Category: December

  • NATIONAL PIE DAY – December 1


    Each year on December 1st, dessert lovers across the United States enjoy a slice of their favorite on National Pie Day. Pie is so delicious we celebrate it twice a year. The more popular date is January 23rd.


    While it might be the lesser of the two celebrated PIE days (don’t forget National Pi Day on March 14th), it happens to fall smack dab in the middle of a major pie-making season.  

    Take away ice cream as a dessert choice, and most people choose either cake people or pie people. Or, to put it another way, most people have cake or pie with their ice cream! The day combines our bumper fruit crops with a booming holiday season full of baked goods, cool weather, and rosy-cheeked children. It’s definitely time to tie on those apron strings and get baking.

    Of course, we make more than fruit pies! Savory pot pies provide comfort on a cold winter’s day and the satisfaction a family cook needs when caring for a family.


    Bake up your favorite pie or enjoy some leftover slices from the holidays. Visit the National Day Calendar® Recipe pages to discover some delicious pie-making. We also offer some others, too. When it comes to pie, or any food really, it is best enjoyed with others. Invite someone over for your best pie and coffee. Maybe there’s a friend you haven’t seen for a while. Pie starts conversations, and they’re a great way to #CelebrateEveryDay too!

    Pecan Pie
    Blueberry Pie
    Pumpkin Pie

    Use #NationalPieDay to post on social media.


    National Day Calendar ® continues researching the origins of the 2nd Pie Day.  

    Pie FAQ

    Q. Can I serve pie all year long?
    A. Yes! Pie is one of those dishes that can be served any time of year.

    Q. Do I have to slice a pie in wedges, or can I treat it like a pizza and slice it in squares?
    A. Slicing a pie into wedges allows you to serve every element of the pie in equal portions. And it’s not a pizza.

    Q. How many pie days are in December?
    A. We celebrate two pie days in December: National Pie Day and National Pumpkin Pie Day.

    Q. Should a pie be served hot or cold?
    A. Most pies are best served warm. However, some exceptions remain.



    On December 8 we celebrate National Crossword Solvers Day with nearly 50 million people who enjoy solving crossword puzzles.


    Solving crossword puzzles is a favorite pastime for people across the globe. In fact, it is so popular, people who solve or write crossword puzzles have their own name–cruciverbalists! Today, we want to celebrate all the cruciverbalists in the world, plus encourage everyone to find a crossword puzzle and become a solver, too!

    How Old Are Crossword Puzzles? 

    The crossword puzzle was first introduced in the New York World newspaper in 1913 by journalist Arthur Wynne. It was the eve of WWI and Wynne was looking for a new game for the FUN section in the newspaper as a way to take people’s minds off the impending war. Wynne began by creating a blank word search grid. Each grid came with a list of clues for readers to use in solving the letters. The original puzzle was named “FUN’s Word-Cross Puzzle” and was interestingly found in the shape of a diamond. A few weeks later an editor made a typo naming the puzzle “Cross-Word.” This cross mistake became a historical game changer.

    The first records of crossword puzzles are historically found to originate in England during the 19th century. Most of these puzzles were easy to solve, and usually printed in children’s books or periodicals. Meanwhile, Americans were turning crossword puzzle solving into an adult pastime. Today, crossword solvers have many choices in satisfying their puzzle cravings, including celebrating National Crossword Solvers Day in December every year.

    What is a Crossword Puzzle? 

    A crossword puzzle is a diagram of white and black squares with a list of numbered clues, running across and down the grid. The black squares are blank fillers, while the white squares are for the answers for the clues. One letter for the answer goes in one square. Each clue corresponds with numbers on the puzzle, interlocking or crisscrossing each other. The goal of a crossword puzzle is to solve the clues by filling the white spaces with the answers to the clues.

