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January 1, 2016

Today we celebrate:

National Hangover Day - I’m sure this day doesn’t require much explanation, coming on the heels of the most popular party day of the year.  But for the young people, I will say that those who overindulge in the evening, pay the price the next morning.

Apple Gifting Day - This is a healthy and very versatile gift that almost everyone would enjoy.  And there are a lot of different varieties to choose from.

Asarah B'Tevet – This is a fast that begins at dawn to commemorate the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylonia. The fast ends at nightfall.

New Year's Day – It’s that time of year again, when we welcome in a new year and we all have to retrain our brains and our writing hands to write 2016 instead of the 2015 we’ve been using for the last 365 days.

New Year's Dishonor List Day – On this day every year Lake Superior State University in Michigan publishes a list of overused words that, in their opinion, should be stricken from the English Language.  This tradition was begun on this day in 1976 and as far as I know, they have never missed a year.

National Bloody Mary Day – On this, the first day of the year and directly after staying up too late and drinking too much, I have found the perfect drink for you. I'm told that it is good for getting rid of hangovers. I've never tried it myself so you will have to let me know if it works.

Ellis Island Day – On this day in 1892, Ellis Island was opened for the purpose of processing immigrants to the United States of America. Annie Moore, 15 years old and from Ireland, was the first immigrant to be processed at Ellis Island on January 2nd. More than 12 million, from many different countries, followed her over the years.

National First Foot Day – There is an old Scottish tradition that says that the first person to visit your home after the New Year is called the First Footer, and he/she must bring gifts. Not just any old gifts, either.  They must bring a lump of coal for good luck, a coin for happiness and wealth, and a drink of whiskey for the host. Who will be your First Footer? If he/she doesn't have the proper gifts, you should not let them in.

Copyright Law Day – This is a day that promises lots of excitement and long as you are a copyright lawyer.  Copyright law is very complicated, I hear, but then isn’t all law work complicated?

Public Domain Day - Related to copyright laws, on this day every year, another round of books becomes public domain.  This means that 70 years after the death of the author, his/her books are no longer protected by copyright laws and anyone can print and sell them without paying anything to the estate of the author.

Euro Day – On this day in 2002, the Euro was adopted by most of the countries in Europe. Others joined in later on. I believe that Lithuania was the last country to legally adopt the Euro on this day in 2015.

Global Family Day – This is a day of peace and sharing to be celebrated around the world. It is a day where we share food with friends and the needy and make personal pledges of non-violence and spread a message of peace and sharing by ringing bells and/or beating drums in hopes of making society and the world a safer place to live. This day developed out of the United Nations “One Day in Peace” back in the year 2000.

Mummer's Parade This parade dates back to somewhere in the mid 17th century and combines many different European and African heritages. It is believed to be the oldest folk festival in America (I say festival because it is far more than just a parade) and is celebrated in Philadelphia, PA.

Polar Bear Plunge or Swim Day – Celebrated by crazy people who jump into icy waters for no good reason that I can think of. I mean no insult to the aforementioned crazy people, but I won't even get into pool water in June because it is still too cold for me.

Z Day - This is an odd holiday that involves letting people with a name beginning with Z be first in line for the day. Z people are always last, but not today. The day was created by Tom Zager for obvious reasons.

Rose Bowl Game – On this day the famous Rose Bowl game is played. This is a football event for those of you who are like me and don't pay any attention to sports at all.

Tournament of Roses Parade Day – This famous parade takes place in Pasadena, California in the morning but thanks to the miracle of television, you can watch it all over the world.

Saint Basil's Day -Saint Basil the Great was the Greek Bishop of what is now Turkey. He was known for caring for the poor and he created the guidelines by which monks lived for centuries. He died on this day in 379.

Commitment DayThis is a family oriented 5K run/walk with the purpose of starting a conversation about adopting a healthy way of life for your family that will spread around the country. Commitment Day supports the American Heart Association's My Heart. My Life. healthy living initiative.  

December 31, 2015

Today we celebrate:

World Healing Day - Created by John and Jan Price (founders of Quartus Foundation) in 1986, this is a day to come together with our spiritual brothers and sisters around the world in peaceful meditation and prayer.  We are encouraged to unite with all races and religions with a bond of love and tranquility.

