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December 21, 2014

Today we celebrate:

National French Fried Shrimp Day – I prefer shrimp unfried, but to each his own. I'm sure they are delicious this way as well.

Crossword Puzzle Day - As far as I could find out, the first crossword puzzle was created by Arthur Wynne from Liverpool and first appeared on this day in 1913 in the New York World newspaper.  You can see the actual puzzle here:

Anne & Samantha Day – Celebrated on the first day of Winter as well as the first day of Summer, this is a day to remember Anne Frank and Samantha Smith and their contributions to our world. Everyone who knew these girls personally will gradually die off and they will be gone from the memories of the living but we can still honor them and continue to spread the lessons they have taught us to our children and their children.  Anne Frank was a young Jewish German girl who wrote a diary about her experiences in Nazi Germany.  She died in a concentration camp in 1945 just a few months before the end of the war.  Samantha Smith was a young American girl who helped bridge the distance between American and the Soviet Union during the 1980’s.  She died in a tragic airplane accident in 1985.  Her mother received condolences from Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan.

Forefathers Day – This is a day to commemorate the landing of the Pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts on this day in 1620. It has been celebrated since 1769 but when they changed to the Gregorian calendar, someone goofed and changed it to December 22nd. You will still find places that erroneously celebrate it on that day. I want to know why no one ever talks about our foremothers.

Kiwi Fruit Day – Not my favorite fruit, but my son loves them. Then again, he's kind of weird so I'm not sure that's a good endorsement.

Look On The Bright Side Day – This is a day to focus on positive things. It's easy to get sad and depressed on this, the shortest day of the year. We are not getting enough sunlight to perk up our spirits so we have to do it purposefully. Whatever happens to you today, turn it around in your head until you can find a positive side to focus on.

International Dalek Remembrance Day – This is a day for Doctor Who fans. If you are a fan of Doctor Who, you will know that the Dalek's first appeared on the show on this day in 1963 and the rest is Doctor Who history.  It appears that Doctor Who fans span the world making this an international event.

National Hamburger Day – We had one of these back in May which is more of a grilling season than today but nevertheless, this is also a day for hamburgers. You just might want to cook them inside today, or wear a warm coat.  My husband grills all year long, as long as he can find the grill, but then he is a hearty soul who is not daunted by the cold weather.

National Homeless Persons' Remembrance Day – This is a day to remember the people who have no home to go home to. How many of them will die this winter with no shelter to keep them warm?  The police make an effort to make sure they make it to a shelter on the coldest of days, but surely there is something that can be done to help them all year round.  I don’t have the answers, but we are a nation of very smart people, if we all put our heads together, we can figure it out.

Phileas Fogg Win A Wager Day – In the book by Jules Verne, Around the World in Eighty Days, the wager that was made to go around the world in eighty days or less was won by Phileas Fogg on this day in 1872.

National Flashlight Day – The first flashlights were donated to the police department sometime in 1899. They had some issues but overall were a success so others have worked over the years to perfect the technology until they became the flashlights we have today. I assume that we celebrate this day on this day since there in the Northern Hemisphere is so much more darkness than daylight today so there are more opportunities to use your flashlights today.

Winter Solstice – The first day of Winter is actually the day when the planet is closer to the sun than on the Summer Solstice, but because of the angle of the planet, the Northern Hemisphere doesn't benefit from many direct rays from the sun and so it is pretty darn cold already but the coldest is yet to come as winter has just begun.

To celebrate today, watch every Doctor Who episode that involves the Daleks while eating french fried shrimp. Then, tell your kids all about Anne Frank and Samantha Smith and focus on how they saw the bright side even in the midst of their situations. Next, bring kiwi fruit and hamburgers to a homeless shelter near you. When you get home, go outside and greet winter by waving your flashlight in the air. Finally, go inside and wager that your kids cannot name even one of our forefathers to help you finish your crossword puzzle.

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