    Benefits of Solving Crossword Puzzles

    People who solve crossword puzzles are often more relaxed, especially when trying to solve day-to-day problems. Many use their puzzle-solving skills indirectly by approaching stressful situations similar to how they approach solving puzzles. Slow, calculated, and with thought. Studies show solving crossword puzzles regularly has several health benefits, including:

    • Improving short-term memory skills.
    • Assisting in developing better problem-solving skills.
    • Increasing individual IQ by learning new vocabulary.
    • Helping delay dementia and Alzheimer symptoms in at-risk individuals.
    • Improving mood by lowering stress levels and teaching the brain to relax.

    5 Fun Crossword Puzzle Facts

    1. Arthur Wynne, New York World journalist, published the first crossword puzzle in December 1913.
    2. A cruciverbalist is a person who loves to create and solve crossword puzzles.
    3. An estimated 50 million people in the US solve crossword puzzles.
    4. In 2014, Bernice Gorden became the oldest person to publish a crossword puzzle in the NY Times at the age of 101.
    5. Solving crossword puzzles is beneficial to a person’s brain health.


    • Solve the crossword puzzle in your newspaper or in a magazine.
    • Gift a book of crossword puzzles for the cruciverbalist in your life.
    • Find a crossword puzzle app and start playing once a day to experience the health benefits.
    • Create a crossword puzzle for your friends and family.
    • Enter the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament created and run by the legendary New York Times Crossword editor, Will Shortz.
    • Share your photos and videos of solving crossword puzzles on social media using  #NationalCrosswordSolversDay.


    In November 2022, National Day Calendar welcomed National Crossword Solvers Day to our list of National Days. The day was introduced by professional crossword puzzle writer Myles Mellor, an international crossword puzzle publisher.

    To date, Myles has published over 17,000 crosswords and is one of the most successful and prolific crossword puzzle writers in the U.S. Myles actively publishes around 80 crossword puzzles per month, reaching 2 million people. Appearing in over 1,000 magazines, over 55 books, hundreds of weekly newspapers and across numerous websites, he continues to delight puzzle solvers every day.

    Myles’ resume includes creating puzzles for executives and celebrities. He also creates personalized puzzles for weddings, engagements, birthdays and anniversaries. Myles gives back by providing weekly interactive crosswords to the San Diego Alzheimer’s organization. In addition to creating crossword puzzles, he also creates word searches, sudokus, and other puzzles. As a world-renowned puzzle creator and publisher, Myles works with Simon and Schuster, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Books a Million and many other top publishers to bring his passion to crossword solvers everywhere.

    Related content: National Puzzle Day | January 29



    On December 11, National Stretching Day is dedicated to educating people on the numerous benefits that come with practitioner assisted-stretching.


    Flexibility is one of the most significant components to leading a healthy lifestyle. When most think about stretching, it is in relation to one or two stand-by stretches that are held for a few seconds and released. However, this isn’t the most efficient form of stretching.

    There is a way to stretch that can make you feel a difference. On National Stretching Day, we are bringing awareness to why incorporating practitioner assisted-stretching into your everyday routine will make your movements more efficient. In fact, your stretching movements will be more effortless and pain-free on a daily basis.

    Importance of Stretching

    Why is stretching important? Stretching improves our lifestyle and helps us live a better life. When we stretch daily, we increase our mobility and keep our muscles flexible and strong. Due to sedentary lifestyles of growing older or over stressed muscles, people develop excessive resting muscle tone causing everyday movement to be difficult, cumbersome, or painful. Our independence becomes compromised, partially due to a greater inability to move.

    Daily stretching exercises or getting regularly stretched by a certified practitioner will keep joints moving efficiently as we age. This will keep our body healthy. A few additional key benefits to stretching:

    • Relieves stiffness and soreness in your joints.
    • Increases and maintains your active range of motion.
    • Improves circulation and blood flow.
    • Mitigates muscle imbalances that can lead to poor posture. Strengthening and stretching specific muscle groups can assist in promoting proper alignment.
    • Re-establishes a more ideal resting muscle tone and optimal muscle extensibility making movement easier and more efficient.
    • Supports injury prevention, enhances athletic skills and improves your ability to do daily activities.
    • Helps with stress reduction, calming the mind and decreasing tension headaches.
    • It makes you feel lighter and younger.

