Inside the Booming Business of Adults Who Play With Toys on YouTube

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iStock

Earlier this year, my 5-year-old cousin sat down next to me with her mom’s iPhone to watch some of her favorite videos on YouTube. The first thing she pulled up wasn’t a clip from her favorite TV show or a sing-a-long video, though; it was an unboxing video, one that showed adult hands playing with a set of miniature Japanese cooking toys, demonstrating how they could be played with in complete silence. Kelsey doesn’t know what ramen noodles are (she said, “look, pasta!”) but she’s eager to watch strange adults online play with toys she doesn’t have access to.

Unboxing videos, especially of new technology, have been growing in popularity for the past few years—between 2013 and 2014, views of unboxing videos grew 57 percent, garnering a total of 1 billion views in 2014 alone, according to Google’s research team. And according to the video marketing consultants at TubularInsights, videos with the word “unboxing” in the title get an average of 10,000 views. YouTube channels specifically devoted to unboxing toys are particularly popular.

Take Ryan’s Toy Reviews, for example. The channel, which features videos of 4-year-old Ryan unboxing and playing with toys, launched in 2015 and now has more than 5.4 million followers. By late November 2016, it topped the YouTube charts in popularity, receiving more views than any other channel—182.6 million in just a week—for the 15th week in a row. Ryan is even more popular than Justin Bieber.

But Ryan, who is about the same age as his intended audience, is not the typical demographic represented in the stars of these videos. Instead, many of the people unwrapping and playing with toys on YouTube—voicing Barbies, Peppa Pig toys, Spongebob figures, and more—are adults.

These channels aren’t some obscure trend hidden in random corners of the Internet. One, Fun Toys Collector, has more than 8.5 million subscribers and 12.1 billion views. The videos almost always feature adult voices—typically female, high-pitched, insanely enthusiastic, and a little whispery—giving voice to toy characters, their hands occasionally popping out from behind the camera to manipulate the dolls and other toys. Usually at least some of the toys are unboxed on-camera before they’re played with.

A favorite channel among both my cousins and other pint-sized mental_floss friends is the saccharine CookieSwirlC, which has nearly 3.7 million subscribers. Since its inception in late 2013, it’s gathered more than 4.2 billion views in total. According to her site, “CookieSwirlC is a collector of many toys including Shopkins, Barbie and Build-a-Bear,” and she started her channel “to share her passion of toys and creating stories through play.” She doesn’t take money from toy companies in exchange for coverage, and says on her site that she only features toys she herself collects. This isn’t her only channel. The creator, who did not respond to multiple interview requests, started her toy-reviewing career with a channel focused on model horses, from Breyer figures to My Little Pony toys. She goes by the pseudonym Cookie on the CookieSwirlC site, but on her horse-focused blog, HoneyHeartsC, she refers to herself as Honey.

Like many toy accounts, HoneyHeartsC—which has significantly fewer followers than her general toy channel, about 205,700 subscribers—blends playing with dolls and horses with unboxing and reviewing the toys. In one typical video, two Barbies talk about how one of them dances with her horse—and cue the detailed description and unboxing of a “Barbie Dancing Fun Horse” toy. The narration sounds genuinely enthusiastic, like a kid opening presents on Christmas morning. The camera focuses lovingly on tiny details of the box. Sometimes the pictures depicting how the toy can be played with are narrated as if part of a playtime story, too. The narrator dissects the colors of the Barbies’ hair, the brushability of the horses’ tails, the accessories, and more, interspersing directions for using the toys (how to place the Barbies on the horses, how to get the horse toys to walk) and imaginative play plots, like one in which one Barbie is anxious to catch up to the other rider, for instance. You sometimes see the creator’s hands—pink sparkly nail polish and all—but for the most part, the camera is angled to make the toys look like they move on their own.

For Nathalie Clark, 30, and Mercy Casiano, 29, who jointly run the 1.3-million-subscriber channel Toys Unlimited, the choice to start playing with toys on the Internet was an easy business decision. The two met as nurses working in Houston, and started their channel a year and a half ago when Nathalie spotted a story on Facebook about one toy collector’s wildly popular YouTube channel. “I was like, ‘we can do this,’” Clark tells mental_floss. Now, thanks to YouTube’s monetization option, Casiano has quit her job to work on the channel full-time, and Nathalie works only a few days a month.

