A Reason to … Celebrate, Remember, Have Fun! (Dec 23-29, 2011)

Friday, December 23rd: Happy Pffffer … happy pfeeee … Happy German Christmas Cookie Day. It’s NATIONAL PFEFFERNUESSE DAY and you won’t catch me saying that twice! These small gingerbread treats, covered in powdered sugar, look like Russian Teacakes or Mexican Wedding Balls, but don’t be fooled. They have a bite of black pepper in them, not the vanilla or almond flavoring used in the others. Lore has it that Saint Nicholas placed these tiny, spicy treats in children’s boots left out on the night of December 5th. I’ll celebrate the day and consume my fair share of these bite-sized cookies, as long as I don’t have to pronounce them.

Saturday, December 24th: Millions of people worldwide are celebrating Christmas Eve tonight. Many will also be celebrating another lesser known holiday, even if inadvertently. Today is also NATIONAL EGGNOG DAY. Traditionally, eggnog is a blend of milk, sugar, raw eggs and spices, usually nutmeg. The cup is commonly topped with a sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon, chocolate curls or a dollop of whipped cream. For the older crowd, the cup may be a bit more ‘spirited’, containing whiskey, rum, brandy, bourbon or cognac. I even saw a Pumpkin Eggnog in the store last week. Whether you celebrate Eggnog Day or not, Merry Christmas Eve to all!

Sunday, December 25th: “It’s about time … it’s about space … it’s about time to …” Wait! That’s an old childhood song. That’s not a nice song to sing on Christmas Day. Today is also the beginning of IT’S ABOUT TIME WEEK. According to Chase’s Calendar, this “Innovative week encourages creativity and honors ideas and pilot programs for ‘A Better Way; A Better World’.” What a great idea. Let’s celebrate and borrow their idea. What is it about time for in YOUR life? Put on your thinking caps. This week, once a day, fill in the blank: It’s about time to _________.

Monday, December 26th: Danke, Gracias, Merci, do jeh, dank u wel, mahalo, arigato, wado, Pilamaya aloh, Ahéhee’ … however you say it, it means the same thing – Thank You! It’s THANK YOU NOTE CARD DAY. Maybe it’s not as exciting as Boxing Day or National Whiners Day, but it’s a celebratory day on its own merit. Thank you notes are losing their status in today’s world. We’re talking the good-ole-handwritten thank you card here; not an email or a Facebook post. Celebrate the day; write a thank you note or two. Write one for a gift received, or to tell someone how they’ve touched your life. No note cards? Fancy, formal note cards aren’t required. A simple piece of paper will do. Try one out; I think you’ll be surprised at how much the recipient enjoys it.

Tuesday, December 27th: Here’s a whole day celebrating a cake with a bad rap. It’s NATIONAL FRUITCAKE DAY. We’ve all heard the jokes at the expense of this maligned dessert. We joke that there’s only one fruitcake in the world, and it gets passed along from family member to friends and back. We tease that they make the ideal gift … because the Postal Service is unable to damage them. Or, what about everyone’s favorite fruitcake recipe? It’s nuts, dried fruit, eggs, brown sugar, salt and a couple of bottles of bourbon – for the chef. Fruitcake is a typical tradition, and you either like it or you don’t. I’ll admit, it’s not my favorite holiday dessert. But, I’ll still celebrate the day; it’s another way to celebrate life.

Wednesday, December 28th: Christmas is over and the hustle and bustle has died down. The mess is picked up (maybe). Schools out and the kids are already bored. It’s a perfect day to play. It’s CARD PLAYING DAY. Fish, War, Old Maid, Crazy Eights … there’s so many games to choose from. Poker, rummy, bridge: the list goes on. Plan an easy dinner tonight and sit around playing cards with the family. Invite a few friends over. Slow down, enjoy life, and celebrate the time spent with family and friends.

Thursday, December 29th: Tick, tock … tick tock … So goes the clock, counting down the hours till 2011 ends. December 29th is TICK TOCK DAY. Any goals you haven’t met yet? Errands or tasks not completed? Better get on it, times running out. Two days to go till 2012. What would you like to accomplish before the year ends? Is there anything you can check off your to-do list before the New Years bells start ringing?

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