28 Offbeat Holidays You Can Celebrate in December
Whether you're a holiday season fanatic who wants even more to celebrate, or a Scrooge with a burning desire to buck tradition, we've got plenty of unconventional observances to put on your calendar.
1. December 3: Giving Tuesday
After indulging on Thanksgiving, and shopping on Friday, Monday, and probably the whole weekend in between, Giving Tuesday—which occurs annually on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving—encourages people to engage in charitable activities.
2. December 4: National Cookie Day
December isn’t exactly lacking in opportunities to indulge in sweet treats, but today it’s your offbeat-holiday-given right to mix, bake, and/or eat as many cookies as you can handle.
3. December 5: Bathtub Party Day
There's a lot to be done between now and the end of the year. Take a minute to breathe, relax, and take in a soak.
4. December 5: International Ninja Day
The official website of Ninja Day alleges this holiday not only honors all things stealth and nunchucks, but also combats the more nautical offbeat holiday Talk Like a Pirate Day, which takes place in September. Creep, sneak, or redirect all of your URLs to Ninja activity—as long as you forgo the “arrrr matey’s” and eye patches for ominous silence and masks, you’re correctly celebrating this international holiday.
5. December 6: National Pawnbrokers Day
If you thought good ol' St. Nicholas was the patron saint of reindeer and stockings, think again: The actual Nikolaos of Myra was the patron of things like the falsely accused and pawnbrokers, and on this day we acknowledge the latter.
6. December 9: Weary Willie Day
Professional clown Emmett Kelly created one of the more memorable clown characters of the 20th century: “Weary Willie.” Unlike many of his clown predecessors, Weary Willie opted out of white face paint and broad slapstick for the “tramp” look popular among Depression-era derelicts. One of his signature routines involved attempting to sweep up after circus acts, and failing in spite of himself—to the delight and empathy of the audience.
7. December 10: Jane Addams Day
December 10 is the day that the Nobel Prize Award Ceremonies have been held every year since 1901. Consequently, there are a lot of firsts that fall on this date, like the first American woman to be honored. That would be Jane Addams, founder of our current social work industry and prominent women's suffrage leader. On the anniversary of that award, given in 1931, we remember her life and work.
8. December 12: Poinsettia Day
This day doesn't just celebrate the festive flower—it also marks the death of its namesake, Joel Roberts Poinsett. The botanist (and first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico) brought clippings of Euphorbia pulcherrima back to the States from southern Mexico, and grew the plant at his South Carolina home.
9. December 12: Festival of Unmentionable Thoughts
We would love to tell you about the origin of this fest or how one goes about celebrating it, but, well, common decency prevents us.
10. December 13: Official Lost And Found Day
Visit a thrift store, see if you can find that book you’ve misplaced, or invest in a memory-boosting regime so you’ll be losing things less frequently.
11. December 13: National Day Of The Horse
In 2004, the Senate signed legislation to officially make the second Saturday of December the National Day of the Horse. We really shouldn’t have to explain the reason horses need to be celebrated—just look at them!
12. December 13: National Cocoa Day
The weather outside is starting to get frightful, but what better cure for the temperature blues than a nice cup of hot cocoa? A down coat or a wool hat simply can’t compete in the taste department.
13. December 13: National Salesperson Day
Because you might not always want their help, but will absolutely be needing it this holiday season.
14. December 14: Monkey Day
Officially, Monkey Day is an “annual celebration of all things simian, a festival of primates, a chance to scream like a monkey and throw feces at whomever you choose.” The origins of the holiday are unknown, though it has been observed since at least 2003.
15. December 14: Gingerbread Decorating Day
Whether you’re a craftsman or an eater, today is the day for you.
16. December 15: Cat Herders Day
Technically this day is for all those who work jobs that could be described as like trying to herd cats, but it’s also probably acceptable to celebrate by trying to wrangle a cute feline.
17. December 16: Barbie And Barney Backlash Day
Doesn’t seem like a coincidence that this holiday occurs in December: It’s the one day a year when you can tell your kids that Barbie and Barney don’t exist.
18. December 17: Wright Brothers Day
Made an official holiday in 1963 by Presidential Proclamation, this holiday marks the day in 1903 when Orville and Wilbur Wright achieved the first ever successful (documented) controlled airplane flight near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
19. December 20: Underdog Day
Observed annually on the third Friday of December since 1976, this is a reminder to honor the little guy. We’re always rooting for them, but there’s a holiday to celebrate, too.
20. December 21: Humbug Day
Get out all your bahs and scowls and growls now: no one will tolerate them come Christmas.
21. December 21: Phileas Fogg Win A Wager Day
In Jules Verne's 1873 classic novel Around the World in 80 Days, Phileas Fogg bets that he can travel the entire globe, between 8:45 p.m. on October 2, and 8:45 p.m. on December 21. Keep an eye out for him on this day.
22. December 22: Forefathers’ Day
On December 21, 1620 (it was a Monday) the Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and since that basically kick-started our country's history since then, we celebrate it.
23. December 23: Festivus!
For those who shy away from the more traditional December holidays, there’s always Festivus for the rest of us. Created by a Seinfeld writer's father and popularized by Frank Costanza, this secular holiday that involves gathering around an aluminum pole and airing your grievances has continued to gain a following since its introduction in 1997. If you haven’t seen the episode, there’s an entire website that spells out how to celebrate Festivus from start to finish. (Test your Festivus knowledge with this quiz.)
24. December 25: A’phabet Day
A pun on noel, this offbeat ce'ebration is designed to high'ight the arbitrary nature of many of the year's si''ier ho'idays. Whi'e you're unwrapping presents and eating your Christmas feast, 'eave a'' the "L"s out of written and spoken communication for a festive activity that wi'' sure'y infuriate your 'oved ones.
25. December 26: National Whiners Day
Get it all out, whiners. Today is your day.
26. December 29: Tick Tock Day
In case you needed another reminder of the inevitable passage of time and/or an occasion to reevaluate how those 2019 resolutions are going!
27. December 31: No Interruptions Day
Before you head off into the New Year's Eve night in search of champagne and midnight kisses, you have to get through the very last business day of the year. Make it a good one with intense focus and no interruptions.
28. December 31: Make Up Your Mind Day
Tomorrow’s a new year! Time to fight that indecisiveness and make a decision—maybe even a resolution, if you will.