    Stretching Benefits

    Being stretched by a professional on a regular basis helps to relax your muscles while at the same time improves your active range of motion and ultimately your daily motor skills.

    The main goal of practitioner assisted-stretching is to be able to move further efficiently and effortlessly. Over time, a persons tolerance to stretch systematically increases. Eventually, your muscles will freely extend further to ultimately make life better. Practitioner assisted-stretching enables you to regain the ability to do what you once enjoyed doing and continue to be active for the rest of your life.

    Stretching Truths

    Research shows that the limiting factor to increase lasting apparent muscle extensibility is not the length or viscoelastic properties of the muscle. You cannot truly ‘stretch’ a muscle because muscles are not very elastic do not ‘stretch’ to a longer length. Instead, muscle extensibility depends upon the muscles’ sensitivity to tolerate the stretch.

    Muscle length does not profoundly change despite what the word stretch implies. In truth, muscles extend further and further by increasing their “tolerance” to a stretch. Regular stretches at the right intensity and frequency builds stretch-tolerance and apparent muscle extensibility. Studies also show stretching one or two days per week was adequate to maintain range of movement (ROM) gains. Stretching three or more days per week allows you to attain further ROM gains.


    • Develop a new daily stretching routine and stick to it.
    • Learn about the short and long-term benefits of stretching.
    • Join a Yoga class.
    • Play a nightly game of Twister with your family and have fun stretching.
    • Volunteer at a retirement facility and engage residents to practice daily stretching techniques.
    • Join a stretching class.
    • Document your stretching journey and watch your progress.
    • Learn about the Stretch Zone Method.
    • Share your photos of your stretching routine on social media using #NationalStretchingDay.


    National Day Calendar is pleased to welcome Stretch Zone to the National Day Calendar Founder Family. Beginning in 2022, we will celebrate National Stretching Day on December 11 and each year after.

    Stretch Zone was founded in 2004 by Jorden Gold after watching diabetes deteriorate his Pop-Pop (grandfather) and seeing him become immobile as a result. Gold believed he could apply a proprietary stretching method to help individuals increase their mobility, while reaping the many benefits that proper stretching offers. This became known as the Stretch Zone method and led to the creation of the world’s first and largest stretching franchise.

    The Stretch Zone method uses a patented strapping system and principles of neuromuscular behavior. A 30-minute practitioner-assisted stretching session at Stretch Zone delivers a life-changing stretch experience that follows specific methods and protocols. It is designed to improve circulation and create a more ideal resting muscle tone.

    Make a Pledge to Stretch on December 11

    If you’ve never been properly stretched or even if you have, use National Stretching Day an opportunity to take advantage of a free 30-minute stretch from a certified practitioner at Stretch Zone. Once you’ve been stretched, give a free stretch to someone else! Visit Stretch Zone National Stretching Day to find more ways on how you can celebrate National Stretching Day with Stretch Zone.

    A few other easy ways you can observe National Stretching Day are:

    • Use the hashtag #NationalStretchingDay on social media to show how you stretch and/or how stretching changed your life.
    • Learn about the short and long-term benefits of stretching.
    • Document your stretching journey and watch your progress.
    • Learn about the Stretch Zone Method.
  • CLASSROOM – Roots

    National Day Calendar Classroom - December - 2021-2022 - Week 19 - Roots

    CLASSROOM – Roots

    November and December are busy holiday seasons where families gather to celebrate their traditions and each other. It’s an excellent time to explore our family roots in the classroom. Children learn their family’s heritage and beliefs. They learn about what has changed and what stays the same. Use this week’s projects to help students open up conversations and learn more about their families.

    HOW TO OBSERVE in the Classroom – Roots

    Download and print this week’s projects to explore family heritage and history. You can also follow the suggestions below to help your students explore the days in their own way. It might surprise you what they discover! We’re often surprised by our own discoveries!

