Category Archives: holiday storage

Pop the Cork for 2021!!!

Storage Inn Blog Post Happy New Year 2021

The New Year is a upon us here at The Storage Inn self storage in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, and our storage rental customers seem to be happy moving on to a new year!

Yesterday, one of our self-storage tenants who happens to be a wine aficionado, was at his rental storage unit, returning his holiday decorations to his storage space. “Hey Bob!” I called out – “What are we drinking for New Year’s Eve this year?”. ”Why champagne, of course!” came his reply. We wished each other good luck in the new year, and went on our way, but this made me think –  what is it about champagne that people love?

Champagne is synonymous with celebration, and nothing says New Year’s quite like popping a bottle of bubbly. Throughout the year it might be seen as slightly snobbish, but on December 31 Champagne becomes a holiday revelers’ drink of choice in countries all over the world. It seems that simply letting those bubbles fly sets the tone for a festive celebration.

Here are some fun facts about Champagne you likely never knew…

There are about 49 million bubbles in a 7500ml bottle of Champagne – A standard-sized glass emits 30 bubbles every second.

The French consume 162.5 million bottles of Champagne every year, or about 52 percent of the entire world’s production of Champagne.

Champagne has 3 times more carbonation than beer – The pressure in a Champagne bottle is about 3 times the amount of pressure of a car tire.

When popped, a Champagne cork can reach a velocity of 24.8 miles per hour – The longest recorded cork flight was 177 feet and 9 inches.

Marilyn Monroe famously took a bath in Champagne. More than 350 bottles were needed to fill up the tub.

About 28,000 bottles of champagne are served at Wimbledon every year.

James Bond has been spotted drinking Champagne more than 35 times in his films. It’s the drink he reaches for more than any other… (and we thought he was a Martini man)

CPJGDF Goldfinger

If you’re drinking good Champagne, you’ll be able to see the “collerette” or the bubble trains traveling up the sides of the glass.

The first glass of Champagne has the most bubbles, meaning the first glass will also get you feeling drunk the fastest. Every glass thereafter poured from that bottle will be less potent than the one preceding it.

Winston Churchill was one of the biggest Champagne drinkers on record.  Between 1908 and 1965 he drank an estimated 42,000 bottles. A special one pint bottle was served to him every day at precisely 11 a.m.

In the 19th century, Champagne makers wore metal masks to protect their faces when handling Champagne bottles, which had a tendency to explode. Eventually, stronger glass bottles and metal clasp closures made the stuff more stable.

The most expensive bottle of Champagne was $2.07 million. It was designed by Alexander Amosu and Swarovski, handcrafted from 18-carat solid gold, with a deep-cut 19-carat white diamond at its center. It was mostly the bottle that caused the hefty price tag. Only a few were ever made, making it a rare and valuable collectors edition.

So, there you have it – some Champagne knowledge that you can take with you into the new year, courtesy of The Storage Inn. As for me, I’m considering enjoying some Champagne this New Year’s Eve, but first I need to find out – does Champagne pair well with hot wings?

Happy New Year!

 

 

A Christmas Carol… Bah Humbug!

Well, December is here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, and the temperatures are dropping. Just yesterday I saw one of our tenants at his 10×12 storage unit gathering his Christmas decorations.

” Hey Bob – Happy Holidays!”, I yelled.

“Bah Humbug!” Bob yelled back with half a laugh.

Bob spends the winter in Florida and is not a fan of cold weather. His response, though, made me think of Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol”. I wondered  what “bah humbug” meant, So I did a little research, and… 

Charles Dickens loved to celebrate Christmas.  His favorite time during the holidays was Twelfth Night, the feast of the Epiphany.

Early in 1843, as a response to a government report on the abuse of child laborers in mines and factories, Dickens vowed he would strike a “sledge-hammer blow . . . on behalf of the Poor Man’s Child.” That sledge-hammer was the book, A Christmas Carol. Below are a few interesting tid-bits about this great work of fiction.

A Christmas Carol was first published in 1843.

