Category Archives: News

Birth announcement keepsake gift, Jewish baby gift, baby naming gift, baby keepsake

On being born Jewish: thoughtful gifts for new babies via Mazel Moments


Birth announcement keepsake gift, Jewish baby gift, baby naming gift, baby keepsake

Baby boy birth announcement turned into a keepsake by Carol Colman Collages

Mazel Moments is a fabulous resources for planning all kinds of Jewish events, with ideas for everything from decorations to giving great gifts. Of course many of their ideas can be adopted for people of any faith. Some celebrations, however, are specific to people who are Jewish. Carol Colman Collages is thrilled to be featured in one of their latest blog posts: Thoughtful gifts for a baby naming or a brit milah.

You may or may not know that a “brit milah” (commonly known as a “bris”) is the ritual circumcision on a Jewish boy on the 8th day of his life.  Of course, this is accompanied in most cases by a celebration and, often, gifts.

For Jewish girls, it has become a custom to have a baby naming ceremony, which can be held at any reasonable time after the girl is born. We had ours when our daughter was about six months old, at a time when my parents could attend from out-of-town. The same rabbi who married us presided at the naming ceremony, which we held in our home. I remember the rabbi asking us to speak about the English and Hebrew names we had chosen for our daughter, along with any relatives she was named for and the qualities of those people we hoped our daughter would exhibit. The rabbi told me to write all my remarks down because otherwise I would be so overcome by emotion that I would not remember them. It was good advice (which also would come in handy years later when my daughter became a Bat Mitzvah, but that’s another story).

You will see ideas in the post for celebrating new Jewish babies, but most of these ideas can be adapted no matter what religion you follow. (Perhaps not the bris pillow sham, but you never know…).

So when that baby photo or announcement arrives, think about turning it into a thoughtful, memorable keepsake that will be long remembered and treasured after those cute Red Sox onesies have been outgrown.

Rainy Friday, June 13, 2014 with a full moon – a good day to get married?

Seneca's quote about luck: it is what happens when preparation meets opportunity

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

It’s Friday the 13th. It’s raining.  It’s Friday the 13th in June, so people may have planned outdoor events to celebrate happy occasions – including weddings.

So would it be lucky or unlucky to have a rainy Friday the 13th wedding?

Let’s begin with the common idea that Friday the 13th is unlucky. Gizmodo tells us that the origins of the Friday part are murky but may be based in Christian and Viking traditions. Similarly, the problem with the number “13” is attributed to a variety of religious sources. But here’s a fun fact I just learned from Gizmodo, and it puts the “13” issue in a whole new light.

There are those that theorize the number 13 may have been purposely denigrated by the founders of the patriarchal religions to eradicate the influence of the Mother Goddess. In goddess worshipping cultures, the number 13 was often revered, as it represented the number of lunar and menstrual cycles that occur annually. It is believed by those who adhere to this theory that as the 12-month solar calendar came into use over the 13-month lunar calendar, the number 13 itself became suspect.”

Today’s Friday the 13th comes with a cherry on the top: a full moon. Some people think it will be the mother of all unlucky days. However, scientific studies of such phenomena appear to conclude that this is, in a word, “balderdash.” (That’s the technical term.) The good news, however, is that if this combination turns out to reverse the earth’s poles or wreck some other havoc on the universe, this coincidence won’t happen again until 2049. Let’s hope we’re around to experience it.

Now, let’s take on the rain.

According to The Valley Advocate, “In the Hindu tradition rain on the wedding day is considered lucky, as it is believed to foretell a strong marriage. The logic behind this belief is that a wet knot is more difficult to untie. (Getting married is often referred to as “tying the knot.”) … Rain is also believed to be a symbol of fortune and abundance, which falls generously on the bride and groom. It brings good wishes and washes away all the couple’s troubles and woes. It also means you will be blessed with fertility and have many children because rain is what replenishes reservoirs and sustains crops”. The preponderance of superstitions suggest that a wet wedding is a good omen.

Don’t fret, however, if the sun shines.  “A few cultures do not believe that rain on your wedding day is lucky, but quite the opposite. There is an old saying that goes, “Happy is the bride whom the sun shines on.” This goes with hand-in-hand with a popular belief that rain on your wedding day brings unhappiness, bad luck, and tears throughout your married life.”

