Senior Travel During Holidays Does Not Need To Be Scary

[ad_1] No one likes  traveling  during the  holidays , but for seniors, there are issues that most people do not think about. Uniting the whole family, children, parents and grand parents are what memories are made of and what makes the holidays so special. While most people fear the traffic and general hassles of traveling during … Continue reading “Senior Travel During Holidays Does Not Need To Be Scary”

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No one likes  traveling  during the  holidays , but for seniors, there are issues that most people do not think about. Uniting the whole family, children, parents and grand parents are what memories are made of and what makes the holidays so special. While most people fear the traffic and general hassles of traveling during such a busy time, seniors have totally different fears. Fighting the crowds, being knowledgeable about the 9/11 travel rules and getting the assistance they need are just some of the issues they face when traveling.

Here are some of the problems seniors face

Long lines. This means waiting, and while many seniors have time and are not usually as rushed as their younger counterparts, standing for long periods, being knocked by other travelers luggage and packages as well as maneuvering their own luggage can be a problem.

Getting through metal detectors and searches. Having artificial limbs, pacemakers and joint replacements can cause problems going through metal detectors. Other items such as canes, walkers and wheel chairs also require special attention.

Putting shoes back on can be a problem for seniors who have a hard time bending over or just getting dressed.

The good news is that with a little planning, seniors can travel without much worry. Here are some tips to help make this possible.

  1. Call the airline in advance and ask them to have an employee escort the senior to the gate. This gets them through the screening process, can eliminate the standing by using a wheel chair if necessary and eliminates the confusion of getting to the right gate.
  2. Have the airline mark the ticket Needs assistance and have a family member escort them instead of the airline employee.
  3. Understand the rules of traveling post 9/11. Examples of this include reminding older travelers of the 3-1-1 rule: Each passenger is allowed to carry on as many liquid containers of 3 ounces or less as will fit in 1 zip-lock bag of the 1-quart size. One exception is that medications in their original containers are allowed as carry-on luggage, no matter what the size. Also let them know to bring valuables on the carry on instead of rolled up in a sock in their suitcase.
  4. Do not lock their suitcase unless they have an approved TSA lock.
  5. Ship large or heavy presents ahead of time.
  6. Hire a companion through an agency to get the senior on the plane safely or even travel with the senior to and from the destination. If you are unsure of where to find such a service, call your local Office On Aging or go to websites such as caregrade.com where you can read reviews on senior care providers prior to selecting one.
  7. Wear shoes that are easy to get on and off.
  8. Ask to be taken to a chair to help get shoes on and off.
  9. Any traveler with a pacemaker should not step through the screening gate because the machine may offset the calibration of the pacemaker. Either get a not from a physician or have a pacemaker identification card. Ask for a secondary pat-down.
  10. If there is a frequency or urgency issue with using the restroom, request an isle seat close to the restroom.
  11. Check current passport regulations as passports will soon be required for both domestic and international travel.
  12. Make sure there is adequate time to recoup from their travel once they reach their destinations. Travel can be exhausting and seniors require a longer time to rebound.

The holidays should be a joyous time for everyone. Visiting with family members means more to seniors who do not see their family on a regular basis. Fears of traveling should certainly not be the reason they are not united. While seniors should not expect a free pass in terms of security, special treatment is certainly something they have earned.

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Solo Female Travel in Latin America – Safety Tips For Women

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A common question seen on many travel forums is “how safe is it to travel to X (one on the Latin American countries) as a solo female traveller?” It is fully understandable why travelling alone to Latin America can seem an intimidating prospect, particularly if you are a woman. However, women who have already been to this region of the world know there is no need to post this type of question. All of the countries in Central and South America are generally safe to visit as a solo female traveller. There are, however, some areas that pose a risk and these should be avoided.

Many of the large cities in Latin America have areas that aren’t particularly desirable and you should stick to the main tourist or modern parts of these cities if you visit them. This includes all of the major cities in Central America (i.e. Belize City, Guatemala City, Managua, Mexico City, Panama City, San Jose, San Salvador and Tegucigalpa). There are also certain parts of South American cities that should be avoided such as Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, and Sao Paulo in Brazil, and Caracas in Venezuela. As with the large cities in Central America, stick to the touristy areas and you’ll be fine. You should also take care when visiting particular areas of certain countries such as in Colombia and Venezuela. For example, it isn’t a good idea to hang around the border regions of Colombia or travel to obscure, off the beaten track destinations. Although Colombia and Venezuela get some bad press they are both relatively safe to visit if you stick to the top tourist destinations mentioned in reputable travel guides. If somewhere is mentioned in a reputable guidebook, it is almost certainly safe to visit.

