Tag Archives: holiday

Holiday Hours, Open House + Hot Cocoa Recipes

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Wishing you a Happy Holidays from Everyone here at Willamette Intl Travel!

Special Holiday Hours

Friday, December 23: Open 8am to 1pm.
Monday, December 26: Office is closed.
Friday, December 30: Open 8am to 3:30pm.
Monday, January 2: Office is closed.

Emergency Assistance: If you have booked a trip through Willamette Intl Travel and have an emergency, call 503-224-0180 for our 24/7 assistance.

Holiday Open House

We’re hosting a holiday open house at our office!

We hope you’ll come by to meet us in person! There will be refreshments throughout the day. Everyone stopping by will receive a gift as well as the chance to win a $250 gift certificate from Delta Vacations, along with a piece of luggage! All staff will be there—you can meet our new staff members, and let us “originals” thank you personally for being so supportive for over 39 years. Several of our preferred vendors will also be dropping in, so you may have the pleasure of meeting the faces “behind the brochures.” Who knows, this may become a tradition for our next 40 years!

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3 Hot Chocolate Recipes Around the World

Feeling cozy this Holiday Season? Here are a few of our favorite atypical hot chocolate recipes around the World:

Hungarian Paprika Hot Chocolate
It wouldn’t be Hungarian without some paprika! We bet you haven’t tried this interesting recipe yet. Throw in some white pepper and smoked paprika and go to town.

4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon smoked paprika or Hungarian hot paprika
1/2 teaspoon finely ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
7 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

Heat saucepan on medium heat. Combine milk, paprika, white pepper, and cloves together. Head until almost boiling, then add the chocolate until its melted. Whisk to froth and serve.

Spicy Mayan Hot Chocolate
Central America is all about the piquant, and this spicy hot cocoa makes a delicious addition to the holiday table.

1 cup milk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla
1 cinnamon stick
2 TB dark chocolate mix
2 TB chocolate chips
3 pitches cayenne paper

Add milk, vanilla, and cinnamon to a pot on medium heat. Whisk together until frothy and nearly boiling. Add hot cocoa mix and chocolate chips, and mix until dissolved.

Indian Chai Hot Chocolate
Chai is an Indian tea drink chock full of spices—so just imagine substituting tea for chocolate!

2 TB grated chocolate chips
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp  ground cardamom
1 whole clove
1 whole black peppercorn

Heat milk and water on stove, and whisk in spices. Bring slowly to a boil, whisking occasionally.
Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat and remove the clove and pepper.
Whisk more to foam. Remove from heat. Place TB of chocolate each into two mugs. Pour the liquid into the mugs and the chocolate and stir to dissolve.
Spoon a portion of the foam on top.

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Mother’s Day Around the World

photo by tanakawho

Long before Mother’s Day became a holiday of bouquets and buffets, cultures all over the world celebrated female figures. Ancient festivals lauded maternal and feminine deities such as the Greek Cybele or the Roman Hilaria, or later, the Virgin Mary on Christian Mother Sunday.

The holiday’s modern reincarnation was introduced by Anna Jarvis, notable feminist, who began a campaign in 1907 to make Mother’s Day a federally recognized holiday in America—leading to its implementation in 1914. Today, it is celebrated all over the world, albeit within each culture’s customs, from Indonesia to Bangladesh to Bolivia.

Many countries associate this holiday with gift-giving and reverence of mothers or goddesses. Religion often plays a role in how the day is celebrated. In certain Orthodox regions, families take a day to revere the Virgin Mary. A similar, but unrelated holiday, is the Hindu Mata Tirtha Aunshi, which is celebrated in the month of Baisakh (April/May).

Dates differ based on each country’s calendar and history. Iran celebrates on 20 Jumada al-thani, the birthday of Muhammad’s daughter Fatimah. Israel celebrates on Shevat 30, the anniversary of the death of Henrietta Szold, whose organization Youth Aliyah rescued countless Jewish children from Nazi Germany. Now it is known as Family Day, or Hamishpacha.

In Bolivia, Mother’s Day falls on the anniversary of the Battle of Coronilla (1812), where women revolutionaries fought and died for independence from Spain. Egyptian journalist Mustafa Amin is often credited with the introduction of Mother’s Day to the Middle East, falling on March 21.

France has an interested history with the holiday. During WWI, encouraged by their new holiday, American soldiers in France sent so much mail on Mother’s Day that the Union franco-americaine created a postal card for this very purpose. Starting around 1920, the French government awarded the Médaille de la Famille française to mothers of large families and, by 1950, the Fête de Mères became an official holiday in France on the last Sunday of May.

We moms at WIT sure love the thought of being doted on! Are you celebrating Mother’s Day or some incarnation of the holiday? Share your thoughts!

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