Leap Second Time Adjustment Day – Celebrated on either this day or June 30th, this is a day where scientists adjust our time by a second in order to make sure our clocks are working in accordance with Earth's rotation. They are not adjusted every six months and some years they are not adjusted at all. Sometimes they take away a second and sometimes they add a second based on the speed of Earth's rotation which can vary based on climatic and geological events.  I’d be interested in knowing who first discovered that some years there is a discrepancy of a second or two a year.  That person must be obsessed with time and astronomy in order to figure that out.

Make Up Your Mind Day – This is a day to be decisive. Whatever you are waffling about, make up your mind to make up your mind about it today.

National Champagne Day – It's no big surprise that today is National Champagne Day. I'm sure that if studies were done on such things, and they probably are, they would find that more people drink champagne on this day than any other day in the year. Not me, however, I’ll be giving this day a pass because champagne gives me a headache.

New Year’s Eve – This is the day before New Year’s Day and the last day of 2014. Tonight at midnight we say goodbye to the old and hello to the new. Here's hoping that 2015 brings great advances in affordable environmental conservation techniques.

Unlucky Day – I'm not sure why, but many people consider this, the last day of the year, to be an unlucky day. I think that any day that I wake up breathing and able to get up and do what I need to do is a very lucky day.

Universal Hour of Peace Day – This is an event to which people from all countries, cultures, and creeds are invited to create peace by joining together and dedicating their minds and bodies to peaceful thoughts and actions for one hour beginning at 11:30pm today and ending at 12:30am tomorrow morning. It was created by the School of Metaphysics and the first Hour was celebrated on October 24th, 1995.

December 30, 2015

Today we celebrate:

Bacon Day - This is one of those tongue-in-cheek days that was started on a lark and has continued because every meat lover loves bacon. The purpose is to have a party with all of your friends regardless of their religious affiliations and eat bacon. There is all kinds of interesting information and celebration tips at the official Bacon Day website.

Festival of Enormous Changes at the Last Minute - The year is almost over.  Did you accomplish everything that you planned to accomplish this year? Check your New Year’s resolutions and the multitude of lists of things to do you have written down over the course of the year on the backs of envelopes. If there is anything that you didn’t finish yet, you still have time. But get busy, because there is no time to waste!

No Interruptions Day – This is a day to turn off the phone, ignore emails, instant messages and texts, lock the door to your room or office and just relax and let the stress melt away.

National Bicarbonate of Soda Day – This is a wonderous food with a million and one uses. No, I'm not going to list all million and one, I promise. You can bake, rid your refrigerator and freezer of odors, rid your laundry of odors, draw out bee sting venom, and clean just about anything to name just a few.

December 29, 2015

Today we celebrate a very easy day:

Tick Tock Day – There are only two days left in 2015. Time is ticking down until this year is nothing but a memory.  Is there anything that you haven’t finished that needs to be done this year?  If so, better get on it now.

National Pepper Pot Day – This is a food, believe it or not. It is a kind of soup or stew that uses tripe, vegetables, pepper (of course), among other things. According to legend, this is the soup that kept our Continental army alive when food was scarce.

December 28, 2015

Today we celebrate:

Call A Friend Day - This is a day to reach out and touch a friend through the phone.  Call and tell them that you are thinking about them and ask them how they are doing.

National Chocolate Candy Day - While there are a few of us who do not care for chocolate, the vast majority of Americans love it.  Today you have my permission to enjoy as much chocolate candy as you have the ability to legally get access to.  I would recommend you don’t eat so much that you get sick because that would ruin your enjoyment.

Holy Innocents Day – This is a day when Christians remember all of the young male children in the Bethlehem area that King Herod ordered executed in an attempt to kill the baby King of the Jews whom he believed would attempt to take his throne. We don't know how many were killed and some historians dispute that it happened at all.  But then there seems to be hardly a single event in history that historians don’t find some reason to dispute in some manner.

Card Playing Day – This is a day to relax with friends and/or family and play cards together. After the hectic pace of the holidays, you are due for a nice relaxing break.

Pledge of Allegiance Day – On this day in 1945, the United States Congress recognized the Pledge of Allegiance as an American flag salute. The original version was written by Baptist minister Francis Bellamy somewhere around 1900 give or take a few years. It was revised to include the words “under God” in 1950.

