December is a month for specific holidays that occur or happen to occur together.
This page celebrates special days of items that have become popularly associated with the holiday season. These are not as well-known but help explain some holiday traditions.
December 4 - Santa's List Day
According to popular culture, Santa Claus lists children as to whether they are nice or naughty. This is a good day for children to be good and helpful during the holiday season. This is one way to move from the naughty list to the nice list!
December 6 - Mitten Tree Day
A craft project based on the children's story The Mitten. Grade school children cut out and decorate mittens to hang on paper Christmans trees.
December 9 - Christmas Card Day
Since 1843 when the first Christmas card was created (no, Hallmark didn't create it), Christmas cards have been very popular to send, give, and now, e-mail / e-send.
December 12 - Poinsettia Day
Since 1851, this day became Poinsettia Day per Congressional act in honor of Joel Robert Poinsett, the first American ambassador to Mexico. He brought this colorful flower back to the U.S. and gave them as gifts to family and friends. Since then, poinsettias have become a symbol of Christmas being known as "Christmas flower".
December 16 - Ugly Sweater Day
Another term for sweaters that have "interesting" holiday designs. These are sweaters most people would almost never wear in public. On a positive note, this is a day fassociated with fundraising acitvities for children's charities.
December 18 - Bake Cookies Day
Very few people can resist specialty cookies as holiday treats.
December 19 - Look for an Evergreen Day
Most people like to decorate their homes with a Christmas treee. Most use a fresh pine tree, while a few who use artificial trees or use other representations of Christmas trees. This custom began in Europe and has become very popular in the U.S.. By this date, most people already have a tree up or around in their homes, so this date is an aid to decoration procrastinators.
December 20 - Go Caroling Day
Christmas carols are songs that focus on Christmas and can range from religious to secular. Groups will go sing or perform carols (aka go caroling) in areas ranging from neighborhoods (past) to senior citizen centers (present).
December 21 - Humbug Day
"Humbug" came into the English language from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol to illustrate the main character's dislike of Christmas. Humbug Day is a good way to release stress of the holiday season.
December 23 - Festivus
What started as a statement on the TV show "Seinfeld" ("A Festivus for the rest of us") has become a holiday that everyone can share not tied to any specific holiday tradition. While there are ideas (dinner where meatloaf is the main course, airing grievances about one another, plain aluminum pole instead of a Christmas tree), the premise is that celebrations vary by individual.
December 24 - Egg Nog Day
A seasonal holiday drink which is basically non-alcoholic, but some like to add some form of alcohol to it. Whether with or without alcohol, egg nog is popularly drunk on Christmas Eve. It is sold in stores from Thanksgiving until New Year's Day.
December 27 - National Fruitcake Day
Many decades ago, fruitcakes were popular Christmas gifts. However, they are usually hard as these are gifts that people give away. The idea is to trade it (or them) out before the holiday season is over. One never knows how old (though one can guess by how hard it is) a fruitcake is as some people store their received fruitcakes for gift use next year.
Happy Hanukkah! Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy New Year! Happy Holidays!
Images: mastergardenerssandiego.org, ABC News - Go.com