WELCOME TO NICKER STORIES
Nicker Stories is a FREE monthly online magazine for children of all ages. It comes out around the first of each month. The home page (where you are now) changes. So does Your Pets. You have all month to enjoy the fun, and to share it with family, friends and so on. But, if you miss … it’s too late. The new issue will go up and the old issue will disappear. Story Hour also changes, but at least for now, the stories go into a library, called an archive. You can find stories you’ve missed – or want to read again
The features Your Page and Your Pets are both open to photos, drawings and more. You are invited to contact us any time. We love to hear your comments so we can make Nicker Stories even more fun.
Have you subscribed to Nicker’s Newsletter yet? This comes out in the middle of each month. Like Nicker Stories, it’s free, but you have to subscribe. That’s easy to do. Just click on the image of Nicker with the newsletter in his mouth. Fill out the very simple form … and you’re in!
Nicker News changes almost daily. If you want to visit it every day, bookmark it. Otherwise, just come to Nicker Stories and click the Nicker News box.
You’ve come to know Captain Kazoo and his parrot Repeet. He has recently written up the story of his life. You can read this fascinating story at captainkazoo.com. Be sure to stop by his store. Even if you don’t buy something, you’ll get to see some wonderful and historic kazoos.
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” Yes, click and listen. That’s Andy Williams in one of the yearly favorite songs. You can find more songs and carols on December 20th in the Fun Dates section. This is Carols Day. Finding still more Christmas songs online is EASY.
Even if your family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, this can still be a wonderful time of the year. It’s a time for family and sharing. “Family” doesn’t have to be directly related, “family” can be anyone, anywhere, any time of the year.
There are thousands of Christmas movies and specials both on television and online. Here are just three to get you started.
NOTE TO DAN – CLICKABLE ICONS?
Charlie Brown Christmas Tales
You don’t have enough Christmas music? Here is three HOURS you can put on in the background while you decorate the tree.
And another hour with a nice, warm fire.
Many of you have snow, or will have soon. Send Nicker your photos and drawings of snow creations. Snowmen (or women), snow cats, snow dogs, snow sea dragons ….Of course, any photos or drawings are welcome. Also visit Your Page for drawings YOU can color.
Later in the month, on December 21, we go into another solstice. North of the Equator, the day is shortest and the night is longest. (Up there at the North Pole, is NO day at all!) In many places it’s already cold, and there could be snow on the ground – and on the trees, on your roof, on you …. Meanwhile, at the South Pole there is no night.
This has to do with how the Earth is tilted. We talk about it here every three months, but if you have missed it … our planet isn’t straight up-and-down. It is just a bit sideways. At this time of year, the top part is tilted away from the sun. It gets less light (and Santa at the North Pole gets no day at all). So, it gets colder. The bottom part of our world is now tilted toward the sun. It gets more light, more warmth, and the South Pole doesn’t get night. As those in Edieapolis are getting out their thick coats and snow shovels, our friends in New Zealand are getting ready for the beach.
Anyway, here comes winter … or spring … depending on where you are. Maybe, we hope, here comes Santa’s Comet!
SANTA’S COMET UPDATE
Santa’s Comet (which some still insist on called Comet ISON) made its closest approach to the sun on Thanksgiving. At the moment, it was traveling at about 800,000 miles per hour. It swung around the sun … and disappeared. Most scientists believe that the sun’s heat and gravity blew it apart. There are a few photos, however, that show a bit of a smudge. Remember, the satellites and telescopes taking these pictures are looking right into the sun. It will be a while before more is known. Keep an eye on the sky – and on Nicker News – for updates. Another good link is space.com.
December 1 – Eat a Red Apple Day
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Have you heard that? On this day, you have a reason to eat an apple – especially a red apple. If it’s not completely red, that’s okay. For a bit extra, check out Danny’s Raw Apple Pie in Lunch With Nicker.
December 2 – Mutt Day
A mutt is a mongrel is a dog of mixed breeding is … well, just about every dog. Even the so-called pure-bred dogs were bred on purpose to have certain characteristics, which often meant breeding them with other dogs, which means pure-bred isn’t necessarily pure-bred. No matter what, if you have a dog … or any pet … this is a good day to show a little extra love. Make some photos or drawings and send them to Nicker Stories.
December 4 – Santa’s List Day
The mail service is pretty good, but the North Pole is a long way away. And all those letters to Santa take a while to read. If you haven’t already sent in your list, THIS IS THE DAY! Give him and the elves at least a little time.