This leads to an important point in the discussion. It is very easy to get paranoid about visiting certain countries and cities but this is totally unwarranted. Remember, it’s only certain parts of these countries and cities that are best avoided, just as certain parts of cities in Europe or North America are best avoided. In fact, travelling around most of Latin America is far safer, and more pleasant, than travelling around many parts of Europe or North America. Additionally, as Susan Griffith rightly points out in ‘Travelling Solo as a Woman in Asia’ “there is a pernicious mythology surrounding the lone female traveller, whether it be as a hitchhiker around Britain or a traveller in Southeast Asia. Many people instantly exaggerate the perils and dwell on a single woman’s vulnerability. Often this doom-ridden response is just an excuse for their own timidity of spirit.” Don’t get paranoid: the countries of Latin America are no more dangerous than many other countries in this world, and in reality you are more likely to encounter problems in some European countries or North American states.

Referring back to the classic question seen on travel forums (i.e. how safe is it to travel to X as a solo female traveller) it is worth mentioning the responsibilities and abilities of the individual. Safety is inherently linked to knowledge and experience. Whenever planning a trip to Latin America or anywhere else in the world, it is absolutely essential you do your research. Try and find out as much information as you can about the country or countries you wish to visit. Travel guides such as those produced by Lonely Planet and Footprint will help you decide which places you want to visit and those you might want or should avoid. The internet is also an invaluable source of information and there are many websites dedicated to the concerns of solo female travellers. We often hear people described as being ‘streetwise;’ if the definition was applied to travel rather than the urban environment, some travellers could be easily be labelled as ‘travelwise’ (i.e. having the shrewd awareness, experience, and resourcefulness needed for survival in a difficult, often dangerous overseas environment). Travel experience (particularly in the third world) goes a long way in ensuring safety. This is because people with extensive travel experience evaluate risk more effectively and size up situations more successfully. Thus, it’s fair to say that overall safety is partly dependent on the qualifications (age, knowledge and experience) of the person posing the question.

To a large degree safety is simply a case of being sensible and staying alert. For example, flaunting items such as expensive cameras, jewellery, or mobile phones is likely to attract opportunist thieves. Similarly, putting your day pack on the luggage rack of a public bus rather than keeping it on your lap or by your feet is asking for trouble. The key message here is don’t take any unnecessary risks. You might fancy a late paddle on Copacabana beach (Rio de Janeiro) but any guidebook will tell you not to visit this area after dark. You might want to hit the bars and clubs in Quito but leave your valuables in your hotel. You might want to get drunk in the nearest disco but don’t try walking back to your hotel late at night. It’s all a matter of common sense really.

The main issue for solo female travellers is the threat of sexual harassment from local men and even male travellers. While male travellers might be a problem on occasions, you need to be aware of the culture differences between Latin American men and those from your own country. Machismo attitudes are fairly widespread among Latin American men and it is advisable to follow local practice and take your cues (i.e. how do local women deal with prolonged eye contact, etc) from local woman if you don’t want to be the object of curiosity. Appropriate dress and conduct will attract less unwanted attention from the local men. It is a sad fact that many local men view Western women as promiscuous. This impression is largely due to how some women dress. Acting drunk and a bit wild is also bound to create the sort of interest you are trying to avoid. You need to balance your sense of adventure with an awareness of cultural differences. It is also important that you listen to and trust your instincts. If you are in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable as a woman, you need to follow your instincts and leave.

Most countries in Latin America are well established on the ‘gringo trail,’ hence, there will always be opportunities to hook up with other travellers. This will greatly reduce any hassle you might get. This should not deter any woman from travelling alone as this can be a rewarding and empowering experience. There is probably nothing more satisfying to a solo female traveller than knowing she forged her own path.

While it’s true that there are specific concerns for female travellers, the risks that are out there shouldn’t stop you from hitting the road. There are thousands of solo female travellers currently exploring Latin America and you could be one of them.

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How America Travels to Cancun

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It’s strange, really, that despite all the downward economic trends, the hospitality industry is still strong as an ox and lively as ever. What’s especially surprising is the trend that sees vacationers gravitating toward the luxury all inclusive Cancun resorts.