What does this all mean for rainy Friday, June 13th, 2014 weddings? It means you should have a back-up plan for inclement weather. Seneca would agree – it would be good luck to be prepared for the opportunity that it might be raining. Otherwise, you will have to wait and see. In the wise words of Alice Hoffman:

Alice Hoffman quote on luck: “Here's the thing about don't know if it's good or bad until you have some perspective.”

“Here’s the thing about luck…you don’t know if it’s good or bad until you have some perspective.”

“Here’s the thing about luck…you don’t know if it’s good or bad until you have some perspective.”

Best wishes to all who are tying the knot today – may you have a strong, abundant, awesome marriage! And may you preserve the memories of your day with a keepsake collage by Carol Colman Collages!


The Gurvitz family, Mother's Day 1998

Love to all mothers, not just on Mother’s Day – and moms, get in the picture!

Mother’s Day may have been yesterday, but that doesn’t mean that the time has passed to show how you appreciate all the mothers in your life. There are the mothers who gave birth to us and those who raised us. There are aunts and grandmothers who have helped to guide you. There are friends who have been like family to us. There are single dads (and single moms) doing the work of mothers and fathers. There are mothers who have no children of their own but dedicate themselves to playing a role in the lives of other people’s children or of nurturing in other ways. Mothers come in all shapes and sizes, after all.

At our Mother’s Day dinner last night, we talked about the fact that it was the 100th anniversary of Mother’s Day. What does that mean for most people? Well, it often means making a phone call – it is the day when the most phone calls are made in the United States (and that may only count landlines). It may mean buying flowers or sharing a meal or other outing. But most of all I believe it is a day to be grateful for the women (and men) who have had an impact on you becoming the person you are today.

My mother died in early 1999, just before my parents would have celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary. We had my father with us until 2010. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about both of them. I wear my mother’s ring as a constant reminder of her presence, and every day I remember another joke that my father told to make people laugh and feel comfortable. My parents left legacies of strength, wisdom, humor, lasting love, and enlightenment at the end of their lives. For better or for worse, I embody their best and worst tendencies. I am grateful for the good ones and work on minimizing the impact of the ones I am not so grateful for (such as my mother’s temper).

This photo was taken on the last Mother’s Day my family was able to celebrate together – the photo includes my parents, my father’s brother (left), my husband (top), my brother and his wife with their son (on the right) and my daughter. Usually, I am not in the picture but this is the last photo of me with my mother and I am so grateful to have it.

The Gurvitz family, Mother's Day 1998

Mother’s Day with Carol’s family, 1998.

Here is a photo taken representing four generations of my husband’s side of the family: his grandmother, his mother, his wife, and his daughter. Four generations! What a blessing that my husband’s grandmother lived to be a great-grandmother.

Four generations on Mother's Day, 1993

Four generations photograph, 1993.

So Moms, get in the picture! And if you have a wonderful picture from a Mother’s Day celebration, be it from this year or a past one, why not let me showcase it in a collage? Give me a call and let’s talk about giving Mom a tangible reminder of how much your appreciate her.

Spring flowers

Great gift-giving tips for Spring occasions – don’t miss out

Spring is here and with spring comes many occasions, from Mother’s Day to graduations to engagements and other celebrations. Would you like some great gift-giving ideas to streamline your life and make sure you stand out from the crowd? Sign up and all will be revealed!

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St. Patrick's Day, Irish blessing

Happy St. Patrick’s Day – the story behind the holiday

St. Patrick's Day, Irish blessing

An Irish Blessing for St. Patrick’s Day and everyday

St. Patrick’s Day – celebrated only in America? Well, maybe not, but apparently we’re responsible for promoting the wearing of the green and an excuse for imbibing alcohol. According to the International Business Times, St. Patrick’s Day used to be  a minor holiday in Ireland. “St. Patrick’s Day was basically invented in America by Irish-Americans,” classics professor Philip Freeman of Luther College in Iowa told National Geographic.

Here’s how things got going in the United States: “On March 17, 1762, Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. As Irish patriotism grew among American immigrants, the annual holiday began to grow in popularity with different “Irish Aid” societies holding annual parades.” You know the rest of the story.

Back in Ireland, the Irish government marde March 17 a national holiday in 1995 as a draw for tourism. I guess it worked – now, approximately 1 million people attend the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin every year.

The Irish, similar to the Jewish people, seem to have blessings suitable for every day and every occasion. Here is one I like a lot. Do you have a favorite Irish blessing? Please share!