July 21st National Be Someone Day

The idea of being someone is that the someone you become is someone who stands up against child abuse and neglect. It is an important someone who is thanked by Project Harmony who created the day. In a world where we have learned so much, gained so many abilities and have command of so many things at our fingertips, the idea that child abuse still exists is so sad. It is likely to be worse after these trying times and you have to think of yourself as the single force to stop it. If we all do that, maybe we can at least slow this sickness down though it’s unlikely we will ever be able to end it.

How to celebrate – If you suspect child abuse, report it. Treat your children as if they are the most important thing in your life because they are. Learn the warning signs of child abuse.

June 19th Father’s Day

Father’s Day, in some places better known as St. Joseph’s Day, was first thought of in the US by Grace Golden Clayton in December 1907 when she brought the idea up to her pastor.  Mother’s Day was already being celebrated and only seemed fair that there should be a day for Father’s as well. Fairmont, West Virginia celebrated the day on July 5th, 1908 with Grace and her church celebrating a “Day for Father”. It didn’t go over too well, it seems it conflicted with the celebration on July 4th, our Country’s birthday.

So Father’s Day disappeared for a while.  Sonora Smart Dodd brought the idea up again, placing the date on June 19th, 1910 in Spokane, Washington. It fared a little better but still did not take off until she brought in back in the 1930’s. Maybe it had something to do with the depression and people needing a reason to celebrate, or maybe it was because so many fathers were disappearing because they coud not deal with the pressures of having to take care of a family when they had no way to do it. It made those fathers that stuck it out seem all that much more valuable. Still, Congress refused to allow the holiday as a national celebration.

Then finally, in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed Father’s Day as a national holiday to be celebrated by the entire country to honor their fathers.

Now I know fathers can be good, or bad, or even non-existent. I can only speak about my own father. My father has been an inspiration to me. He always seems to know the right thing to do, the right things to say and what is important. He is always there when I need him.  Whether I agreed with his opinion or not growing up, I felt the need to respect what he said. I have learned a lot of very valuable things from him.. it wasn’t math or science, reading or writing… it was about showing up, about standing up for people that could not stand up for themselves, and it was about listening.

A father doesn’t always say things but they nearly always do something. He doesn’t have to be a carpenter to build you a tree house. He doesn’t have to be a teacher to educate you. He just has to be there. Here’s to all the fathers that show up. Happy Father’s Day!

How to celebrate: Just spend some time with your dad or any other person you consider a father figure in your life. Buy him a gift that means something, not that just satisfies your need to give something. Take an interest in what your father does, even if it isn’t something you understand, after all, he’s done that for you all your lifetime.

May 1st Free Comic Book Day

Always the first Saturday in May, Free Comic Book Day was started by Joe Field of Flying Colors Comics in Concord, California in 2001 but did not officially get recognized until 2002. It is recognized by the North American Comic Book industry and has over 2,000 participant retailers in some 30 countries. The day is organized by Diamond Comic Distributors, the largest Comic Book distributor in the world. I don’t know if you have seen any of the more modern comic books but they certainly are more graphic in every way imaginable. I’m not sure if this is good or bad, the art work is fantastic, the message is often a bit more than children need to know. however, I sort of assume comic books aren’t for children anymore anyway.

How to celebrate – Go to your local comic book store and if they participate get a free comic. Compare the old comic books to the new ones. See if you can create your own comic book.

April 26th National Pretzel Day

Though the pretzel is often associated with German food, or snacks, it actually was created around 610 AD in Southern France by Catholic Monks. Some insist that pretzels first appeared in Italy, also made by Monks, who created them as treats for children who said their prayers. The original pretzels were designed to look like arms folded over the chest, as if saying prayers. Of course the Germans claim some credit for the first pretzel as well so about all we do know is that it was created in Europe, somewhere. The first pretzel in the United States was made by Julius Sturgis in 1850 at Lititz, Pennsylvania. While today has some listing a 1983 Pretzel Day we do know that Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania made a pretzel holiday in 2003.

