Ever wonder why we don’t say it that way? I mean, Christmas, Hanukkah—you’re probably celebrating one or the other, right? So why the emphasis on plurality?
I’ll tell you why: because there are so many opportunities for “sanctioned rejoicing” in the month of December, thirty-one calendar days are barely enough to contain the ebullient tides of mirth. December is to holidays what the Vegas strip is to themed hotels: there’s one for every taste, demographic and level of tolerance to manufactured happiness.
So buckle up, knuckle up and get ready to celebrate… because you’ve got a whole lot of rejoicing to get through before January 1.
Dec 1 – National Eat a Red Apple Day
You know what they say: an apple a day keeps your digestive tract full of insoluble pectins. And to honor that old adage, here’s a holiday devoted to you, oh red-delicious-delicacy of dietary dynamism. Just don’t tell the green ones. Freakin’ posers.
Dec 5 – National Repeal Day
“They may take our financial livelihoods and social stability! But they’ll never take… our alcohol!!!” That was pretty much the gist of the 21st amendment, which officially ended prohibition on Dec. 5, 1933. Just in time to make the great depression… a little less depressing. Cheers.
Dec 6 – Krampusnacht
For decades, we’ve frightened children into social compliance with the threat of coal on Christmas morning. But for children in Europe, Precambrian carbon would be a welcome sight compared to the horned demon known as “the Krampus”—said to stalk, abduct and torture insolent children, on the night of Dec. 6. Ho, ho, HELL.
Dec 8 – Bodhi Day
No, this day does not celebrate Patrick Swayze’s character from the film, Point Break. But it does celebrate Siddhartha Gautama’s ascendance to enlightenment, in which he shunned the burden of earthly attachment and found the key to ending human suffering… thus becoming “The Buddha.”
Dec 12 – Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe
Holy Virgin Mary? Aztec mother goddess Tonantzin? Eh, who’s counting anyway? Either way, it’s a big holiday in Mexico that celebrates the day a native farmer had a vision of the “holy mother”—the identity of whom is subject to interpretation, depending on your point of view.
Dec 21 – 25 – Pancha Ganapati
Hinduism dates back to a time before recorded history, predating every other contemporary religion. And Pancha Ganapati—the Hindu celebration of giving and family—dates back to… 1985. When an American-born Hindu holy man proposed a holiday that espouses western traditions in a more “Hindu-esque” way.
Dec 26 – Boxing Day
Contrary to popular belief (or at least the author’s belief, at some point earlier in life), Boxing Day does not commemorate pugilism in Canada. Apparently, if you were a servant or a tradesman back in colonial times, you got a “gift box,” of sorts, from your master on the day after Christmas. Now you just get a day off work.
Dec 26 – Jan 1 – Kwanzaa
Created in 1966 by professor and activist, Dr. Maulana Karenga, Kwanzaa commemorates community, creativity and positive action among all African Americans… and all people. While many opposition leaders at the time preached violence, Karenga sought unity through culture and kindness. And presents. And cool outfits.
Dec 30 – National Bicarbonate of Soda Day
No one actually knows how, why or when a disembodied arm wielding a sledgehammer came to represent baking soda. Perhaps it’s because that symbol is as arbitrary and ambiguous as baking soda itself. Is it an ingredient? A deodorizer? Something to make fizzy volcanoes with? “Yes.” Now go celebrate, dammit.
Dec 31 – Hogmanay
No, it’s not New Year’s Eve. Well, it kind of is… but it’s also new years day—at least in Scotland. And in Scotland, you sing “Auld Lang Syne” (and know it what it means), drink heavily and invite random people into your house after midnight… the first of whom should be a tall man with dark hair (which only sounds strange if you’re sober).
As a member of Seed’s copywriting team, Matt Donahue marries his love for creative writing with a keen interest in product innovation, technology and science. He’s a graduate of Seton Hill University’s “Popular Fiction” master’s program and writes whenever he can.