Choose Your Holiday Fun
With the holiday season in full swing, it’s likely that many people are focused on Christmas and overlooking some opportunities to observe a few lesser-known events.
For example, December 21 is also designated as National Re-Gifting Day, which was made official in 2008 by Colorado governor Bill Ritter, Jr. The day is set on the Thursday before Christmas, so it’s a coincidence that it’s also Winter Solstice this year. The day was chosen because of the popularity of office parties during this week, and the tendency for people to give away something that they’ve previously received. How do you feel about re-gifting? A little research tells us that it’s becoming more popular as people feel the need to recycle items instead of trashing them. However, most sites recommend that you not give away something that you consider to be junk or unlikable. It’s truly OK to re-gift if you think someone else would enjoy something that you could not or would not use. It’s also important not to re-gift something that has been used—you’ll want to make sure it’s unopened and has no signs of wear. And, above all else, please make sure that you don’t accidentally give the item back to the original giver….that could get embarrassing for both parties.
Another fun day is the celebration of Festivus, observed on December 23. Known as “a Festivus for the rest of us,” it was made popular in a quirky 1997 episode of Seinfeld. In the episode, George Costanza’s father claimed to have created Festivus in retaliation for the increased commercialism of Christmas. In reality, Festivus is credited to author Daniel O’Keefe in 1966, who used the event as an “airing of grievances” due to family tension. That now-famous Seinfeld episode was written by O’Keefe’s son. For those not familiar with Festivus, here are a few key points:
- The Festivus Pole is an undecorated aluminum pole displayed in the home, as opposed to a Christmas tree.
- A Festivus dinner is served for evening meal. During the meal, the “airing of grievances” takes place. This is a time when family members take turns letting each other know how they’ve been disappointed by their family over the past year.
- A family wrestling match is said to follow dinner, with success being deemed once the head of the household has lost the match.
- A Festivus Miracle is really a celebration of a normal, unimpressive activity. It’s nothing that couldn’t be done every other day at any time.
With the popularity of the Seinfeld episode, Festivus has really taken on a life of its own. You can even find Festivus song with a quick online search.
Finally, to wrap up the Christmas season, don’t forget about National Candy Cane Day on December 26. While there is no documented creator of National Candy Cane Day, the treats seem to have been around since the late 1800’s, first in the form of stick candy. The candy did not become associated with the Christmas holiday until 1874. The candy canes that we know today were introduced around 1900. The average candy cane is about five inches tall and contains no fat or cholesterol.