January ~ New Beginnings

Welcome 2015! You’re probably thinking I’m a bit late because we are already on the 7th day of the New Year and new month. I want to thank you all for bearing with me while I took an unplanned blogging break during the month of December.

The winter moons are usually the most brilliant since they climb higher in the sky than in summer months.

The winter moons are usually the most brilliant since they climb higher in the sky than in summer months. Since I’m always looking for that perfect “moon shot” you can often find me outside with my camera on a winter night.

For me a new year brings new excitement and possibilities. This year I’m planning my blog posts in advance so as not to be caught off guard. One of the things I thought would be fun is to write a post about each month giving some fun facts and a bit about each month’s origin.

So, without further ado, I give you January.

January brings the snow, makes our feet and fingers glow. ~ Sara Coleridge

January is the first month of the year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. January gets its name from the Roman god Janus—the god of beginnings and transitions. The original Roman calendar had only ten months. According to Roman legend, January and February were added around 713 BC.

A few things about January:

  • The January flower is the carnation and the snowdrop
  • The birthstone is the garnet, which represents constancy
  • January is National Blood Donor Month, Braille Literacy Month, National Hobby Month, National Staying Healthy Month, and National Soup Month (There’s a month, day, and week for almost everything.)
  • Georgia and Connecticut (two of the thirteen original states) ratified the US constitution in January 1788. Other states to join the union in the month of January are Michigan in 1837, Kansas in 1861, Utah in 1896, New Mexico in 1912, and Alaska in 1959.
  • Famous birthdays in January include Elvis Presley (January 8) and Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15). In the US, we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. day the third Monday of each month.
  • The Saxons often referred to January as the wolf month because hungry wolves would come into their towns searching for food.
Sunset

January days are short, but since the winter solstice in December, the days are already growing longer. This is the sunset as seen from our back deck.

Since I’m not fond of cold weather, one might not think I like January or the winter months, but I’m actually fond of sitting inside by a fire when it’s cold outside. I like the coziness. It also makes me realize that God has blessed me with a warm house, food on the table, and a nice soft bed.

For my family, January was once a time for family reunions. My grandmother’s birthday occurred on January 28 and my aunt always had a huge birthday dinner for her with extended family in attendance. (I miss those days.)

What about you? Do you have any special memories of January? What are some of your favorite winter activities?

  • Roberta

    Hi Joan, I appreciate the information you shared about the month of January. I was born in a desert community. It would get very very hot there in the summer. As a young girl I would look up towards what I considered the majestic mountain of Mt. San Jacinto. I wanted to be there so badly as I hung clothes out on the close-line. I enjoy the season of winter. It represents challenges..in the physical and spiritual as well. I love the quiet beauty and as a photographer too, I try to take it all in. Of course I love fireplaces, hot cocoa, warm scarves and mittens…

    • Hi Roberta – thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. Our summers tend to be long and hot, so cooler weather is welcomed. Last year we had a long winter (November through late March/early April.) That’s unusual for us, so I welcomed the spring. Our summer was pleasant, not even reaching into the triple digits. I do love all the seasons, each has their own beauty. I’m an amateur photographer, but I do love taking photos of landscapes and seeing the variety within each season.

  • kathunsworth

    Joan I love the idea of the wolf month, there is a story in there somewhere. January is a time for family catch ups and beach and BBQ time. I need to tie myself down to my writing chair and do some study. But the days are long and full of possibilities. Look forward to reading some more of your short stories this year.

    • So true, Kath. I can imagine all kinds of things about a “wolf month.” As we struggle through the cold, I think about you enjoying the warm days of summer. A few months from now, it will be reversed. Always amazes me about the different seasons within the southern and northern hemispheres.