D. GARY DAVIS
December, a Month of Contrasts
December is an interesting month. It closes the door on the old year while giving us a glimpse of the new year’s horizon. 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 December 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 December 26 and lasts until January 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 December 1. December 2 is "National Fritters Day” and December 3 ushers in "National Roof-Over-Your-Head Day.” One of my personal favorites is "National Cookie Day” on December 4. But I don’t know why we must have a National "Wear Brown Shoes Day” on the same date.
December 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 December 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 December 12, followed by "National Cocoa Day” (More chocolate) on December 13.
December 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.
December 17 is "National Maple Syrup Day,” "Underdog Day” and "Wright Brother’s Day” followed by "National Wear a Plunger on Your Head Day” (No …it Really is!) on December 18.
Sanity returns on December 19 with "National Oatmeal Muffin Day” which seems a good way to ease into the Winter Solstice and the first day of winter on December 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, December 25th. The Twelve Days of Christmas also begin on the 25th and run through January 6th. These are considered twelve 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!