December 27, 2015

Today we celebrate:

National Fruitcake Day – Fruitcake is frequently made fun of and disparaged. However, if you make it with just the right recipe, it is actually quite delicious. Not just any recipe will do, shop around and experiment until you find one that works for your family.

Visit The Zoo Day – I don't usually think of visiting a zoo in the winter time but many of them are open and it's a great activity to do with the kids to show them animals that they wouldn't otherwise get to see in person.

Make Cut Out Snowflakes Day – Whether you get snow where you live or not, cutting out and decorating your house with snowflakes is a great way to celebrate winter time. Enlist the help of the kids if you have some available, they love to do this kind of thing. Get creative and break out the glitter, beads, sequins and anything else that you think would look good on paper snowflakes.

December 26, 2015

Today we celebrate:

Kwanzaa - Celebrated from today through January 1st, this is a day to honor African heritage. It was created by Maulana Karenga in 1966-1967 and ends with a feast and exchange of gifts.

National Candy Cane Day – This is a day to eat all the candy canes you have accumulated over the holiday season. I hope you are up for the challenge.

Boxing Day – Traditionally, on this day, the servants and tradesmen would receive gifts from their employers. This gift was known as the “Christmas box”. Hence the term, “Boxing Day”. It is mostly observed in the United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, and a few other Commonwealth countries. It is known by other names in other countries. In South Africa it was renamed Day of Goodwill about twenty years ago.

National Thank-you Note Day – Today we must sit down and write thank you notes for all of the gifts that you have received over the holidays. And yes, it is important so if you want someone to give you a gift next year, you better write a thank you note for what they gave you this year.

National Whiner's Day – I don't like this day, I hear enough whining from my children on a regular basis, I don't want to hear official whining. But once again, whoever created it didn't ask my opinion.

December 25, 2015

Today we celebrate:

National Pumpkin Pie Day – I usually think of this pie at Thanksgiving, but many people love it at Christmas as well.

A'Phabet Day or No "L" Day – This is a day for people who want to send greetings to their friends but do not want to send Christmas cards. So they send out cards that list the letters in the alphabet, leaving a space where the L would normally be.  I find this to be…...interesting. Yes, let’s go with that.

Christmas – This is a day when Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, who was not actually born on December 25th, as far as we can tell. It has been celebrated on this day since 336 AD because Roman Emperor Constantine said it should be. Then, not long after that, Pope Julius I declared that the birth of Jesus should be celebrated on this day every year. Every country has different traditions for their celebrations but most involve a star, and giving gifts. Non-religious based celebrations, that for many are as much a part of Christmas as the religious traditions, may include Santa Claus or St. Nicholas, flying reindeer, a fireplace, enormous socks and an indoor tree.

December 24, 2015

Today we celebrate:

Last Minute Shopper’s Day - This is it!  The very last chance of finishing your Christmas gift shopping before Christmas.  Many stores will offer sales and extended hours to help you in your quest.

Sneak A Peek Day - I know it’s killing you to not know what is in all those packages under your tree.  There will inevitably be a few who just can’t wait to find out so they will sneak a peek.  Let me just say that those peekers better not live in my house.  Apparently this day says that it’s ok to go ahead and peek, but for my children and husband’s information…..we will NOT, under ANY circumstances, be celebrating this day.  

National Egg Nog Day – This is a special holiday beverage that is made with eggs, which you would never have known if I hadn’t told you. The name means 'eggs inside a small cup' and this creamy beverage is commonly mixed with rum, brandy or whiskey.

Christmas Eve – The day before Christmas and an important celebration for Christians. The Jewish people start most of their important celebrations at sundown and it is my understanding that although Christians do not do that for most of their holidays, for this one we adopted the practice many, many years ago.  Most Churches have special Christmas Eve services and many people begin their gift giving traditions on this day as well.  

December 23, 2015

Today we celebrate:

HumanLight Day - Created by the New Jersey Humanist Network in 2001 and sponsored by the American Humanist Association since 2006, this is a secular holiday that celebrates a positive approach to the new year.  It began with a single event in Verona, New Jersey in 2001 and has since begun to spread around the world.

National Pfeffernuesse Day – These are small round biscuits, called cookies here in America. These particular cookies are filled with ground nuts and spices and rolled in powdered sugar. They almost look like a flatter version of Russian Tea Cakes.

