgin Mary. Celebrated on December 12.

Bodhi Day– also known as Rohatsu:

This Buddhist holiday is celebrated on December 8, or the SundayT immediately before it. On this day in 596 B.C., Buddha achieved enlightenment. Buddha vowed to sit under a fig tree until he found what he was seeking. On the eighth day he realized everyone suffers due to ignorance.

Travel Tips

We caved in. After swearing not to buy a DVD player for the car, we did just that! We needed a way to get to Northern CA with minimal complaints from our two-year-old. His addiction to Dora the Explorer sparked our purchase. So, in researching DVD players and travel with kids, I stumbled upon a few tips for travel:

  • Check your car’s tires, oil, water, and remember to update the emergency kit and bring your cell phone. Who wants to sit on the side of the road waiting for AAA with a two-year-old or a teenager???
  • Take the scenic route – isn’t life about the journey? And there might be one more cool bridge, train or museum to check out.
  • Stop for a break at least every three hours and let the kids stretch their legs. Let them run out some of their pent up energy.
  • Provide entertainment — bring a DVD player, activity books/packs, and their favorite music. We recommend getting headphones for the CD and DVD players so you don’t have to hear the same thing over, and over, and over.
  • Bring their favorite munchies and lots of water.
  •  If you’ve got small kids, remember their favorite toy or blanket! Something from home makes for an easier trip.


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Executive Recruiters -  The Ankenbrandt Group, Newport Beach, CA

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