Initially, six thousand copies of the book were printed.  More copies were ordered after the first printing was sold in only five days.

Technically speaking,  A Christmas Carol was published by Chapman & Hall.  However, in an interesting turn of events, Dickens paid the publishing costs himself.

Dickens would fund the publication of A Christmas Carol and would receive the profits. Chapman & Hall would be paid for the printing costs and receive a fixed commission on the number of copies sold.

It only took Dickens about six weeks to write A Christmas Carol.  

As Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol he said that the Cratchits were “ever tugging at his coat sleeve, as if impatient for him to get back to his desk and continue the story of their lives”.

Marry for Love – Not Money

“If you were free today, tomorrow, yesterday, can I believe that you would choose a dowerless girl?”

Belle, Scrooge’s long-lost girlfriend, says the above to Scrooge in Dream Two of A Christmas Carol.  A dowry is a gift given by the bride’s parents to the newly married couple. To marry a dowerless girl means that no money, property or goods would be given by the bride’s parents to the groom or couple.  It means that the groom would be marrying for love – not money.

Marley is very Dead!

“Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.” This line appears toward the beginning of the novel. Dickens included this because of a dream. He had dreamt that one of his good friends was pronounced to be “as dead Sir . . . as a door-nail”.

Christmas…Bah Humbug!

The words are well-known as the catchphrase of miserly old Ebenezer Scrooge, the main character in Dickens’ 1843 novel, “A Christmas Carol.” Scrooge, who thinks Christmas is an enormous deception, retorts, “Bah! Humbug!” to anyone who dares to wish him a merry Christmas. There are many possibilities on where the phrase came from, but each points back to a meaning of deception. Which makes sense in the way that Scrooge used it in A Christmas Carol, as he thought that Christmas itself was a hoax or deception. In fact, this is not the only literary use of the phrase, as the venerable Wizard of Oz declares himself to be “just a humbug.”

The Cratchit family is based on Dickens’s Childhood

Dickens lived in poor circumstances in a “two up two down” four-roomed house which he shared with his parents and five siblings.

Like Peter Cratchit, young Charles, the eldest boy, was often sent to pawn the family’s goods when money was tight. Also, like many poor families, the Cratchit’s had nothing in which to roast meat. They relied on the ovens of their local baker which were available on Sundays and Christmas when the bakery was closed.

Dickens Revives the Christmas Spirit

At the time Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol, Christmas wasn’t commonly celebrated as a festive holiday. In The Pickwick Papers and A Christmas Carol, Dickens’s descriptions of feasting, games and family unity combined with his message that Christmas was a time “when want is keenly felt and abundance rejoices” helped to revive popular interest in many Christmas traditions that are still practiced today.

So, there you have it –  a little Charles Dickens / A Christmas Carol knowledge, courtesy of The Storage Inn. We wish all of our Customers and Friends a Happy Holiday Season, filled with Good Cheer, Eggnog, and Christmas Cookies!

 

Mr. Nick in his moving truck

Mr. Nick is one busy storage unit renter

So, it’s the day before Christmas here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey – Almost time for my annual visit from one of our biggest customers, Mr. Nick. Mr. Nick’s been a storage unit tenant with us for as long as anyone can remember. He’s an unusual guy – older – the outdoorsy type – from up North somewhere. You know, big bushy beard, wears a lot of red flannel shirts with suspenders. That sort of thing.

Mr. Nick has seven of our extra large storage spaces with the extra high ceilings. He stops in every year around this time to let us know that even though he’ll be emptying out the storage units, he’s not moving out.

 

feature_christmas-elf-featMr. Nick is certainly a bit on the eccentric side and I’m assuming pretty wealthy since he’s mentioned renting storage units like ours all over the world. Each year right around Christmas time, his crew pulls in with a couple of giant, red S.C. Moving and Storage vans, and empties out out all seven of his storage spaces. The funny thing is, beginning in January, I’ll see his helpers back again and on a monthly basis, refilling the storage units with electronics, toys, sporting goods, and all sorts of goodies.