    Celebrate Every Day in the Classroom by:

    1. Asking a question about the day or observance and finding the answer.
    2. Exploring the subject further. Whether you read a book, interview an expert, watch a documentary, or run an experiment, there is always more to learn about the observance.
    3. Writing about the day or observance. You can write about what you learned or what the day means to you.
    4. Telling someone about the day. You might be sharing information that is helpful to someone. Or, you might brighten someone’s day.
    5. Solving a problem. Many observances discuss issues around the world that need fixing. How would you fix it?
    6. Being creative. Draw, paint, build, design, bake, create your idea of what the observance means.

    Of course, as always, sharing on social media isn’t required; learning is. But if you do, please use #NDCClassroom to share on social media.


    This week, we have three projects to choose from. Pick one or complete them all!

    There are over 1,500 national days. Don’t miss a single one. Celebrate Every Day® with National Day Calendar®!

  • LUTEFISK DAY – December 9


    On December 9th, Lutefisk Day reminds residents in Norway, Finland, and Sweden to begin preparing their lutefisk for Christmas. The day is also referred to as Anna’s Day.

    In case you’re not Scandinavian, lutefisk is basically cod that gets soaked in lye. After the cod is caught, it’s dried to the point of becoming firm and leathery. To tenderize the fish and bring it back to its former condition, it gets soaked in lye. Once it’s nice and tender, the lutefisk is skinned and boned.

    Finally, the fish is boiled until it reaches a gelatinous consistency. Another way to prepare lutefisk is to season it and bake it in the oven.
    Some say that lutefisk tastes mildly fishy with a soapy aftertaste. Many people would say that lutefisk doesn’t smell so good. To make it more edible, some people coat the fish in beer batter and deep fry it. Despite its taste and smell, many die-hard Scandinavians still eat lutefisk. It is a Christmas tradition, after all.

    Along with those in Norway, Finland, and Sweden, lutefisk is consumed in the U.S by Scandinavian Americans. One place in particular that consumes large amounts of lutefisk is Madison, Minnesota. In fact, this town has been dubbed, “the “lutefisk capital of the world.” The dish is especially popular among Lutherans. Sons of Norway organizations host annual lutefisk dinners. Lutefisk is also consumed in many parts of Canada.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #LutefiskDay

    On this day, many people throughout Scandinavia begin preparing their lutefisk so that it’s ready for dinner on Christmas Eve. Even if you’re not Scandinavian you can still participate in this day by:

    • Reading more about the history and folklore that surrounds lutefisk.
    • Looking for lutefisk recipes online and learning how to make it.
    • Learning about the Scandinavian countries.
    • Attending a lutefisk dinner.

    Spread awareness for this food day on social media with #LutefiskDay.


    During the days of the old peasant society in Sweden, it took many days to prepare for Christmas. One of the most popular Christmas dishes was fish. However, due to the icy waters, fresh fish was difficult to catch. Swedes had to make do with dried fish. To make the dried fish edible, they would first bathe it in a solution to soften it. This soaking process usually began on December 9th so that the fish would be the perfect consistency on Christmas Eve. For this reason, December 9th is known as Lutefisk Day. Since Anna is a popular name in Sweden, the day is also referred to as Anna’s Day.




    Every year in December, International Sharps Injury Prevention Awareness Month serves as a reminder to follow safety protocols where needles and other medical sharps are concerned.

    In the medical world, sharps are materials or items with sharp points or edges that may cut or puncture the skin. Needle sticks alone account for 400,000 sharps injuries per year. Other items may include:

    • Needles
    • Syringes
    • Lancets
    • Auto injectors
    • Infusion sets
    • Connection needs
    • Scalpel blades

    Punctures and cuts not only create a wound but also introduce bloodborne pathogens into the body. Many safeguards have been put in place that reduces or eliminate the risk of injury by sharp devices. However, they still occur.  Healthcare employers conduct training that is designed to prevent needle sticks and teach employees what to do if one occurs. The observance encourages the review of protocols and training. It’s also a time to assess how injuries occur and implement safeguards to improve outcomes.