Though plenty of YouTubers in the toy world are avid collectors, Clark and Casiano, who go by the nicknames Nat and Essie in their videos, are all business. Clark has a 5-month-old who’s too young to appreciate their videos, and Casiano doesn’t have kids. Casiano says that while people assume they must love toys in real life, “That’s not the case in my situation. It was really just an opportunity.” It’s not hard to see how playing with toys on camera might be a preferable job to putting in long, stressful hours at a hospital. While they like being their own bosses, Clark and Casiano also feel like it’s a philanthropic endeavor: The pair donates the toys they buy or receive for the videos to pediatric hospitals in both Houston and in the Philippines, where Mercy went to nursing school.

Unfortunately, the realities of making YouTube your full-time job aren’t as glamorous as they might sound. “If you want to become a YouTuber, it’s extremely competitive,” Casiano explains. “You have to put out at least one video every day. I feel like it’s more of a quantity over putting the best quality you can.” Instead of nursing, the duo works 10-hour days, six days a week, to meet their goal of posting at least one video of each of them unboxing and playing with toys per day. They typically post around 14 to 16 videos total each week.

The extreme competition for clicks might be why I found YouTubers so hard to track down. Of the multiple emails I sent out to 15 different YouTube creators, many of whom have millions of followers, I received only two responses (aside from one that came in an unusable form of broken English). Apparently, many toy YouTubers are either loath to talk about their job or exceedingly busy, and based on the people I was able to track down, the latter feels like a legitimate excuse. It’s hard to find time for an interview when you can’t even take a full weekend off.

But it’s still a pretty good business, if your channel is popular enough. With a little help from Google Translate and the basic Spanish I learned in high school, I emailed with Javier Pombo, a 32-year-old in A Caruña, Spain who runs a channel called Toys & Games. It initially started out as an unboxing channel for Kinder Surprise eggs, then morphed into a toy channel when he and his brother discovered exactly how popular Peppa Pig channels were getting. Though Toys & Games is relatively small with only 143,000 followers, Pombo's six-channel operation, Nano Studios, now has three other employees—all women between the ages of 20 and 25—who come up with the ideas for the episodes and play with the toys on camera. Right now, they create around 15 videos every week, translating their Spanish videos into English (with a freelance English-language narrator) so they can appeal to a wider audience. Like Toys Unlimited’s creators, Nano Studios, which runs another toy channel called Funny Stories for Children, buys most of the toys on display, though some come from the Spanish toy company Bandai España and the New Jersey-based Calico Critters. The business is successful enough that Pombo plans to add another two channels to the roster in early 2017.

These videos aren’t promoting particularly under-the-radar toys, no doubt due to both the promotional toys companies send in and the need to compete for kids’ clicks. To find the trendiest toys to feature on their channel, Casiano and Clark watch the Disney Channel to note what's new and popular and survey all their friends who have kids about the latest "in" toys and shows. If a video doesn’t feature a Disney character, it’s a Barbie, or a My Little Pony figure, or a Peppa Pig toy. Unsurprisingly, many channels capitalize on the intense popularity of the 2013 movie Frozen, to the point where seeing a clip that doesn’t involve one of the Frozen princesses is a rarity.

For instance, Come Play With Me, a channel with more than 992,000 followers that seems to involve actual children playing—or at least hires people with extremely child-like voices—almost exclusively traffics in playing with Anna and Elsa figures, even in videos that include characters from other movies, like Ursula from 1989's The Little Mermaid.

Many of these channels call their videos parodies—perhaps to get around the fact that they’re making money by using trademarked characters—but there’s nothing especially humorous or satirical about them. Most don’t even seem to attempt to be funny. The videos come off as sincere attempts to create the kind of plots a kid would come up with after a visit to the toy box, and some rival the lengths of the shows they’re based on.

Though toy videos on YouTube might look basically like the same thing kids do when they’re playing on their own, not all playtime is the same. Playtime for kids is more than just a fun activity; it helps them develop and practice essential skills they’ll use later in life. Some researchers hypothesize that when kids imagine and play in worlds of their own, with toys or without, it influences the development of creativity, intelligence, and what’s called theory of the mind (understanding that others have desires and perspectives that are separate from yours).