This year I decided to have a little chat with his crew. Nice guys – unusually short, but very well mannered and hard workers too. They all refer to Mr. Nick as “The big guy” which is quite true in height and around the waist line.

While his helpers were in the yard the other day,  I decided to be a little nosey.

“Excuse me guys. Just curious. What type of business is Mr. Nick in if you don’t mind me asking?” I questioned.

“Import/export” replied one of his of helpers.

“Oh, so he buys and then resells things” I asked.

“No, no – He gives it all away!” answered a particularly short man, who appeared to be the leader of the crew.

“Wow, really? That’s great – a wealthy philanthropist!” I gushed.

“I guess you could say that, but the big guy really doesn’t care about money – He just likes to make people happy!” came a high pitched voice from behind a pile of toys.

If that don’t beat all I thought to myself. I tipped my Storage Inn hat and wished Mr. Nick’s crew a good day and Happy Holidays. I walked back to the rental office thinking about my conversation with Mr. Nick’s helpers. Hmmmm, I thought – Puzzling. A guy from up North, with a bushy white beard, dressed in all red, with an import/ export charitable organization?… who collects toys and other goodies throughout the year, only to give them away at Christmas time? If I didn’t know any better I would guess he’s… omg…. I think I know what the “S. C.” in  S. C. Moving and Storage stands for!  Happy Holidays from The Storage Inn!

Happy Holidays From The Storage Inn

Happy Holidays From The Storage Inn

Thanksgiving & Moving to the New World

Here at The Storage Inn self storage in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, we tend to meet a lot of people who are in the process of moving. This made me think about the move that we celebrate every November here in the United States – The move made by the pilgrims, from Great Britain, to the new world! These brave souls, for all intents and purposes, loaded all of their worldly belongings into a floating self storage unit – the Mayflower, and set sail for their new home, not knowing if they would actually find it, or even survive the trip.

Eventually the pilgrims made it across the deep blue sea, and landed in what is now Plymouth Massachusetts, with dreams of beginning a new life. The pilgrims survived their first 10 months including barely surviving their first American winter. They had built seven houses, a small meeting hall, and three store houses. They called these three buildings “New World Self Storage” – Just kidding!  What they did do was to celebrate their first harvest, and having survived the winter, with a week long feast, during which they were joined by the Wampanoag Indian tribe.

Unlike our modern Thanksgiving, There was no Butterball turkey, or mashed potatoes, but instead, fish, duck, goose, venison, and vegetables such as onions, beans, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, and carrots. The feast likely included fruits and berries such as blueberries, plums, grapes, gooseberries, raspberries and, of course cranberries, which Native Americans ate and used as a natural dye. Historians are not certain whether there was a “kids table” at the first Thanksgiving, but if there was, you can rest assured that the words “ Stop throwing gooseberries at your sister!” were heard.

Today we celebrate Thanksgiving by gathering with family, eating until near explosion, and falling asleep as we “watch” football. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving… I must say I’m thankful for the Pilgrims, the Wampanoag Indians, and… Pepto-Bismol –  Hey, I have to get back to helping people find storage space after the holidays!

If you’d be thankful for a little extra space storage to store your stuff, please stop by and see us at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township, NJ or The Storage Inn II in Ocean City, NJ – Happy Holidays!

It’s a BOO-tiful day in the Neighborhood!

Happy Halloween from The Storage Inn of EHT

It’s late October here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, and Halloween is here! As the leaves begin to fall, we find our storage customers bustling about retrieving their last minute Halloween home and party decorations and costumes from their storage space.

Yesterday I saw one of our tenants at her storage space digging through Halloween items as her preteen daughter ran around her dressed as a ghost, making spooky noises. “Hey Stephanie” I yelled to her – “you’re being haunted!”. “I’ve been haunted by this one since the day she was born” Stephanie replied laughingly.