So who’s booking the suites and penthouse lofts and soaking in the decadence that is lavish resort life? Chiefly the younger, twenty to thirty-somethings with a penchant for chic, European style and with faster, streamlined intentions.

USA Today says they’re attracted to glitz-and-glam luxe resorts, like moths to a flame because of the experience-bigger beds, bigger TVs, heightened integration of technologies such as IPods and WIFI, and, more importantly, the one-on-one, all-for-you treatment they receive over the course of their stay.

Another factor is the low percentage of children. What used to be hotspots for babies and toddlers yammering on in a nonsensical blather, have been upgraded to luxury settings that guarantee a more identifiable and older crowd.

As Boston.com reports, vacationing surrounded by children is just “not appealing.”

Some vacationers even go as far as abstaining from resorts that cater to older children. You know, spring break crowd populated by co-eds across the nation.

“Nothing breaks your relaxation quicker than noise,” says Philip Ghorabegian, a “busy” Los Angelan Lawyer.

Enjoying your vacation to Cancun is not a product of effort or practice, but one that comes with the territory. When you step foot on the pillowy white beaches, something inside you clicks and the big meeting the following week, or the relentless client that’s been looming of your shoulder at work, seemingly disappears. The only planning for Cancun is where you are going to stay, when you are going to stay, and for how long.

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Snowboard Holidays To Consider

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When it comes to snowboard holidays it would be unfair to say that there is one single best destination, but due to the fact that there are many options available in just as many diverse destinations, all providing their own unique benefits and advantages in their own right.

Snowboard holidays continue to gain in popularity across a diverse demographic, and what one might have termed as an isolated activity has now become open to all. In so far as destinations and venues are concerned, traditional skiing areas have become aware of this growing community, and in turn aim to secure a portion of this valuable tourism commodity.

The North American offerings when it comes to catering to and hosting snowboarding enthusiasts, and from a most popular perspective is that of Whistler in Canada, the venue that hosted the Winter Olympics in 2010, Island Lake Lodge – also in Canada and Mammoth Mountain in California, United States. Naturally there are many, many more offerings when it comes to snowboard   holidays  within North  America , but these three venues are considered as the cream of the crop within this geographical region.

The European offerings available for the avid snowboarder and their friends provides no less than four options in France alone, one in Italy and one in Austria. Again there are obviously many more to choose from, however these stated here are considered to be the best available in the world when it comes to the snowboard holidays option. The French options include the likes of the Les Arcs, Chamonix, Portes du Soleil, and Val d’Isere. Italy provides the Livigno option, and Austria’s top snowboard holidays destination is said to be the Zillertal Valley. Within the suggested top ten destinations, as provided herein Japan makes an appearance with their Niseko resort option, said to be one of the snowiest resorts in the world, this coupled with the fact that the resort provides amenities such as two funparks, a railpark and a pipe provides for an excellent option when it comes to snowboard holidays in Japan itself.

The centrality and relatively close proximity of the Austrian and French snowboard holidays option has proven that Europe has a lot to offer within this specific tourism based pastime. Within the location of the mentioned destinations for snowboarding within France, and if one is flying into the region then all be accessed via the Geneva Airport, which is in fact the closest to all of the mentioned snowboard holidays options. The Zillertal Valley option is accessible via the Innsbruck airport, which is only 75km away from this Mayrhofen region.

Although the mentioned destinations have been provided on a most popular or sought after basis, this should not deter one from seeking out any available opportunity to discover some more options, wherever in the world it may take you. After all this is part of the enjoyment of discovering something new when travelling, regardless of where in the world your travels take you.

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Holidays in the Americas

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Europeans are truly blessed when it comes to planning their holidays: they live on one of the most spectacular continents in the world and have access to great skiing, beaches and cultural attractions. Yet variety is the spice of life and it is always worth travelling further afield to get an idea of something a bit different. One place to visit in particular is the Americas – a huge area which has a few great places which must be seen.

Canada is one of the most scenic countries in the world, and one of the largest. This means that you can find a huge variety of activities and vistas that will make your holiday truly special. The country has several major cities which are well worth visiting, however, what really stands out are the outdoor adventures you can have: Canadians are an outdoorsy bunch and you can find lots of different fun things to do. In the east coast you can embark on a canoe trip through Algonquin Park, while the west coast is home to great hiking and skiing. Even the largely flat central plains of this great nation are dotted with wonderful scenic rivers and lakes which can be explored. Come here with a good pair of hiking boots and spend some time in the great outdoors.