The scientific jury is still out as to whether imaginative play actually causes kids to become more creative or intelligent, but it’s certainly correlated. It’s possible that pretend play just happens to coincide with those developments, and it may be that either kids who are creative and understand other perspectives enjoy playing more, and therefore do it more, or that there’s some third factor that influences both play and creativity at the same time. However, there are a few ways that playing might help kids develop important life skills.

“Imaginary play could encourage social development because children are simultaneously behaving as themselves and as someone else,” as Tracy Gleason—a professor of psychology at Wellesley College in Massachusetts who focuses on the relationships between children and their imaginary friends—writes in an article on The Conversation. “This gives them a chance to explore the world from different perspectives, and is a feat that requires thinking about two ways of being at once, something that children may have difficulty doing in other circumstances."

In other words, it’s good practice for a lot of real-world social situations. “It’s this level of abstraction,” Gleason told me over the phone. “You’re pretending that Barbie is talking and doing things, and you have to think about Barbie’s thoughts and feelings and behaviors. All of that is the kind of thing we do when we empathize with other people.”

The differences between playing and watching aren’t hard to tell when you talk to kids like my cousins. Kelsey, the 5-year-old whose favorite YouTube channel is CookieSwirlC, says she likes toy videos more than playing on her own because “they come up with better stories,” and she likes watching these amateur YouTube videos more than professionally created cartoons. If the YouTube video isn’t in English, she just turns the sound off and watches in silence. Sometimes she and her 8-year-old sister even watch videos featuring toys they have. When they watch YouTube with their little brother, who is about to turn 3, they’ll often watch superhero videos that contain some of the same toys he already owns.

It’s not exactly an imaginative process watching someone else at play, especially when a lot of the content isn’t terribly high quality. Like with a movie, you don’t have to imagine anything, because the story is all laid out for you. But few kids are going to give up playing on their own for YouTube. Riley, Kelsey’s 8-year-old sister, likes to play with her actual toys as much as watch videos of other people playing, even though she likes the different voices YouTubers come up with better than her own. Perhaps because she’s a bit older than her sister, when the videos don’t have an audio track or if the narration is in a different language, she proceeds to make up her own narration, an imaginative endeavor in itself.

Casiano argues that by watching her play on YouTube, kids can be inspired to play themselves. “It helps kids take the toys they have and start creating a story and having their [own] imagination.” She thinks part of the appeal to parents might be that, since as much as 80 percent of their traffic comes from mobile, people are handing their iPads to kids at restaurants or whenever they need a minute of quiet. Then the kids can pretend they’re playing with an infinite number of toys, rather than messing around with the one toy they brought all through dinner.

Now, kids have been coming up with their own imaginative play stories for millennia, so it's pretty strange to think that youngsters need an extra push to play with their toys or come up with creative scenarios in which they're pirates or space aliens or Dr. Barbie. You could argue that in an era when kids are often quieted with iPads and smartphones, anyway, toy videos might spark a little more desire to go off into real, solo imaginative play than say, another Peppa Pig episode. But that's probably not the case, according to experts.

"If you want play to be important, they should be playing," says Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, a psychology professor at Temple University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who studies play and childhood development.

It might not even be the toys in these videos that are attracting kids, for one thing. There's a chance that it's the bright screen itself. “The high resolution and the movement quality [of screens are] something that we know young kids are attracted to,” Hirsh-Pasek says. “I don’t think it has to be a toy. I think frankly it could be anything. I bet they’d be glued to a weather map.” She likens YouTube videos without an educational component to junk food: "We would never substitute our kids meals with cake and candy realistically everything in the right proportions is fine sometimes."

But while watching other people act out relatively boring Barbie plots seems like a pretty weird pastime for the next generation of kids, it’s probably not frying their brains completely. Gleason says that watching toy videos probably isn’t any different from a developmental perspective than any other media. “You’re watching a story unfold,” just like in a cartoon or television show. But from a developmental perspective, it’s actually better for a kid to watch with an adult. “One of the things that’s been demonstrated in the literature is that kids do a lot more processing if someone is watching with them,” Gleason says. “Otherwise it’s very passive.”

It won’t necessarily ruin your child's development to let them entertain themselves with this kind of YouTube Kids content, even if it’s kind of brain candy. It’s not that different from sitting them down in front of the TV. As Gleason puts it, “It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but what else could they be doing that might be more fun and more beneficial to them?” Playing with their own Elsa and Anna toys, probably.