How to celebrate – Have a pretzel today. Learn how to make your own pretzel. Visit a German restuarant.

April 21st Kindergarten Day

Friedrich Frobel figured out in 1837 that children were going to do better at school if they were first introduced to a half day of what to expect, in a fun environment, a year before they were expected to become involved students. He, of course, was right… the only odd part of this is that it took so long for someone to figure it out! Frobel, born in 1782, was no youngster himself when he added the idea of kindergarten to the German educational system.

How to celebrate – Visit a kindergarten class. (Make sure to get permission first) Celebrate Frobel’s birthday, the reason we celebrate kindergarten day today. Try and find pictures of yourself in kindergarten.

April 18th National Animal Crackers Day

April 18th National Animal Crackers Day

Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my… oh and Elephants too. These were the most common early on animal crackers. Animal crackers have been a child favorite snack since the 1800’s when they were produced and exported from the UK. Eventually they began to be produced in the US as well and in 1902 they featured  the Barnum’s and Bailey’s Circus Wagon as a container with circus animals making up the majority of the critters inside. They even became popular for children’s Bingo chips at one point. Today Nabisco makes the Animal Crackers we all know and love. Of course, there are numerous animals now and the circus wagon has become a thing of the past. There are new and different flavors to try along with the shapes but they still remain one of children’s favorite snacks of all times.

How to celebrate – Buy some Animal Crackers. Learn how to make your own animal crackers. Try playing Animal Crackers Bingo!

April 18th Pet Owner’s Independence Day

Another odd holiday from the good people at Wellcat.com, created in 2002. The general idea is that anyone owning a pet can take today off , if they work, and spend it with their pet. Of course lately, we all have been spending more time with our pets since we have had to be at home more. I am not exactly sure what the Independence Day is all about? Maybe it’s because Pet Day was already taken. While it makes little, to no, sense to me… it’s okay. I love my pets and I am independent of them. (They do not influence my vote)

How to celebrate – Take your pet to lunch. Just make like it’s a regular day and give your pet all the love you can.

March 31st National Crayon Day

Crayons have been with us in a sense since the 17th century, though the originals were not made out of wax and had very limited colors to choose from. The first were made from a mixture of of charcoal and oil, it wasn’t until 1902 they started being made of wax. Over 3 billion crayons are made every year, Crayola having made over 237 billion since it first began. They keep a running count of 120 colors while generally retiring 50 colors a year. and this is the day they retire the old and add the new. Crayola helps keep life colorful!

How to celebrate – Visit one of the Crayola stores. See if you can figure out what colors are due to be retired. Plan a fun day of coloring with the family.

February 26th Tell A Fairy Tale Day

Fairy Tales are generally saved for children but they needn’t be. We all like a story that ends with a happily ever after. There does seem to be a little difficulty determining what makes a Fairy Tale, a Legend, a Myth or just a Story. I’m not sure there is a scientific way to determine one over the other, although there probably is and not all Fairy Tales are intended to end happily. The Grim Brothers wrote their Fairy Tales because they hated children and wanted to scare them. So that sort of flies in the face of “Happily Ever After”. Then there are Stories like Camelot that meet the requirements of all the categories. It is a legend, as it contains some truth; myth because of magical creatures and people; a fairy tale because it has a Happy Ever After ending (well kind of), and of course, it is a story.

How to celebrate – Determine your best example of a Fairy Tale. Write a new Fairy Tale. Read a Fairy Tale.

January 18th Winnie the Pooh Day

Today is A. A. Milne’s birthday, back in 1882. Of course we all know he wrote Winnie the Pooh. I have heard so many stories about how and why he wrote the children’s book that I don’t know which of them is true. You might ask Christopher Robin or Tigger, Eeyore or Piglet or Roo. Surely one of them will have he right answer. So if you love Winnie the Pooh then by default you love Allan Alexander Milne too.

How to celebrate – Read Winnie the Pooh. Research how old Milne was when he wrote Winnie the Pooh. Throw a Pooh party for a few of your friends.