darkest night, bucket list, who is St. Nick?

Daily Newsletter for Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Dear Almanac readers, 

Today is St. Nicholas Day. Who is St. Nick? Is he the "real" Santa Claus? We've got the answers (no spoilers!).

Speaking of gift-giving, are you looking for the present of a lifetime?  Join us this February when we visit Alaska to see the glorious northern lights! This trip will be led by our very own Bob Berman, Almanac astronomer. Take a look below.

Also in this Companion is a new column by Bob about "the darkest day of the year." If it feels like it's darker NOW than on the winter solstice, you're right!  


Your Almanac Editors

Then came the merry maskers in,
And carols roar'd with blithesome din
–Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832)

Tuesday, December 6, 2016
341st day of the year

Janine Turner (actress) was born on this day in 1962.
Phillip Berrigan (priest who fought Vietnam War and nuclear weapons) died on this day in 2002.

What the heck is a Garden Hod?
It was designed to harvest and wash vegetables and fruit easily, but it has hundreds of other uses, too!


When is the Darkest Night?

When Is The Darkest Time of the Year
Did you know that early December is when the darkest days of the year occur? It’s a major winter milestone: the days of our earliest sunsets.
Almanac Merriment Mulling Kit

SAVE 20% – Take the chill off! All the spices you need to make mulled cider and wine.
Will Our Drought Continue?

Drought Outlook: Over Half the U.S. Is Dry
The latest figures are out. As of end of 2016, more than half of the continental U.S. is dry or in drought. And it’s not expected to end.
Etched Porcelain Night Lights

Porcelain artwork that comes alive with detail and shadow when lit from behind!
Is St. Nick Santa Claus?

When Is St. Nicholas Day?
Was Saint Nicholas a real person? Actually, he was! Find out about the history of St. Nicholas (and St. Nicholas Day) as well as his ties to Santa Claus!
The 2017 Old Farmer's Almanac Gardening Calendar

Force spring flowers indoors: Cut forsythia, dogwood, or crabapple branches. Before placing in a vase, mash the cut ends…
Birthstone for December

December Birthstone: Color and Meaning
The December birthstone, turquoise, is regarded as a love charm. It is also a symbol of good fortune and success and is believed to relax the mind and to protect its wearer from harm. Turquoise rings, in particular, are thought to keep away evil spirits.
Animal Track Trivets

Functional and decorative, our trivet features the footprints of moose, deer, bear, wolf, and cougar. Trivet measures almost 8 inches in diameter and is laser-cut from high-quality birch plywood.