As I drove back to the storage rental office I was thinking about the stories I had heard of places that were supposedly haunted. In South Jersey we have many places including well known spots including the Pine Barrens and the Victorian City of Cape May that have this reputation. It made me wonder about the rest of the United States, and where the most haunted areas happen to be.

We’ve compiled a list of the 10 most haunted cities in America according to travelandleisure.com…

1. New Orleans, Louisiana 

New Orleans is one of the country’s most haunted cities. Stories include churches haunted by the spirits of former priests, soldiers who died but never truly passed on, and homes filled with ghosts – not to mention all the vampire stories. Notable ghosts include author William Faulkner, Andrew Jackson, and pirate Jean Lafitte. Old Absinthe House, open since the early 1800’s, is supposedly haunted by Voodoo practitioner Marie Laveau. St. Louis Cemetery is said to be haunted by hundreds of ghosts! These are just a few of the many spooky spots in New Orleans.

2. Chicago, Illinois  

Nederlander Theatre was the site of a tragic fire killing hundreds in 1903, and some say the alley behind the theater is still haunted by those unfortunate patrons. The site of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, often attributed to Al Capone, reportedly has some residual paranormal energy too.

3. Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia, is often ranked among the most haunted cities in the USA. Visitors to Savannah can opt to stay at an allegedly haunted hotel and eat at the restaurants still frequented by spirits that never fully left the earthly realm. The Moon River Brewing Company has been featured on both Ghost Adventures and Ghost Hunters. Guests have reported seeing a lady in white on the stairs and spirits have been known to mess with the staff. The Pirates’ House restaurant was once a boarding house popular among sailors. Some say that their spirits still visit the restaurant today. Finally, The Marshall House is known as one of the most haunted hotels in the country. It was  a hospital during the Civil War and yellow fever epidemics. Guests have reported seeing apparitions in the hallways and hearing ghost children running down the halls at night, among other mysterious things.

4. St. Augustine, Florida

The oldest city in the U.S. is bound to have a residual spirit or two, and lucky for paranormal seekers, St. Augustine is a hotbed of ghost activity. The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum is one of the historic city’s hot spots, supposedly haunted by girls who drowned there in the 1870s. Visitors have also reported paranormal experiences at Castle Warden, a Moorish-style home built in the 1880s that now houses the first permanent Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum, established in 1950. The city has several other haunted locations; you can explore the darker side of St. Augustine on a ghost tour — some even bring along EMF meters to track paranormal activity.

5. Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon is one of the best destinations for ghost hunters. The Shanghai Tunnels are perhaps the most notoriously haunted site in the city — in the late 1800s, the city was a major international port, and underground tunnels were created to transport (often illegal) goods across Portland. According to local lore, residents hanging out at local bars were kidnapped and taken through the tunnels to waiting ships, never to be seen again. Some say the victims’ souls still haunt the bars above ground.

6. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 

The site of the Civil War’s bloodiest battle is regarded as one of the world’s most haunted places. Some report seeing the ghosts of soldiers on the battlefield. Inns and a farm in the area are haunted, too, according to the Travel Channel. Visitors can take a ghost tour to learn more about the history of Gettysburg and the tragic spirits still said to wander these grounds.

7. Washington, D.C.

Many say the White House is one of the most haunted houses in the U.S., haunted by the ghosts of former residents. President Lincoln’s ghost has been spotted in the Lincoln Bedroom; President William Henry Harrison, who died in the White House, is said to have returned in the afterlife; and first ladies Dolly Madison and Abigail Adams supposedly still linger, tending to the home. D.C. ghost tours take visitors through other allegedly haunted locations, including the National Building Museum, the Congressional Cemetery, and official government buildings.

8. San Francisco, California

San Francisco is one of the most haunted cities in the U.S. – China Camp State Park, the USS Hornet, and the Mare Island Naval Shipyard are all said to be haunted, but the number one San Francisco hot spot has to be Alcatraz. According to the Travel Channel, there are a few ghosts still lurking in the infamous prison, but the spirit of Al Capone is perhaps the most notorious — some say you can still hear him playing his favorite banjo tunes.

