By Desiree Coffey

New Year’s Eve (parties aside) typically is most popular because it brings hope for a more prosperous year.  Often resulting in those often unachieved resolutions.  Here are some fun facts and trivia about the holiday.

  • The first New Year was celebrated 4,000 years ago by the ancient Babylonians.
  • National Insurance Crime Bureau revealed that more vehicles are stolen on New Year’s Day than any other holiday.
  • The top three places to celebrate New Year’s Eve (in the U.S.) are Las Vegas, Disney World and of course, New York City.
  • Time Square New Year’s Eve Ball was first dropped in 1907 after there was a fireworks ban. Back then, a 700-pound ball embellished with 25-watt bulbs made of iron and wood was dropped. Now, however, it weighs 11,875 pounds, is 12 feet in diameter and is adorned with 2,668 Waterford crystals.
  • The tradition has continued in Times Square, except for in 1942 and 1943. The ball was not lowered because of wartime restrictions.
  • In Italy, people wear red underwear on New Year’s Day to bring good luck all year long.
  • In Colombia, Cuba and Puerto Rico, some families stuff a large doll, which is called Mr. Old Year, with memories from the past year. They also dress him in clothes from the outgoing year. At midnight, he is set ablaze, thus burning away the bad memories.
  • It’s good luck to eat foods like black eyed peas, ham and cabbage because it is thought they bring prosperity. But if you want to have a happy new year, don’t eat lobster or chicken. Lobsters can move backward and chickens can scratch in reverse, so it is thought these foods could bring a reversal of fortune.
  • Chinese New Year is celebrated the second full moon after the winter solstice.
  • Jewish New Year is called Rosh Hashanah. Apples and honey are traditionally eaten.
  • In ancient Rome the New Year began on March 1.
  • The top 10 resolutions are usually to lose weight, eat more healthily, exercise more, stop smoking, stick to a budget, save money, get more organized, be more patient, find a better job and to just be a better person over all.
  • Using a baby to signify the New Year began in ancient Greece around 600 B.C.



By Desiree Coffey

What is the only planter not named after a Roman god or goddess?

  1. Venus
  2. Earth
  3. Uranus
  4. Neptune







Answer:  Earth is the only planet not named after a Roman god or goddess.  Saturn was named after the Roman god of agriculture, and Venus was the Roman goddess of love and beauty.  Neptune was the Roman god of the Sea.

(Question provided “Trivia Today”)



By Desiree Coffey

It’s better to give then receive … but it’s equally nice to receive a “thank you” for giving.  It’s so important to show gratitude when a gift is given.  Here are some tips for proper gift receiving etiquette.  First of all, when you receive a gift it’s important to look in the person’s eyes, smile, and say ‘thank you’. It’s such a little thing, but that is really the only appropriate answer to give (even if you dislike the gift).  Whether the gift was received in person or it was sent by mail, a hand written thank you note should be written.  In the thank you note, you should mention the gift by name, and also write something about it that you liked.  Finally, the handwritten thank you note should be sent the old fashion way, by mail.  The thank you note will mean a lot to the person who sent you the gift.



By Desiree Coffey

Most people usually associate December with Christmas – blinking lights, Christmas trees, and brightly wrapped packages.  But did you know that there are many other religious holidays in December.  The two major religious holidays celebrated by Christians and Jewish followers in America are Christmas and Hanukkah.  However, our great nation is known for its cultural diversity and with that diverse holiday celebrations.

Here is a look at some of the holiday people celebrate in December:

December 6:  Saint Nicholas Day – Christian – This holiday honors the birth of Saint Nicholas, the saint who serves as a role model for gift-giving and is commonly known as Santa Claus.

December 7-14: Hanukkah – Judaism – This is the 8-day Jewish festival of lights, which celebrates the Maccabean revolt in Egypt.  Eight candles are lit with a menorah to honor the holiday.

December 8:  Immaculate Conception – Catholic – In the lead up to Jesus’ birthday celebration on Christmas, Catholics celebrate the day of Immaculate Conception to honor his mother Mary.

December 8:  Rohatsu (Bodhi Day) – Buddhist – This holiday celebrates the historical Buddha’s decision and vow to sit under Bodhi tree until he reached spiritual enlightenment.  It’s celebrated through meditation and is embraced similar to how Christians celebrate Christmas to honor Jesus Christ.

December 12:  Advent Fast begins – Orthodox Christian – Fasting begins midway through the month for two weeks until Christmas.

December 12:  Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe – Catholic – This is a primarily Catholic holiday celebrated by Mexicans and American Mexican descendants that honors the reported appearance of the Virgin Mary in Mexico City.

December 16:  Posadas Navidenas – Christian – This is a primarily Hispanic Christian holiday that commends Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem to give birth to Jesus.

December 21:  Solstice – Wicca/Pagan – Solstice is the point in the year “when the earth is most inclined away from the sun.  It is the most southern or northern point depending on the hemisphere.”  Pagans and Wicca believers will celebrate that event through Yule, in which believers also honor “the winter-born king, symbolized by the rebirth of the sun.”

December 23:  Mawlid ed-Nabi:  Islam – This is an Islamic holiday that honors the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, who founded Islam.

December 25:  Christmas – Christian – Christmas is a primarily Christian holiday that celebrates te birth of Jesus Christ.

December 26:  Zarathosht Diso (Death of Prophet of Zarathustra) – Zoroastrian – Unlike many of the other holidays in the month, Zoroastrians honor the death of their prophet, Zarathustra, who founded Zoroastrianism, one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions.

December 27:  Feast of the Holy Family – Catholic – Catholics use this day to honor Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

December 28:  Holy Innocents Day – Christian – Christians solemnly honor the death of children killed by King Herod, who was attempting to kill Jesus.

December 31:  Watch Night – Christian – For Watch Night, Christians will thank God for the safety they received during the year.

Do you celebrate a December holiday not on my list? Please drop me a comment and share it with us!

Hour of Code Reaches Every Wrangler

We live in a world surrounded by technology. And we know that whatever field our students choose to go into as adults, their ability to succeed will increasingly hinge on understanding how technology works. But only a tiny fraction of us are learning computer science, and less students are studying it than a decade ago.

That’s why our entire school is joining in on the largest learning event in history: The Hour of Code, during Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 7-13). More than 100 million students worldwide have already tried an Hour of Code.

Our Hour of Code is a statement that Wood Middle School is ready to teach these foundational 21st century skills. To continue bringing programming activities to the students, we want to make our Hour of Code event huge and offer to all students at least one class period this week.

Coding in Action

Coding in Action