first_imgChristmas TraditionsGift givingExchanging gifts is probably the most popular Christmas tradition. This represents the ‘spirit of giving’ for which Christmas is known. As well as giving to friends and family, it is important to think of people less fortunate than ourselves at this time of year. Many people choose to donate to charities that support work with families who will not receive gifts at Christmas.Sharing A MealAnother common Christmas tradition is sharing a meal with family or friends. A traditional Christmas meal might consist of a cooked turkey or ham, roasted vegetables and Christmas pudding. This meal originated in countries where December is in winter. In Australia, because December is in summer, many people choose to eat meals that include BBQs (which can be cooked outside), seafood, salads and other things that are great to eat in summer.There are also other treats to enjoy at Christmas, such as mince pies, candy canes and marshmallow-filled chocolate Santas.Putting Up DecorationsMany people decorate their house at Christmas time. The most popular decoration would definitely be a Christmas tree with tinsel, ornaments and maybe even lights. Some people even decorate their whole front yard with lights and encourage people to walk past at night to enjoy them. You will also see lots of decorations in shops and sometimes on the streets in busy areas.Another interesting Christmas decoration is mistletoe. Have you heard of it? The original mistletoe custom says that if you find yourself and someone else standing under the mistletoe you have to give them a kiss. Traditionally, if a man wanted to kiss a woman beneath the mistletoe he would have to pluck a berry from the sprig. However, if there were no more berries left, there would be no more kisses!Christmas In Other CountriesChristmas is traditionally a Christian holiday, but in modern times it has been embraced by people of all faiths and cultures around the world. Although there are many differences between the ways in which cultures celebrate Christmas, there are also many similarities too.Discover how Christmas is celebrated in some other parts of the world, below.IndiaThe Christian community in India has many Christmas traditions that would be familiar to us, such as attending church services, singing carols and exchanging gifts.However, they do not decorate a traditional Christmas tree: instead they decorate banana or mango trees. They also make sure that they have a large stock of home-made sweets for visiting family and friends and often place clay lamps on the roof of their house to celebrate the birth of Jesus.GreeceIn Greece, Christmas Eve marks the end of 40 days of fasting. It is celebrated with the baking of ‘Christopsomo’ or ‘Christ bread’. Families decorate the crust of the large, sweet loaves with symbols of their professions.Christmas trees are not traditional in Greece. Instead, most houses have a bowl with a piece of wire across it. They tie a piece of basil to the wire and fill the bowl with water to keep the basil alive. Sprinkling the water from the bowl around the house is thought to keep bad spirits away.EgyptDid you know that in Egypt (and some other countries) Christmas is celebrated on January 7, not December 25?Egyptian Christians will fast for the 40 days before Christmas (eating no meat, poultry or dairy). They break their fast after midnight mass on Christmas Eve with a meal known as ‘Fata’ (bread, rice, garlic and boiled meat).DenmarkIn Denmark, and many other European countries, presents are exchanged on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day. The presents are opened after a big meal has been shared and everyone has danced around the Christmas tree. In Denmark, children know Father Christmas as ‘Julemanden’ which means ‘Christmas man’.EthiopiaEthiopians call the Christmas celebrations ‘Ganna’ and celebrate Christmas Day on January 7. Traditionally, Ethiopians fast completely on Christmas Eve (January 6) and then get dressed in a special white garment called a ‘shamma’ at dawn and go to a church service to celebrate.Christmas food in Ethiopia includes a traditional dish called ‘wat’, which is a thick and spicy stew containing meat, vegetables and sometimes eggs.VenezuelaTraditional nativity scenes, depicting the birth of Jesus, are set up in many countries. In Venezuela, a ‘pesebre’ is built out of a frame and canvas before being painted. Like a nativity scene, it depicts the birth of Jesus, including the entire landscape, hills, mountains and valleys, with Bethlehem and the manger at its centre.LebanonIn Lebanon, about two weeks before Christmas, children plant seeds in cotton wool. They water them every day leading up to Christmas and when the seeds have sprouted and grown green stems, they add them to a nativity scene, surrounding the manger with grass.AustraliaIn Australia we enjoy a hot summer Christmas rather than the cold European and North American white Christmas. Instead of sitting inside by the fire, Australians enjoy the sun by having pool parties and barbeques, or by going to the beach, where we build sandcastles instead of snowmen. Seafood is also very popular, instead of a hot roast turkey.Christmas FactsDid you know that the song ‘Jingle Bells’ was written in the American town of Massachusetts by James Lord Pierpont? It was originally sung to celebrate Thanksgiving, not Christmas!Officially, there is still a law in Britain which makes it illegal not to attend church on Christmas Day. It also states that you cannot use a vehicle to travel to the church. Of course, even though this law still exists on paper, it is no longer enforced.Until 1939, Rudolph (the red-nosed reindeer) was known as Rollo.Did you know that in the United Kingdom, there is an old wives’ tale that says that bread baked on Christmas Eve will never go moldy.The inventor of strings of electric Christmas lights got the idea from the string lights used in telephone switchboards in the late 1800s.In England, Christmas celebrations were banned from 1644 until 1660 by an Act of Parliament. Some politicians thought that Christmas was a wasteful festival and the celebrations were against Christian beliefs.In the Middle Ages, housewives spread rosemary on the floor at Christmas time, so that the leaves would release a fragrant scent when stepped on and crushed.The first-ever nativity scene was set up in a cave by Saint Francis of Assisi in Italy around 1224. He had to gain permission directly from the Pope before he could proceed.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