9. Salem, Massachusetts 

Salem, Massachusetts, is said to be one of the most haunted cities in the U.S. Some say the ghosts of those killed during the Salem Witch trials still linger in Salem to this day — Lyceum Hall is allegedly haunted by the first victim of the trials, Bridget Bishop, according to Atlas Obscura, and Howard Street Cemetery is haunted by Giles Corey, who was tortured to death after being accused of witchcraft. You can learn more about Salem’s spooky side on one of the many ghost tours offered.

10. San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio is considered one of the most haunted places in Texas because of the city’s history. The Battle of the Alamo led to thousands of casualties, and Alamo visitors and employees have reported seeing the ghosts of soldiers and hearing mysterious rally cries. The nearby Emily Morgan Hotel is one of the country’s most haunted hotels, too. The property was once a hospital, and some guests now report seeing the apparition of a woman in white in the halls. 

So, there you have it, courtesy of The Storage Inn – 10 places that you can visit to scare yourself. By the way…Who knew Al Capone played the banjo?!?

Happy Halloween!

The Legend of the Jersey Devil

It’s October here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, and our storage customers have been getting ready for Halloween. Just today I saw Jane, one of our long time storage renters, retrieving Halloween decorations and costumes from her extra space storage unit.

Halloween conjures up images of witches, ghosts, and skeletons –  but here in South Jersey, we have a particular affinity for devils. Most people know that our hockey team is called the Jersey Devils, but few know why.

They are named after the legend of the Jersey Devil, and although the hockey team plays in North Jersey, the legend of the Jersey Devil is deeply rooted in the southernmost portion of the state.

The legend of the Jersey Devil revolves around the Leeds family, whose descendants still live in South Jersey. And sightings of the Jersey, or “Leeds” devil, continue to be reported even in 2020!

To understand the legend of the Jersey Devil, you must first understand his birthplace. The remote region extending 1700 square miles across southeastern New Jersey is called the Pine Barrens. The Pine Barrens are are a dense pine forest broken up by the old stagecoach roads and Native American Indian Trails.

Leeds Point, NJ – On a stormy night in 1735, a Quaker woman gave birth to her thirteenth child during a thunderstorm. The impoverished woman, known as Mother Leeds, already had twelve children and had cursed the news of her being pregnant with her thirteenth. According to legend, on the night of the ill-fated birth, the room flickered with candlelight as the wind howled through the pines.

Some say the child was born deformed. Some say she cursed the child because of her dire straits. Other accounts say the child was born normal and took on odd characteristics later – characteristics such as an elongated body, winged shoulders, a large horse-like head, cloven feet and a thick tail. According to legend, the child was confined until it made its escape either out through the cellar door or up the chimney. Thus, the Jersey Devil was born.

Over the years, the Jersey Devil has been blamed for everything from crop failure to livestock death, damaging weather, and even reportedly causing local streams to boil. There have been hundreds of reports of sightings and encounters and even rewards offered for its capture. Every once in a while, a photograph turns up of this legendary monster.

If you’re ever in Southern New Jersey, you can take the “Tales of the Jersey Devil Walking Tour” through the Pine Barrens, if you dare.  Who knows – you may even have a Jersey Devil encounter of your own (have your camera ready!)

Happy Halloween from the Staff of The Storage Inn 

 

Getting Organized in 2020

Storage Inn National Get Organized Day

January is national “Get Organized Month” and the New Year is the perfect time to stop procrastinating and start organizing your home. More than likely you are not being courted by the producers of “Hoarders” to be their next featured story, but most people could use a bit of help getting organized!! The goal should be to create a place for everything, and have everything in its place.

Below are a few tips to help you get started and a special offer from The Storage Inn…

The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey is doing its part to help, by offering a $1 move in on all storage units, along with a free moving truck rental to help you get started!

The storage rental office store also carries a full line of moving and packing supplies such as boxes, tape, bubble wrap and more.

Baby Steps

Solving problem areas separately is much more doable mentally and physically than trying to take it all on at once.