For a fantastic cultural experience you can head down to Brazil in South America. This country is developing at an incredibly rapid pace and it may prove to be a very significant nation in the coming years – aside this economic growth sits a vibrant and passionate culture. Travel to its stunning capital of Rio de Janeiro and witness its incredible Carnival. The country also offers some great eco-tourism as it is home to the Amazon forest where you can go on great tours.

The two options mentioned above are great for adults looking for adventure and exploration, but the Americas offer something for families as well: great sunny retreats like the Dominican Republic are a perfect alternative to a trip to Greece or Spain. The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean island dotted with many lovely hotels perched on beautiful white sand beaches. The weather here is almost always above 25° Celsius, and many resorts have lots of activities to keep kids occupied – this makes Dominican Republic holidays perfect for a week of some sunny relaxation with the whole family. Of course there are many different islands in the Caribbean and places like Antigua and St. Lucia have a similar appeal.

The  Americas  are a wonderful place to  travel  and it is definitely worth checking out these three countries. That said there is no need to focus on just this part of the world – the point is that there is a whole world out there and there’s no need to confine your travels to Europe. Great trips to Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands await – and with cheap air fares readily available there is no reason not to get out there and explore the world’s fantastic, far-flung destinations.

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Smart Budget Travel Ideas For Summer Holidays

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The summer  holidays  are fast approaching and chances are that you haven’t been able to save up a lot of money for your  travels  this year. It’s a tough time in the economy but that doesn’t mean that you have to stay home all summer and sulk. There are several smart option for enjoy travel on a budget this summer.

Smart budget  travel  options for this year’s summer  holidays  include:

o Work abroad. You can spend the summer doing a little bit of work in exchange for the opportunity to get away from home. Although many of the formal work abroad programs are probably filled up for the summer, you can apply to get regular jobs such as working as a nanny or tending bar. Your work will offset the cost of travel and you’ll get the chance to see how people really live in the country that you’re visiting.

o Volunteer vacations. If you can’t find a job then perhaps you can volunteer your time. There are many organizations through which you can volunteer anywhere from a few days through the entire summer. In exchange, you’ll get room and board and the opportunity to travel while helping others. Organic farms are one example of a place that you can do this type of volunteer traveling.

o House-sitting. If you can find a place to house sit for someone who is traveling elsewhere then all that you need to find money for is the cost of the ticket to get there. Check formal house-sitting programs and classified ads to find this type of opportunity.

o Visit family and friends. If you know people around the world who have a couch that you can crash on then you can enjoy some really affordable traveling this summer. Ask around to see who is going to be available and would like to have your company. You’d be surprised how many friends would be happy to take you with them to visit their families.

o Be a tourist in your own town. If you truly can’t find a way to get away then pretend that you have by doing touristy things in your own area. Visit the museums, parks and landmarks that you never bother to see. Take lots of pictures. Invite people to come visit you.

Be smart about your travel this summer. Don’t spend a lot of money at your destination and try one of the above methods for covering the cost of travel itself. Do that and you should have terrific holidays without digging yourself into debt.

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Cheap Holidays in the Algarve

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a cheap holiday in the Algarve is within the reach of most of us. Strong competition amongst travel and tour operators such as Thomsons, Airtours, First Choice and others have made this destination both affordable and good value.

This well established, though still up and coming, area, is located on the south end of Portugal right on the west tip of Europe, the fabulous scenery includes golden beaches and typical Mediterranean vistas.

Discover the multitude golden sandy beaches such as those of Praia do Zavial and Praia da Ingrina in the heart of Costa Vicentina, with crystal clear water that offers a variety of water sports and wonderful year round weather(with temperatures ranging from 16C – 30C in the summer), good cuisine, fine Portuguese wines that are reasonably priced and historical landmarks.

Golfing is one of the major attractions in Portugal, particularly the Algarve area, competing with the Spanish Costa’s to be Europe’s premier golfing destination. If you enjoy golf but despair at the UK climate then why not experience one of the twenty-five top golf courses including the Palares Golf Resort in Lagos or the oldest course in the Algarve, the Vilamoura golf Resort.

The most popular holiday tourist locations in the Algarve without doubt are: Albuferia, Pria Da Rocha, Lagos and Vilamoura.