    During the month, sharps injury prevention is the focus. Many healthcare employers will review their protocols and the incidence of sharps injuries. Further steps that can be taken during December include:

    • Reviewing sharps standards in your facility.
    • Eliminating unnecessary use of sharps.
    • Never recapping sharps.
    • Using personal protective equipment.
    • Properly disposing of sharps.
    • Using retractable needles.
    • Reviewing sharp injuries to prevent future ones.
    • Joining or hosting a seminar on sharps prevention.
    • Reviewing articles on infection control.
    • Attending educational events.

    Use #SharpsInjuryPreventionMonth to use on social media.


    The International Sharps Injury Prevention Society (ISIPS) founded International Sharps Injury Prevention Awareness Month in 2013 to increase education regarding sharps injuries and reduce their occurrence.


  • CLASSROOM – Foreign Language

    CLASSROOM – Foreign Language

    There are many ways to learn a foreign language in the classroom. National Learn a Foreign Language Month encourages us to look at new languages. It’s a great way to learn about other cultures and our own, too! This week, we offer a several ways to celebrate the observance in your classroom even if you are already teaching a foreign language.

    HOW TO OBSERVE in the CLASSROOM – Foreign Language

    Download and print this week’s projects to explore other languages. You can also follow the suggestions below to help your students explore the days in their own way. It might surprise you what they discover! We’re often surprised by our own discoveries!

    Celebrate Every Day in the Classroom by:

    1. Asking a question about the day or observance and finding the answer.
    2. Exploring the subject further. Whether you read a book, interview an expert, watch a documentary, or run an experiment, there is always more to learn about the observance.
    3. Writing about the day or observance. You can write about what you learned or what the day means to you.
    4. Telling someone about the day. You might be sharing information that is helpful to someone. Or, you might brighten someone’s day.
    5. Solving a problem. Many observances discuss issues around the world that need fixing. How would you fix it?
    6. Being creative. Draw, paint, build, design, bake, create your idea of what the observance means.

    Of course, as always, sharing on social media isn’t required; learning is. But if you do, please use #NDCClassroom to share on social media.


    Learning a foreign language can be fun. Download and print these two projects, plus the Celebration Challenge!

    There are over 1,500 national days. Don’t miss a single one. Celebrate Every Day® with National Day Calendar®!

  • WORLD TECHNO DAY – December 9


    On December 9th, World Techno Day celebrates electronic dance music. The day also encourages learning more about techno and listening to this genre of music.

    Techno is a genre of music produced by electronic instruments, such as synthesizers, sequencers, or drum machines. This dance music is characterized by a repetitive four on the floor beat. The tempo usually ranges from 120 to 150 beats per minute. Techno music is usually produced for a continuous set played by a DJ. Dance clubs, and anywhere else that invites people to hit the dance floor, usually play techno music.

    Techno music is an offshoot of house music, which is considered more soulful. House music originated in Chicago in the 1970s. Techno music came about in the 1980s in Detroit. Young African Americans earn the credit for inventing techno. Juan Atkins is considered by many as the “father of techno.” Atkins grew up in a suburb of Detroit. He experimented with a synthesizer and a tape deck to create the techno sound.

    Some of the most famous techno tracks include:

    • “Cosmic Cars” by Juan Atkins
    • “Magnese” by Surgeon
    • “The Tunnel” by Richie Hawtin
    • “Electric Salsa” by Sven Vath
    • “Ghetto Kraviz” by Nina Kraviz
    • “Subzero” by Ben Klock
    • “E Dancer” by Kevin Saunderson
    • “Autobahn” by Kraftwerk
    • “The Bells” by Jeff Mills

    While this music was extremely popular in the 1980s, it is making a comeback. In fact, Electronic Dance Music (EDM) is currently the third most popular music genre in the world. Many countries across the globe hold techno music festivals. Europe hosts some of the most well-attended techno festivals in the world. These events include the Awakenings Festival in the Netherlands, Time Warp in Germany, Exit Festival in Serbia, and Sonus Festival in Croatia.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldTechnoDay

    The best way to observe this day is by listening to techno music. If you’re not familiar with this music genre, look up some of the above-listed songs online and take a listen. Go to a club with your friends and dance to techno music. You can also learn more about techno music history and how it came about. If you really like techno music, plan to attend an upcoming techno music festival. Share your favorite techno music on social media with #WorldTechnoDay.


