For many people, December is a time of reflection as well as hope and promise as a new year inches closer with the turning of each page on the calendar.
For most children, December is a month of anticipation as they await the arrival of the old elf in the red suit. But some adults feel overwhelmed in December. It can bring a feeling of dread, filled with feverish activity, an overbooked calendar, too much company, and for some, a feeling of being alone. For others, it’s a joyous time and brings the opportunity to spend time with friends, family and loved ones in a celebration of Christ’s birth.
December is also a month with many special days other than Christmas. The eight-day celebration of Hanukkah ended on Dec. 5 which commemorates the rededication of the temple in Jerusalem in the second century BC. There is also the Kwanzaa celebration, the Pan-African Festival which begins Dec. 26 and lasts until Jan. 1.
December is also “National Hi Neighbor Month,” “National Stress Free Family Holiday Month” and “Read a New Book Month.” These all seem to be worthy observances to help ease the stress of the holidays.
December is also filled with several one-day observances. The holidays just wouldn’t be the same without “Eat a Red Apple Day” and “National Pie Day” on Dec. 1. Dec. 2 is “National Fritters Day” and Dec. 3 ushers in “National Roof-Over-Your-Head Day.” One of my personal favorites is “National Cookie Day” on Dec. 4. But I don’t know why we must have a National “Wear Brown Shoes Day” on the same date.
Dec. 7 ushers in “Pearl Harbor Day” and a time to commemorate an event that thrust the United States into World War II. It is also “National Cotton Candy Day” followed by “National Brownie Day” on Dec. 8. I am personally in favor of any day that commemorates chocolate.
What would the Christmas Holiday season be without Poinsettias? That flower’s holiday is celebrated on Dec. 12, followed by “National Cocoa Day” (more chocolate) on Dec. 13.
Dec. 16 is the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, an event that some would probably like to create all over again. For you music lovers, the 16th is also the birthday of Ludwig Von Beethoven, as well as “National Chocolate Covered Anything Day.” I think music and chocolate go well together.
Dec. 17 is “National Maple Syrup Day,” “Underdog Day” and “Wright Brothers Day,” followed by “National Wear a Plunger on Your Head Day” (no, it really is) on Dec. 18.
Sanity returns on Dec. 19 with “National Oatmeal Muffin Day” which seems a good way to ease into the Winter Solstice and the first day of winter on Dec. 21. The Winter Solstice is the time at which the sun appears at noon at its lowest altitude above the horizon. The 21st is also “National Humbug Day,” a phrase made popular by Ebenezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol.”
To balance things out, Humbug Day is followed by “Look on the Bright Side Day” on the 22nd, and for added emphasis it is also “National Flashlight Day” to brighten things up.
It seems appropriate that “National Egg Nog Day” would fall on the 24th, Christmas Eve, and “National Pumpkin Pie Day” would fall on Christmas Day, Dec. 25. The Twelve Days of Christmas also begin on the 25th and run through Jan. 6. These are considered 12 festive days also known as Christmastide. (But I don’t know what I’d do with a Partridge in a Pear Tree.)
Hopefully, you will enjoy the Christmas season and find something to celebrate. At least, have some chocolate!
And once again, to all the citizens of Bradley County, from my family to yours, Merry Christmas!