“The Christmas Carol” is celebrating its 175-year anniversary.
Charles Dickens’ classic story about a scrooge who changes his ways overnight after a visit from three ghosts, was published Dec. 19, 1843.
According to History.com, Dickens was born in 1812 and attended school in Portsmouth. His father, a clerk in the navy pay office, was thrown into debtors’ prison in 1824, and 12-year-old Charles was sent to work in a factory. The miserable treatment of children and the institution of the debtors’ jail became topics of several of Dickens’ novels.
Dickens became a reporter and started publishing short stories when he was 21. He married Catherine Hogarth, in 1836, and would go on to have nine children with her.
“A Christmas Carol” came out well before The New York Times began publishing in 1851. The novel — with beautiful illustrations by John Leech — was a best-seller in both England and the United States. But because there were no international copyright laws, Dickens didn’t make a cent from American editions.
In December 1855, the paper quoted “A Christmas Carol” in a front-page Christmas Day piece about holiday traditions around the world: “Let us raise our voice with Dickens … ‘Give three cheers for the Christmas old. …’”
An article in the online edition of the New York Times, states that Dickens arrived in New York City in December 1867. He held a sold out public reading on Dec. 9, 1867, where he read “A Christmas Carol” to a crowd at Steinway Hall.
“Mr. Dickens makes free use of gesticulation. … He stirs the gravy, when telling how Mrs. Cratchit made it; mashes the potatoes with something of Master Peter’s ‘incredible vigor,’ dusts the hot plates as Martha did, and makes a face of infinite wonderment and exultation when shouting, in the piping tones of the two youngest Cratchits, ‘There’s such a goose, Martha!’”
Dickens died on June 9, 1870.
One of my favorite things to do at Christmastime is to load everyone up in the car and drive around the city, looking at Christmas lights. Not only does it give us time to enjoy the pretty sights, it also brings the whole family together to create memories that will last a lifetime.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay
Here is a list of a few of the light displays in the Cedar Rapids area.
5801 Michael Drive NE; take Blairs Ferry Road NE west (toward Palo) to Milburn Road, take a right and go to Michael Drive and take a left.
Jacolyn Drive NW, just off E Avenue NW
Lewellen Drive, just off of Midway Drive NW
Skyline Drive NW, end of cul-de-sac
Gordon Drive NW, just off West Post Road NW
East Post Road, just off of Highway 100, toward Cedar Rapids
Cedar Memorial Holiday Display and Nativity
6416 Hoover Trail Road SW; take C Street SW to Ely Road, turn right on Monroe Street and left on Hoover Trail Road
7015 Parkdale Lane NE; Boyson Road to Council Street, turn left and go to Brookdale, turn left and left again on Parkdale Lane.
1251 Staub Ct NE; take 29th Street NE to Prairie Drive, take a right. Take a left on Staub Court.
1606 20th Street NW; take O Avenue NW to 20th Street, take a right.
Highway 13, south, toward Highway 30 from Mt. Vernon Road SE
Central Avenue in Marion, take a left going north from 8th Avenue on 10th Street
10th Avenue in Marion, east from 10th Street
Bowman Woods area, NE Cedar Rapids east on Boyson Road from C Avenue NE
Stoney Point Road, off of F Avenue NW
Photo by Pixabay
By Cynthia Petersen
You’ve heard of the healing power of the aloe vera plant, haven’t you? My mother kept a live plant on the counter in the kitchen. If she was burned while cooking, she would just snip off a tip of the leaf and rub it on the burn. Not only did it take away the sting, but it healed faster, too.
Most people know this little trick, especially if they like to cook, like me, and get burned a lot. However, there are countless other plants that provide health benefits, as well, such as lavender, oregano, rosemary, and peppermint.
Essential oils have been used for thousands of years to heal and ease pain, but it wasn’t until 1910 that the secrets of the oils have been truly revealed.
According to oilsandplants.com, French chemist Rene Gattefosse was working in the laboratories of the cosmetics firm his family owned. He burned his hand during an experiment and plunged it into the nearest tub of liquid, which just happened to be lavender oil.
Gattefosse’s hand healed so quickly and with little scarring, that he became fascinated with essential oils. This inspired him to experiment with them during the First World War on soldiers in the military hospitals. He used lavender, thyme, lemon and clove oils for their antiseptic properties. The chemist saw an increase in the rate of healing in wounds treated with essential oils and that the oils seemed to be free from the disadvantages present with other antiseptics that were currently being used.
And even though Gattefosse’s work showed significant improvements in the healing of wounds and easing of pain with the oils, it wasn’t until the 1990s that more people became intrigued with the oils, a more natural alternative to traditional medicine.
Though aromatherapy has been around for quite some time, its popularity has increased in the last two decades. Essential oils can be used in a number of ways, including through a diffuser. There are many types of diffusers, but most are about 6 or 7 inches tall and sit on a table. The oils are added to water and the diffuser acts as a vaporizer to distribute a mist filled with the essential oils. Not only do the oils have health benefits, it smells good, too.
Some of the oils used in aromatherapy include chamomile, geranium, lavender, tea tree, lemon, orange, cedarwood, and bergamot. Each type of essential oil has a different chemical composition that affects how it smells, how it is absorbed, and how it is used by the body. They are often combined to create exactly what the body requires for each ailment, including joint pain, sleeplessness, digestive problems, headaches, and skin problems.
Each essential oil used in aromatherapy is said to have different properties. For example, some calm while others energize. The following lists some of the therapeutic uses of several oils for a few of today's most common complaints. There are some real "multitaskers," like lavender, ylang ylang and bergamot oils that treat more than one problem.
Aromatherapy can also have an impact on pain. Certain scents activate smell receptors in the nose, which triggers a reaction in the nervous system. This, in turn, stimulates the part of your brain that controls emotion, triggering the release of feel-good hormones, such as dopamine.
Here are a few ways essential oils can benefit your health, according to mevei.com:
Stress– Lavender, Bergamot, Peppermint, Veitievr, Ylang Ylang
Insomnia– Lavender, Chamomile, Neroli, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang
Anxiety– Lavender, Bergamot, Sandalwood,
Depression– Lavender, Peppermint
Decongesting – Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Pine, Tea tree
SO how do you know if an essential oil is real? It’s no secret that some companies try to sell a product that is not true essential oils. Globalessence.com suggest you look at the bottle; unscrew the cap and see if it has an orifice reducer, a plug that controls the amount of drops that comes out at once. It should also come in a dark or amber bottle and kept in a cool place.
Essentials are not really considered oils at all; it’s just a label that came from essential “oils” not missing well with water. A test you can do to see if a product is real, is to put a drop on a piece of white paper. If it leaves an oil ring, you know oil has been added to the mix and you are better off not purchasing that particular product.
Another thing you want to look at is the price. Essential oils can be costly because it is quite a process squeezing out the essences of a plant. But once again, if you can use essential oils to help you feel better and increase your quality of life, I would personally choose to use essential oils over a trip to the doctor any day.
The old saying remains true today; an ounce of prevention is still better than a pound of cure.