Praia Da Rocha – is one of the Algarve’s oldest holiday resorts, with some of the most dramatic rock formations on this part of the coast, that has a tree lined promenade that house lively bars, restaurants and boutiques, makes it a favourite hot spot in the Algarve. Transfer time from Faro Airport is Approximately 2 Hours, places of interest include the Fortress of Santa Catarina de Ribamar and the Ochre cliffs and rocks sculpted into fantastical shapes.

Albuferia – has lovely sandy beaches, a wide variety of bars and restaurants; waterspouts are available at Praia d’ Oura. It has excellent nightlife activities, transfer time from Faro Airport is Approximately 1 hour 20 minutes. A good selection of fantastic beaches extend east and west from the town. Praia de Balaia, Praia de Castelo, Praia de Falésia, Praia de Galé, de Olhos d’Agua, Praia de Maria Luisa, and Praia de São Rafael, being the best ones.

Lagos – Excellent Beaches, pedestrianised cobbled street, lively night life, excellent restaurants and bars, beautiful scenery and historical landmarks to visit, transfer time from Faro Airport is approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes. Though now an important tourist town there are still many architectural signs of its ancient past, the most famous being a building dating originally back to around 1445 which is recorded as being Europe’s first building used as a slave market.

Vilamoura – One of the most popular Algarve holiday resorts, with a sophisticated marina and shopping complex a wide expansive beach and championship golf courses. Lively nightlife, beautiful landscape, wide variety of bars and restaurants serving local produce, there is also plenty of sports and leisure facilities. Approximate transfer time from Faro airport 30 minutes. Note: Vilamoura is the name given to an area rather than to any actual town. It is actually one of the largest single tourist resorts in Europe and covers over 2.000 hectares of land.

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Holiday Travel – Staying Alert

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 Traveling  during the  holidays  is extremely exciting and there is a lot going on all around you. Nonetheless, it is extremely important that you stay alert so you will not be involved in a collision or become a victim of theft. You will see a lot of criminals that target holiday travelers as they know they’re likely to have cash on them and they aren’t usually being attentive to their environment.

Accidents may take place anywhere during  holiday   travel  so you ought to be prepared for the unexpected. On no account speed when you are driving and make sure you’ve your seat belt on. Allow at least one automobile length between you and also the person before you. Ought to they have to brake rapidly you don’t like to rear end them or finish up being hit by the vehicle to back you up.

Pay close attention for animals crossing the road as they could be a hazard. Even though you do not like to hit them, slamming on your brakes or swerving can lead to an accident. In the event you do need to swerve usually go to the right so you will be off the road in place of into oncoming visitors.

There will in all probability be people along the side of the road that have been involved in accidents or their vehicles have deteriorated. If you decide to stop and help them be extremely careful of the traffic that’s coming along. If you determine to keep going you should switch lanes if feasible or at least move over as far as possible. You don’t want to accidentally hit somebody that is walking around on the path.

Although it is human nature to be compassionate and to attempt to help others you ought to be cautious. Scams often occur during  holiday   travel  and you may encounter people asking for money or a ride. Trust your instincts and if you do not really feel comfortable with the circumstances you should leave. You are able to always use your cellular phone to call the local authorities to give them a hand.

Never drive when you are too tired to focus your attention on the road. Too many individuals  traveling  for the  holidays  haven’t gotten sufficient rest in the process. Don’t kid your self into thinking that a soda or several cups of coffee are going to keep you awake. Driving while you’re tired increases your chances of making mistakes and also prolongs your reaction times.

Whether you’re driving yourself or taking another method of transportation, you ought to maintain watch over your items. Do not become prey to having your luggage, purse, or wallet stolen by someone because you left it unattended. Men should keep their wallet in their front pocket and ladies should keep their purses over their head across the shoulder and to the opposite arm.

If you are traveling with a spouse or other adult it is a great idea for every of you to carry some money and a credit card with you. This way if someone does get your materials you will not be completely without access to other varieties of payment you may require. It is also a great concept for each of you to carry a copy of the itinerary with confirmation numbers. This way you’re likely to have 1 copy if the other gets lost. It’s also useful in the event you get separated in a crowded airport.

 Traveling  throughout the  holidays  maybe enjoyable and a great technique to get far from your daily routine. Follow these suggestions to assist keep yourself alert so you can have the extremely greatest time feasible. Most accidents are the result of individuals being tired or being in too much of a hurry so get sufficient rest and take your time to arrive safely. Usually pay close attention to your individual belongings and report any suspicious behaviors you may encounter.