Roots Day – This is a day to celebrate your family history. Teach your children where they come from and help them to learn from the trials and tribulations as well as the successes of their ancestors.

Festivus – Dan O'Keefe, a scriptwriter for Seinfeld, wrote an episode of the sitcom around this day which was a tradition in his family. It has since become a popular part of our culture. It is best described as a “parody holiday festival” that fights consumerism.  It offers an alternative to the commercialism and pressure of the holiday season by allowing for the airing of grievances and avoiding decorations.

December 22, 2015

Today we celebrate:

Abilities Day - Today we celebrate disabled people and their caregivers. We wear a white ribbon or decorate with white ribbons to show our unity and solidarity. Everyone is very different and everyone’s disabilities manifest in different ways and at different levels of severity. It can be very challenging to care for someone with severe disabilities, while others get through life with very little, if any, help at all. We need to remember that disabilities are not always visible, and that people with disabilities are still people who deserve the same respect and consideration as anyone else.

National Cookie Exchange Day - I’ve already seen a few cookie swaps among my circle of friends, but apparently this is the traditional day to hold one of these delicious events.  If you don’t know what a cookie swap is, allow me to explain.  You make a few dozen cookies, then you invite a bunch of friends over who have each made a few dozen cookies that they bring to your house. Then you share the cookies so someone who brought 5 dozen sugar cookies will leave with 5 dozen assorted cookies. It’s a great way to get a variety of different cookies without spending hours having to make a variety of different cookies.

Asarah B'Tevet – This is a fast that begins at dawn to commemorate the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylonia. The fast ends at nightfall.

National Date Nut Bread Day – We celebrated this day back in September as well, I'm not sure why we are celebrating it again but it's pretty delicious so I'm not going to complain. You may feel free to complain if you are so inclined, but I wouldn’t count on getting anyone to listen because they will be consumed with consuming this spectacular bread.

National Haiku Poetry Day – A short poem of Japanese origin. It's a three line poem that uses a syllable pattern of 5 syllables, 7 syllables and 5 syllables again. This day was also celebrated on April 17th.

December 21, 2015

Today we celebrate:

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 grandchildren.  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 America 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.

National French Fried Shrimp Day – I tend to prefer my shrimp unfried, but to each his own. They are delicious this way as well.

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. You can choose to do this and if you do it often enough, you won’t have to think about it anymore, you’ll just do it automatically.  When you get to that point, you can consider yourself an optimist.

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 here 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 usually it is pretty darn cold already (although my location has actually been unusually warm so far) but the coldest is yet to come as winter has just begun.

December 20, 2015

Today we celebrate:

Cathode-Ray Tube Day - The cathode-ray tubes were used in old computer monitors and televisions.  They were what we used before there were the LCD and plasma screens that we use today.  But before you go thinking that this was lame, remember that if there were no cathode-ray tubes, there would be no LCD and plasma screens today.  Technology builds on and improves the technology of the past but everything starts somewhere.

Sacagawea Day - this is a day to honor Sacagawea, the American Indian maiden who  accompanied Lewis and Clark on their expedition in 1804 as a Shoshone interpreter at the age of 16.  Sadly, like many Native Americans, she died at a young age around 1812.  But she was instrumental in the successful expedition that helped map the Northwestern part of what was to become the United States of America.

Mudd Day - Dr. Samuel A. Mudd was born on this day in 1833.  He was the doctor who helped John Wilkes Booth medically after he assassinated Abraham Lincoln.  To be fair, Booth was disguised, it was right after the assassination so the good doctor might not have even known about it, and he was a doctor who was sworn to help anyone who needed it.  Any doctor probably would have done the same.  Regardless, the good doctor was sentenced to life imprisonment for his deeds. Fortunately for him, he was pardoned after 4 years by President Andrew Johnson.

International Human Solidarity Day – Created by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005 for the purpose of recognizing shared values between people in the world and using those values to fight against poverty and promote human and social development in the poorest areas of the world.

Go Caroling Day – Who wants to wander the neighborhood singing Christmas Carols in the cold and__(insert whatever weather is happening in your area)__? Anyone? Excellent! I'll meet you outside.

National Sangria Day – A delicious, fruity wine that is made like a punch is called sangria because it's red and sangre is Spanish for blood. It is sweet and refreshing and good any time of year not just this season. But it's a great beverage to serve if you're going to have a party.