Amazon's Best Black Friday Deals: Tech, Video Games, Kitchen Appliances, Clothing, and More

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Amazon

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Black Friday is finally here, and Amazon is offering great deals on kitchen appliances, tech, video games, and plenty more. We will keep updating this page as sales come in, but for now, here are the best Amazon Black Friday sales to check out.

Kitchen

Instant Pot/Amazon

- Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-115 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker; $90 (save $40)

- Keurig K-Cafe Special Edition; $190 (save $30)

- Ninja OS301 Foodi 10-in-1 Pressure Cooker and Air Fryer; $125 (save $75)

- Nespresso Vertuo Next Coffee and Espresso Machine by Breville; $120 (save $60)

- KitchenAid KSMSFTA Sifter with Scale Attachment; $95 (save $75)

- Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker; $60 (save $20)

- Cuisinart Bread Maker; $80 (save $97)

- Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker; $139 (save $60)

- Aicook Juicer Machine; $35 (save $15)

- JoyJolt Double Wall Insulated Espresso Mugs - Set of Two; $14 (save $10)

- Longzon Silicone Stretch Lids - Set of 14; $16 (save $11)

- HadinEEon Milk Frother; $37 (save $33)

Home Appliances

Roomba/Amazon

- iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum with Wi-Fi Connectivity; $179 (save $101)

- ASAKUKI 500ml Premium Essential Oil Diffuser; $22 (save $4)

- Facebook Portal Smart Video Calling 10 inch Touch Screen Display with Alexa; $129 (save $50)

- Bissell air320 Smart Air Purifier with HEPA and Carbon Filters; $280 (save $50)

- Oscillating Quiet Cooling Fan Tower; $59 (save $31)

- TaoTronics PTC 1500W Fast Quiet Heating Ceramic Tower; $55 (save $10)

- Vitamix 068051 FoodCycler 2 Liter Capacity; $300 (save $100)

- Ring Video Doorbell; $70 (save $30)

Video games

Sony

- Marvel's Spider-Man: Game of The Year Edition for PlayStation 4; $20 (save $20)

- The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening; $40 (save $20)

- Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity; $50 (save $10)

- Marvel's Avengers; $25 (save $33)

- The Last of Us Part II for PlayStation 4; $30 (save $30)

- LEGO Harry Potter: Collection; $15 (save $15)

- Ghost of Tsushima; $40 (save $20)

- BioShock: The Collection; $20 (save $30)

- The Sims 4; $24 (save $20)

- God of Warfor PlayStation 4; $10 (save $10)

- Days Gonefor PlayStation 4; $20 (save $6)

- Luigi's Mansion 3 for Nintendo Switch; $40 (save $20)

Computers and tablets

Microsoft/Amazon

- New Apple MacBook Pro 16 inches with 512 GB; $2149 (save $250)

- Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 with 13.5 inch Touch-Screen; $1200 (save $400)

- Lenovo ThinkPad T490 Laptop; $889 (save $111)

- Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet (64GB); $120 (save $70)

- Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition Tablet (32 GB); $130 (save $70)

- Apple iPad Mini (64 GB); $335 (save $64)

- Vankyo MatrixPad S2 Tablet; $120 (save $10)

Tech, gadgets, and TVs

Apple/Amazon

- Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS; $120 (save $79)

- Seneo Wireless Charger, 3 in 1 Wireless Charging Station; $16 (save $10)

- SAMSUNG 75-inch Class Crystal 4K Smart TV; $998 (save $200)

- Nixplay 2K Smart Digital Picture Frame 9.7 Inch Silver; $238 (save $92)

- All-New Amazon Echo Dot with Clock and Alexa (4th Gen); $39 (save $21)

- MACTREM LED Ring Light 6" with Tripod Stand; $16 (save $3)

- Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote; $28 (save $12)

- DR. J Professional HI-04 Mini Projector; $93 (save $37)

Headphones and speakers

Beats/Amazon

- Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones; $120 (Save $80)

- Apple AirPods Pro; $169 (save $50)

- Anker Soundcore Upgraded Bluetooth Speaker; $22 (save $8)

- Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones; $175 (save $75)

- JBL Boombox; $280 (save $120)

Movies and TV

HBO/Amazon

- Game of Thrones: The Complete Series; $115 (save $89)