How safe are you from overdraft lawsuits?

first_imgJust because you use a model form when asking members if they want to opt-in to overdraft protections, don’t assume that your credit union is safe from being sued over the adequacy of these disclosures. That is my takeaway from the latest case I have seen. It joins a growing body of litigation in which members are being allowed to sue credit unions for providing inadequate account balance disclosures which lead to unnecessary overdraft fees.First some background, with apologies to those of you who already know most of this. There are two basic methods for calculating account balances: the actual or ledger balance method refers to all money currently in a member’s account. In contrast, the available balance method refers only to those funds actually available for use by the member. A second key point to keep in mind is that 12 CFR 1005.17 stipulates that opt-in disclosures for overdraft protections shall be “substantially similar” to model form A9. My guess is, this is the form your credit union uses. The Electronic Funds Transfer Act shields credit unions from liability for any failure to make disclosures improper form provided that the model form is used. continue reading » 7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

CONCACAF getting back on track – President

first_imgPresident of CONCACAF, Victor Montagliani is breathing a little easier these days after successfully utting his organisation back on a path to success following corruption scandals that rocked it to its core.“Putting the financial house in order of CONCACAF over a short period of time has been the highlight, not only generating increased revenue, but also putting in some good practices from a governance and fiscal management perspective. Culturally, that is something that is very important to the future of the organisation,” said Montagliani.The United States Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI) arrested 40 FIFA and former FIFA officials, 0including some of CONCACAF’s very top officials. A number of those officials, including former president Jeffrey Webb, have since pleaded guilty, and have been given life bans from the sport.According to Montagliani, there was also the issue of bringing unity to CONCACAF after, not just the scar of corruption, but also after a hard-fought election for the organisation’s presidency in its wake.Today, Montagliani believes that the various Association presidents are happier, having seen the efforts to create unity within CONCACAF.“The other highlight is that we have been able to put the house in order, and we have met about three occasions with the (association) presidents and you can see by coming together the people are seeing that anything is possible when we are united,” said Montagliani in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.Now the organisation is looking forward to putting up a bid or multiple bids for the 2026 World Cup. Before that, there is the 2017 Gold Cup, which is expected to provide a financial boost for the organisation.last_img read more

USC alumnus Bill Sharman dies at 87

first_imgBill Sharman, a USC alumnus and former coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, passed away Friday in his home in Redondo Beach, Calif. He was 87 years old.Sharman was well known for his basketball success and was nicknamed “Bullseye Bill” for his efficacy at the free-throw line. He is also ranked in the top 25 in all-time high scorers at USC.Sharman was a Troy letter-winner for four years, from 1947 to 1950. Sharman was selected as an All-American in 1950. In 1950, he was USC’s forward and scored 1108 points in 81 games for an average of 13.7 points per game, which was a record for USC at the time. As a senior, he averaged 18.6 points per game.In 1949, he was chosen as USC’s Most Inspirational Player and in 1950, he was chosen as USC’s Most Valuable Player. Sharman played for the USC baseball team from 1949-1950 before signing a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers.After briefly working for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Sharman became an NBA star with the Celtics, and later a coach for the Lakers and in 1972 led the Lakers to their first National Basketball Association title. He was also distinguished as Coach of the Year.Sharman is also known for inventing the “shootaround” as a way for players to calm their nerves on game days. He found that he felt less nervous if he shot a few baskets and dribbled the ball around before the game, and he brought this strategy with him to the teams that he coached.Sharman also became the first coach to win championships in three different professional leagues, with the American Basketball League in Cleveland, American Basketball Association in Utah and the NBA in Los Angeles.He later joined John Wooden and Lenny Wilkens as the only members in the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach.In 2002, Sharman was put into the Pac-12 Hall of Honor and was part of USC’s inaugural Athletics Hall of Fame in 1994. His No. 11 USC jersey was retired in 2007 and is displayed in the Galen Center.Sharman is survived by his wife Joyce, his two sons Jerry and Tom and his two daughters Nancy and Janice.last_img read more