December 7 – Cotton Candy Day
Grandpa Gordie (Danny’s Grandpa Gordie not Nicker’s Grandpa Gordie) used to make cotton candy. If you’ve never had the real thing, we hope you get the chance. If you missed the story, you can read ”Nicker Learns About Cotton Candy” in the archive, and about”Nicker’s Ami Tess” with a cotton candy stand in Paris, France. For now, cotton candy began long ago. No one knows how long ago. Sugar was melted then made into threads. A way was found to make those threads very, very small. Some call it “fairy floss” because the threads are so fine and almost seem to disappear. You can watch it being made here and here.
As a sad note, December 7th was also the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. World War 2 was already getting really bad in Europe. The idea was to put the American naval fleet out of action. It shows what just a few bullies can do to ruin the lives of everyone around them.
December 9 – Christmas Card Day
People have been leaving special notes for the holidays for longer than anyone knows. In 1843, John Horsely of London made a set of drawings to be printed for the holiday season. It showed a family celebrating. From there, many, MANY Christmas cards have been made. You can make your own. Send one to Nicker, and he just might send one to you! (But, do it fast or Christmas will be over!)
December 13 – Ice Cream Day
More than 2000 years ago, people would pour grape juice over snow to make a treat. It didn’t take long before ice and snow were kept in deep caves so it could be used in the summer heat. Eventually, milk and cream were used instead of fruit juices. Ice cream was invented! It’s easiest to just buy it at the store, but also is not difficult to make.
Make your own ice cream.
December 16 – Chocolate Covered Anything Day
Do you like chocolate? Almost everyone loves chocolate. This is the day for chocolate lovers. It’s day to put chocolate on anything! A few days ago was ice cream day. Well, do it again and this time put chocolate on your ice cream. How about a chocolate covered donut? Nicker LOVES chocolate covered peanuts. Today, maybe put some chocolate on your cereal. A fairly new treat … chocolate covered bacon.
December 19 – Look for an Evergreen Day
Christmas is almost here. In “the olden days,” a family would go out into the woods and find an evergreen to bring home for Christmas. (One tradition was to wait until Christmas Eve, but getting it that close, bringing it home and decorating it can be hectic.) These days, a lot of people have an artificial tree. Some don’t have a tree at all. (Not everyone celebrates Christmas.) You can still LOOK! You can continue to LOOK through the whole season.
December 20 – Go Caroling Day
Christmas carols are songs, usually religious, for Christmas. The tradition came when a group of people would go from house to house. They’d sing the songs and in return would get hand outs of food and other things. It was a way of sharing. It still is. Here are two sets of Christmas songs. We suggest that you keep them around and maybe listen again in July.
December 21 – Humbug Day, Winter Solstice
The people at wellcat.com were the ones to come up with this holiday. They allow you up to twelve “humbugs!” on this day. Interestingly, go to Story Hour and you can read about a REAL humbug. One of the most famous Christmas stories is “A Christmas Carol,” written by Charles Dickens. The main character is Scrooge, and he hates Christmas … at least he does at the beginning of the story. By the end, he is the world’s biggest fan of Christmas. There are many, many versions. Scrooge is an oldie you might enjoy. This day also begins Winter – at least in the northern hemisphere. It’s Spring south of the Equator. We talked about this toward the top of this issue.
December 23 – Roots Day
You have parents. They have parents. They have parents. They have parents. On and on it goes. It’s called genealogy. Roots Day is to have people look into their roots – to find out where they came from. You can’t do this in a single day. Some spend a lifetime and still don’t learn it all. Use today to ask your parents about their parents. Finding your roots can be a marvelous adventure!
December 25 – Christmas
According to the story, this is when Jesus was born. It’s one of the most important days of the year for Christians. It has changed over the years and now includes other stories, such as Santa, Rudolph and Frosty. You don’t have to be Christian to enjoy Christmas.
December 27 – Make Cut-out Snowflakes Day
It is said that no two snowflakes are ever alike. Some scientists have spent years with special cameras to study snowflakes. Well, you can make your own. (If you are reading ahead, you can celebrate this day early and make snowflakes for Christmas!) All you really need is some paper and scissors.
December 30 – Bacon Day
December 16 was “Chocolate Covered Anything Day,” and the picture was of chocolate covered bacon. On this day, you can do that again. Or you can wrap a steak in bacon. Or … well, just have bacon.
December 31 – New Year’s Eve
A long time ago, “new year” was when winter ended and things began to grow again. People began to fiddle with the calendar. That’s how December stopped being the tenth month and began begin the twelfth month. Other cultures have other new years. For much of the world, December 31st is when the calendar page flips and the new year begins.