Focusing on one room, or area at a time breaks organizing your household into much more manageable chunks of tasks. Pick a room a day or a room a week to focus on. Those small accomplishments will do a lot to keep motivating you for the next room.

Time to Purge

This is a great opportunity to really go through items that have accumulated over the years and decide their importance and usefulness.

The three bin method can help to sort through these items – one bin for trash, one bin for donating, and one bin for items to keep. Once items have been sorted, you can decide where your “keep” items fit into your plan.

Making Space

Having plenty of space to keep items is important – Add storage space by installing shelves, filing cabinets, bins, and baskets. The extra space will allow you to not only store items, but give you space to sort through items when needed.

If you just don’t have enough space, you can always call your local self storage facility. A self storage unit is an extension of your home and can be used as a place to store seldom used items such as seasonal decorations, sports equipment, files, etc. This just might free up enough garage space so that you can actually park your car in it again!

Call a Pro

If you’re in over your head and don’t even know where to start, consider hiring a professional. The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) can help you overcome a variety of organization challenges. They provide services ranging from organization and time management strategies to blending households and estate sales. Hire the right professional organizer for your needs and be well on your way to an organized 2020.

Happy New Year and Happy Organizing from The Storage Inn!

The “Fa La La La La” on Christmas Songs

The holiday season is in full swing here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey! Our storage rental customers are busy buying packing and shipping supplies, and retrieving the gifts they stowed away in their storage units.

Like many retail locations at this time of year, our storage rental office is filled with holiday songs wafting through the air. Hearing non-stop Christmas music on the radio made me wonder, where did these songs come from, who wrote them, and how long have they been around?

Here are a few fun facts about some of our holiday favorites… 

While we associate “Jingle Bells” with Christmas, the song was originally written to celebrate Thanksgiving.

The first Christmas song to mention Santa Claus was Benjamin Hanby’s “Up On The Housetop.” Written in 1864, Hanby was inspired by Clement Moore’s 1823 poem “A Visit from Saint Nicholas.” (The night before Christmas)

Thurl Ravenscroft, the singer responsible for classic song “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”, also voiced Tony the Tiger, the mascot for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes.

“White Christmas” was written by Jewish songwriter Irving Berlin.

Irving Berlin hated Elvis Presley’s version of “White Christmas” so much that he tried to prevent radio stations from playing Presley’s cover.

The American military played “White Christmas” over Armed Forces Radio as a covert signal instructing soldiers in Vietnam to evacuate Saigon.

Bing Crosby’s version of “White Christmas” is the highest-selling single of all time.

In 1906, a violin solo of “O Holy Night” was the second piece of music to be broadcast on radio.

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and “Joy to the World” are two of the oldest English language Christmas hymns, originating in the 1700s.

 “Let It Snow” is considered a Christmas song despite the fact that it never once mentions the holiday and was written by Jewish songwriters Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn.

 “Jingle Bells” was the first song performed in space.

Songwriter Gloria Shayne Baker wrote “Do You Hear What I Hear?” as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Jay Livingston and Ray Evans’ holiday classic “Silver Bells” was originally titled “Tinkle Bells.” They changed it when Livingston’s wife explained that “tinkle” was often a synonym for urination.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was created by Robert L. May, a staff copywriter for the Montgomery Ward department store as part of a series of holiday-themed coloring books sold by the retail giant.

“We Wish You A Merry Christmas” is one of the oldest secular Christmas songs, originating in 16th century England.

Mel Tormé’s “The Christmas Song” (more commonly known as “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”) was written during a summer heatwave in 1944.

Darlene Love sang her holiday hit “Christmas Baby Please Come Home” on David Letterman’s late-night show every year for 28 years.

Singer Brenda Lee recorded the original version of “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” when she was only 13 years old.

These are just a few of the hundreds and hundreds of holiday tunes that we hear each and every year. It would be impossible to chronicle each and every one here, but I will give you a clue as to my favorite – it involves barking dogs. Merry Christmas everyone!

