Friday, December 2, 2011

December: Let's Get Holiday Happy!

December's calendar is bursting with fun and festive events for all sorts of people! There's a lot going on in this one month. Which of these special days do you celebrate with your family?

December 6: St. Nicholas Day
This festival, celebrated by children in America and Europe, celebrates the life of the famous saint who gave gifts to needy children 1,700 years ago. Today, kids put their shoes by the door so St. Nick can fill them with candy, fruit and small toys.

December 20 - 28: Hanukkah
This holy Jewish holiday lasts for eight days and the family celebrations include burning the Menorah, a holder with eight candles, spinning special tops called dredels, eating potato pancakes called latkes, Hanukkah donuts called sufganiot and cookies called mandelbrot.

December 24: Christmas Eve
Last-minute shoppers rush out to finish getting what they need so they can enjoy the evening with their families, awaiting the overnight visit from Santa Claus.

December 25: Christmas
People all over the world celebrate Christmas, a day of giving fits and being with families, to celebrate peace and enjoy a fine feast, while celebrating the birth of Christ.

December 26: Boxing Day
This holiday has nothing to do with putting on thick gloves and fighting in a ring. Celebrated in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and other countries, the day is celebrated by giving gifts in boxes. Many people go shopping on this day to take advantage of big sales.

December 26 - January 1: Kwanzaa
This week-long African-American holiday is based upon the ancient customs of Africa. Created in 1966, Kwanzaa celebrates African heritage and culture. Family and friends gather to wear traditional African clothing and celebrate seven special principles of their heritage, one for each day of the holiday week.

December 31: New Year's Eve
It's party night! Friends and families gather together to see out the old year and ring in the new, with good food and drink, games and lively conversation, Oh, and a lot of noise! Happy New Year!

These days have become traditional holidays, with millions of people celebrating them each year. But did you know there are some other holidays this month that are just a little bit out of the ordinary?

December 12th is Poinsettia Day, celebrating the famous Yuletide flower and the man who introduced it to the US from Mexico. Violin Day is celebrated on December 13th. December 18th is Baking Cookies Day (one of L'il Pinky's favorite days!). December 21st sees National Flashlight Day shining on us. And National Eggnog Day falls on December 24th.

So whatever holidays you celebrate, whether traditional or slightly off-the-saddle- as we like to say around these parts- have a delightful December and a warm holiday season! And don't forget to bring your violin and your flashlight!

Can't wait for Christmas? Me either! This weekend, make your own Countdown to Christmas calendar! Print out this December calendar page or get a grownup to help you. Then circle Sunday, the 25th and draw a picture of Santa in that box. Each day, draw and color another square on your calendar with these pictures:

Dec. 3: A snowman
Dec. 4: A Christmas tree
Dec. 5: Candy canes
Dec. 6: An elf
Dec. 7: A Santa hat
Dec. 8: A wrapped present
Dec. 9: Holly leaves and berries
Dec. 10: A reindeer
Dec. 11: A string of colorful Christmas lights
Dec. 12: Your favorite Christmas cookie
Dec. 13: Mrs. Claus
Dec. 14: Christmas bells
Dec. 15: A gingerbread man
Dec. 16: A Christmas wreath
Dec. 17: Santa's sleigh
Dec. 18: A Christmas candle
Dec. 19: The star or angel on the top of your Christmas tree
Dec. 20: Your smiling face
Dec. 21: A snowflake
Dec. 22: Your favorite ornament on your tree
Dec. 23: A sack full of toys
Dec. 24: Stockings hung by the fireplace

After Christmas, have a parent help you scan your completed Countdown to Christmas calendar and email to my special Christmas helper at:

To get your blank Countdown to Christmas calendar, click below!
Thumbs Up Johnnie Countdown to Christmas Calendar

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