- Jurassic World 5-Movie Set; $23 (save $37)

- Deadwood: The Complete Series; $42 (save $28)

- Back to the Future Trilogy; $15 (save $21)

Toys and Games

Amazon

- Awkward Family Photos Greatest Hits; $15 (save $10)

- Exploding Kittens Card Game; $10 (save $10)

- Cards Against Humanity: Hidden Gems Bundle; $14 (save $5)

- LOL Surprise OMG Remix Pop B.B. Fashion Doll; $29 (save $6)

- LEGO Ideas Ship in a Bottle 92177 Expert Building Kit; $56 (save $14)

Furniture

Casper/Amazon

- Casper Sleep Element Queen Mattress; $476 (save $119)

- ZINUS Alexis Deluxe Wood Platform Bed Frame; $135 (save $24)

- ROMOON Dresser Organizer with 5 Drawers; $59 (save $11) 

- AmazonBasics Room Darkening Blackout Window Curtains; $26 (save $5)

- Writing Desk by Caffoz; $119 (save $21)

- SPACE Seating Office Support Managers Chair; $112 (save $116)

- Rivet Globe Stick Table Lamp; $53 (save $17)

- Christopher Knight Home Merel Mid-Century Modern Club Chair; $188 (save $10)

- Walker Edison Furniture Industrial Rectangular Coffee Table; $121 (save $48)

Beauty

Haus/Amazon

- MySmile Teeth Whitening Kit with LED Light; $21 (save $12) 

- Cliganic USDA Organic Lip Balms Set of Six; $6 (save $4)

- HAUS LABORATORIES By Lady Gaga: LE RIOT LIP GLOSS; $7 (save $11)

- Native Deodorant for Men and Women Set of Three; $25 (save $11) 

- BAIMEI Rose Quartz Jade Roller & Gua Sha; $14 (save $3)

- Honest Beauty Clearing Night Serum with Pure Retinol and Salicylic Acid; $20 (save $8)

- WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Hair Conditioner Set; $30 (save $5) 

- La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser; $15 (save $5)

- wet n wild Bretman Rock Shadow Palette; $9 (save $6)

- EltaMD UV Daily Tinted Face Sunscreen Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid; $25 (save $6)

Clothes

Ganni/Amazon

- Ganni Women's Crispy Jacquard Dress; $200 (save $86) 

- The Drop Women's Maya Silky Slip Skirt; $36 (save $9)

- Steve Madden Women's Editor Boot; $80 (save $30)

- adidas Women's Roguera Cross Trainer; $40 (save $25)

- Line & Dot Women's Elizabeth Sweater; $74 (save $18)

- Levi's Men's Sherpa Trucker Jacket; $57 (save $41)

- Adidas Men's Essentials 3-Stripes Tapered Training Joggers Sweatpants; $28 (save $12)

- Timex Men's Weekender XL 43mm Watch; $32 (save $20)

- Ray-Ban Unisex-Adult Hexagonal Flat Lenses Sunglasses; $108 (save $46) 

- Reebok Men's Flashfilm Train Cross Trainer; $64 (save $16)

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25 Offbeat Holidays You Can Celebrate in December

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ivanastar/iStock via Getty Images

Whether you're a holiday fanatic who wants even more to celebrate, or a Scrooge with a burning desire to buck tradition, we've got plenty of offbeat observances to put on your calendar.

1. December 1: 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

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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

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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 11: 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.

9. December 12: Poinsettia Day

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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.

10. December 12: Gingerbread Decorating Day

Whether you’re a craftsman or an eater, today is the day for you.

11. December 13: National Day Of The Horse

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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 14: Monkey Day

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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.

14. 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.

15. December 16: Barbie And Barney Backlash Day

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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.

16. 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.

17. December 18: 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.

18. December 21: Humbug Day

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Get out all your bahs and scowls and growls now: no one will tolerate them come Christmas.

19. 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.

20. 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.

21. December 23: Festivus!

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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.)

22. 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 Ls out of written and spoken communication for a festive activity that wi'' sure'y infuriate your 'oved ones.

23. December 26: National Whiners Day

Get it all out, whiners. Today is your day.

24. December 29: Tick Tock Day

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In case you needed another reminder of the inevitable passage of time and/or an occasion to reevaluate how those 2019 resolutions are going!

25. 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.