Cool Facts about Thanksgiving

It’s a beautiful fall day here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, and Thanksgiving is this week! Ahhh, Thanksgiving – a day for family visits, football, and overeating! I conducted a random poll of our self storage customers regarding Thanksgiving and found that while everyone seems to like the food, mostly the men like football, and everyone seems to have mixed emotions about the family visits. As one of our long time storage unit renters, Jim put it, “I love to see my relatives for Thanksgiving, then I love to see them leave!” 

As a service to our readers, the staff here at The Storage Inn has rounded up a few very cool facts about Thanksgiving, some of which might come in handy during those awkward silences at the family dinner table. 

Thomas Jefferson Nixes Thanksgiving!

George Washington was the first to declare Thanksgiving a holiday, but it was on a year-to-year basis, so presidents had to re-declare it every year. Jefferson refused to declare it a holiday during his presidency because he fervently believed in the separation of church and state and thought that the day of “prayer” violated the First Amendment. 

It wasn’t until 1863, when Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a federal holiday, that it was officially scheduled to fall on the fourth Thursday of every November. 

It’s a zoo out there!

The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York took place in 1914, when Macy’s employees dressed in vibrant costumes and marched to the flagship store on 34th Street. The parade used floats instead of balloons, and it featured monkeys, bears, camels, and elephants, all borrowed from the Central Park Zoo.

The parade was also originally called the Macy’s Christmas Parade but was renamed the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1927. Macy’s originally hoped their “Christmas parade” would get their shoppers ready for big holiday shopping sprees. 

Turkeytown U.S.A.

Three small towns in America are named after the nation’s favorite bird. The towns are Turkey, Texas; Turkey, North Carolina; and Turkey Creek, Louisiana. There are also two townships in Pennsylvania called Upper Turkeyfoot and Lower Turkeyfoot.

“Jingle Bells” was originally a Thanksgiving song

James Pierpoint composed the song in 1857 for children celebrating Thanksgiving. The title was “One Horse Open Sleigh,” and it was such a hit that it was sung again at Christmas.

The song quickly became associated with the Christmas holiday season, and the title was officially changed in 1859, two years later.

Ben Franklin – Turkey Lover

Benjamin Franklin thought Eagles were “a bird of bad moral character.”
Franklin thought the Turkey was a “much more respectable bird.”

The Detroit Lions always play on Thanksgiving

The first NFL football game that took place on Thanksgiving Day was in 1934, when the Detroit Lions played the Chicago Bears. The Lions have played on Thanksgiving ever since, except when the team was called away to serve during World War II. The Dallas Cowboys also always play on Thanksgiving. Their first Thanksgiving Day game was held in 1966, and the Cowboys have only missed two games since then. 

The night before Thanksgiving is Party Time!

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the best day for bar sales in America. It makes sense, since nearly all Americans have Thanksgiving off, and dealing with family members can be very stressful. (But at least stuffing your face with fatty Thanksgiving foods is a perfect hangover cure.)

Thanksgiving by “Hungry Man”

In 1953 Swanson Foods overestimated the demand for turkey by over 260 tons. The owners of the company had no idea what to do with all the leftovers, so they ordered 5,000 aluminum trays and loaded them with the turkey leftovers to create the first TV dinner. 

“Franksgiving” Flops

In 1939, Franklin Roosevelt changed the date of Thanksgiving from the last Thursday in November to the second-to-last in an attempt to lift the economy during the Great Depression, by giving people more time to shop for Christmas. It caused such a public outcry that people began referring to it as “Franksgiving.” After two years, Congress ditched the new policy and set the fourth Thursday of November as the legal holiday. 

Minnesota – The Turkey State!

Minnesota produces more turkeys than any other state in America. The state produced about 44.5 million birds last year, North Carolina, Arkansas, Indiana, and Missouri are also top producers.

A Turkey Saved….

The White House has a tradition of pardoning one lucky turkey each year. The annual tradition began in 1947 with President Harry Truman although some think that it actually started in the 1860’s with Abraham Lincoln, after his son Tad begged him to spare his pet turkey’s life.