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World Travel – Holiday Gone Bad

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There are a lot of reported cases of tempting holidays gone really, really bad. People, who got to the destination and found out that the hotels were miserable or that there simply were no hotels where they should have been, people who had to pay a lot of extra money for things they already paid for and so on.

So in order to prevent these unfortunate happenings you’d better start looking for a travel agent who will help you to make the best decision that meets your desires when it comes to traveling somewhere. Find an agent who has a lot of experience and can determine scams in time. He should be a person you fully trust as in his hands lies your long wanted holiday.

Before deciding for one, ask about his reputation. If possible, contact some of his former clients and check if they had things going for them as they wanted or who knows, even better. Choose and agent who can meet all your conditions, involving destination, hotel, family accommodation, prices for your budget and any special needs. Think outside the box: bigger aren’t necessarily better. You can get really good service from smaller agencies as well.

Check if the agent is available anytime in case of an emergency. You have to rely on him that he will solve any issues that might occur. Look for someone with whom you’ll be able to establish a long time relationship, someone nice who isn’t interested just to take your money but who is committed to his job and tries as hard as he can to make you happy. He has to be up to date with the best offers and prices.

Having a good agent means that you will be able to save some money, time and you’ll get to your wanted destination having your mind relaxed.

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Christmas Is an American Holiday

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In colonial times Christmas was frowned upon in New England and observed mostly as a private feast in mid-Atlantic and Southern colonies. The strait-laced New England Puritans, partially motivated by anti-Catholic sentiment, banned Christmas in 1659 under the guise that the holiday was pagan and that it encouraged decadence. Colonial Americans celebrated a Christmas that contained both religious and secular elements thus establishing a uniquely balanced American approach to faith. Christmas harkens back to the ancient Roman celebration of the Saturnalia, a day in which all Romans, Emperor and slave, addressed each other on a first name basis.

Christmas was not celebrated by colonial Puritans, Presbyterians, Baptists and Quakers but it was observed by Anglicans, Dutch Reformed, Lutherans and Catholics. Drawing from various old world traditions, Christmas in colonial America included bells, mistletoe, yule logs, wreaths, eggnog, gingerbread, and various Christmas foods. The Dutch settlers of New York contributed Sinter Klass and baked deserts. Christmas was a time for charity and for giving gifts to the poor. George Washington and other southern plantation owners were known to host lavish Christmas parties. Southerners of all economic levels celebrated raucous Christmas parties that included firing muskets into the air, banging pots, drinking, feasting, playing games, and generally taking time off from work. Bands of mummers, or folk-singers, dressed in costume, would roam Colonial towns on Christmas Eve caroling, acting in skits, and making revelry.

Christmas was proclaimed a federal holiday by an executive order that was signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant, June 26, 1870. Since that time, Christmas has been confirmed into law by various acts of Congress and by the States. The legality of Christmas as a federal holiday has never been challenged in any American court. The American tradition has been to observe the religious aspects of Christmas in church or in the home and the secular aspects in various public forms.

There should, therefore, be no controversy around the celebration of Christmas. Indeed wishing someone a Merry Christmas should be viewed as American as wishing someone a happy Fourth of July. The general theme of Christmas as it has come to be defined, “Peace on earth, good-will toward men” is a universal theme at ought to be embraced. But what about the undeniable Christian nature of Christmas? Is it appropriate for our secular government to officially recognize what is essentially a religious holiday? The answer, to a degree, is yes.

It is an undeniable fact of history that America has been and largely remains a Christian nation. Indeed, by not establishing Christianity as a state religion, and by establishing a system of government and a society that respects religious differences and that considers all citizens to be equal under the law, America is, by its nature, a Christian nation. Christianity, unlike Islam and certain other religions, and unlike the secular political faiths of Nazism and Communism, involves a personal relationship between the believer and Jesus.

While historically Christianity has been used from time to time by secular political leaders and movements as a vehicle to obtain and enhance state power, Christianity, per se, rejects this notion. Indeed, Jesus established in his ministry the separation of church and state. Carrying forth the moral and ethical precepts of the Torah, Jesus recognized that rights emanate from the creator and not from the state.

It is indeed our Christian heritage that has made us the most successful and prosperous society ever established in human history. It is, therefore, entirely appropriate and fitting that we, as Americans, celebrate Christmas and by doing so honor and reflect upon our Christian heritage.

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