Despite these two theories of the origins of the pardon, George H. W. Bush was the first president to officially grant a turkey a presidential pardon, according to The New York Times. 

Okay – now that you have some cool Thanksgiving facts, courtesy of The Storage Inn, you are ready to face your relatives on Thanksgiving! Feel free to pepper these unique facts throughout the dinner conversation, and give yourself a presidential pardon allowing you to have a second slice of pumpkin pie – Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

Lederhosen, Beer and Oktoberfest

Lederhosen, Beer and Oktoberfest

Fall is in full swing here at The Storage Inn of Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, and this self storage rental facility is jumping with customers shuttling in and out of their storage units, most of them pulling out their cold weather clothing and fall items such as Halloween decorations.

There’s always something interesting going on here, but yesterday I witnessed a sight that I never expected to see.

I recognized the truck that pulled into our storage unit rental office parking lot. It was one of our good customers, Jason, the wrestling coach of the local high school. What I didn’t expect was to see Jason hop out of his truck and stroll into the office, dressed head-to-toe in German Lederhosen!

“You’re a little early for Halloween, aren’t you?” I said as he walked through the door.

“Not Halloween – Oktoberfest!” he replied.

Jason and his wife were on their way to an Oktoberfest celebration. They even had special beer mugs that they had retrieved from their storage unit for the occasion. Jason grabbed a roll of packing tape and some bubble wrap, and then took off to Oktoberfest.

This got me thinking not only about Oktoberfest, but more importantly, about beer!  Where did beer come from, and why do so many people around the world love it so much?

I decided to do some research and here is what I found…

Drink Like an Egyptian

Beer has a long history, one that’s longer than we’ll ever be able to trace. Residue of the first known beer was found in a jar at an excavation site in modern day Iran, presumably sitting there since someone took his or her last sip around 3400 B.C. But chances are, the first beer had been “cracked” long before that.

So while an exact date or time for the first chug, or keg stand, or even hiccup, is not known, what is known is that beer, like bread, developed best in farm-based societies where there was an enough grain and time for fermentation. One thing we definitely know is that ancient man loved beer as much as—if not more—than we do. The Babylonians had about 20 recipes for beer, Egyptian Pharaohs were buried with vats of the stuff, even the workers who built the pyramids were essentially paid in beer.

One of the first written recipes for beer actually comes from a 3800 year-old poem that celebrates the Sumerian goddess of beer and also conveniently outlines steps for brewing.

However it began, beer rapidly took hold as one of civilization’s favorite, and safest ways to drink. Historically speaking, water wasn’t always safe to drink, and alcoholic drinks like beer, which were sanitized by the application of heat, were actually safer to consume. The appearance of beer also changed as brewing methods evolved. Babylonians drank their beer with a straw because it was thicker and full of grain! 

Germany “Hops” On Board

For centuries, beer cultivation in Europe relied on a mixture of herbs and spices called gruit. Only around the turn of the first millennium A.D. were hops regularly finding their way to beer, with Germany exporting hops for brewing around the 13th century.

By the 16th Century,Germany’s “Reinheitsgebot” beer purity law had essentially removed everything but water, hops, and barley from acceptable brewing ingredients (yeast, a slight oversight, was added back to the list a few centuries later).

Over the centuries, beer’s popularity has remained constant. The Prohibition era introduced our palates to a lighter flavor profile that lingers to this day, especially among mass-marketed beers. On the other hand, craft beer has made serious gains in the market, yielding a historically unprecedented diversity of styles. One company and even brewed a beer using the ancient poem’s recipe, and Dogfish Head’s Ancient Ales line includes beers like the “Ta Henket – a version of Egyptian bread beer. 

So, now that you are armed with some serious beer history knowledge, courtesy of The Storage Inn, you can pull on your Lederhosen, grab your beer stein, and head for your local Oktoberfest celebration. Have fun, but take it easy on the Bratwurst – Auf Wiedersehen!