    This day has been around since 2003. The observance is also a nod to Juan Atkins, one of the genre’s founders. He was born on December 9, 1962.




    Learning another language comes with a wealth of benefits. That’s why December is National Learn a Foreign Language Month.

    Most people learn a second language while in school. They may not be proficient in the language, especially if they do not have the opportunity to speak conversationally in that language. However, the opportunity to learn another language comes with many benefits.

    • It improves your understanding of your native language.
    • Your understanding of other cultures improves.
    • Your confidence improves.
    • Job opportunities improve.
    • It makes travel easier in countries where the new language is spoken.

    Learning a new language also provides a boost to our brains by improving memory, creativity, attention span, and reducing cognitive decline. It’s never too late to learn a new language. However, it is easier the earlier you start. That also means children tend to master a second language faster than adults. But don’t let that discourage you. If you have children, learn alongside them.

    There are many platforms for learning a new language. And with over half the world’s population being bilingual, you can learn, too. Whether you take a class or download a language application, Learn A Foreign Language Month is the perfect time to do it!

    HOW TO OBSERVE #LearnAForeignLanguageMonth

    Dust off your old Spanish textbook or sign up for a French class. Learn a Foreign Language Month celebrates languages and the benefits of speaking a new language. You can also:

    • Immerse yourself in the new language by spending time with others who speak it fluently.
    • Offer to teach someone a language you’re fluent in speaking.
    • Take a sign language class.
    • Download a foreign language application.
    • Pick up a book about the foreign language you’re interested in learning.

    Share your experience learning a foreign language by using #LearnAForeignLanguageMonth.

    Educators and families, please visit the National Day Calendar Classroom for more ways to Celebrate Every Day!


    National Day Calendar continues to research the origins of this observance but it has been celebrated since at least 2009.


  • GO CAROLING DAY – December 20


    Tune-up your voice on December 20th so you can join others on Go Caroling Day! Caroling is the practice of singing Christmas songs from door to door as a form of celebration. The word carol means a joyful song or dance.


    The tradition of singing carols has roots in pagan celebrations of the Winter Solstice. Carols were later adopted by the Christian faith to celebrate the nativity during the 4th and 5th centuries and were primarily sung in Latin. St. Francis of Assisi improved the popularity of singing carols when he paired the songs with stories (canticles), and the songs were performed in modern languages. The Victorian era saw a surge in caroling, and many popular caroling songs still sung today were written during this era.

    Though caroling is not as popular as it once was, it’s still a tradition many families, communities, and churches look forward to every year. Some popular caroling songs include:

    • Here Comes Santa Claus
    • Jingle Bells
    • O Christmas Tree
    • Silent Night
    • We Wish You A Merry Christmas
    • Joy to the World
    • Let it, Snow!

    So, on Go Caroling Day, gather your best voices and sing your favorite Christmas songs door-to-door in your neighborhood.


    Go Caroling Day is an easy celebration that spreads joy and cheer. If you’ve never caroled before, select 3-4 easier songs and friends who are in the holiday spirit. Not everyone can carry a tune, but that won’t matter when you’re surrounded by loved ones who share in your enthusiasm. Visit friends and neighbors and sing the songs with all the joy in your heart. Afterward, return home for hot chocolate and cookies. Caroling is a simple way to give back to others. Share your event using #GoCarolingDay on social media.


    Go Caroling Day began to appear in 2001 on December 19th. The day has since moved closer to the winter solstice and is now observed on December 20th.

    Caroling FAQ

    Q. Do people still carol at Christmastime?
    A. Yes. Though the tradition is less popular now than in past times, people still carol from door to door. Sometimes, carolers are hired for special events and holiday parties like those at Olde Towne Carolers

    Q. If carolers stop at my house, do I have to invite them in?
    A. No. However, showing your gratitude is appreciated. Whether you offer a smile, applause, or a treat before the carolers move on to the next house is up to you. You can also request a song to show your appreciation.

    Q. How should we dress for caroling?
    A. First and foremost, dress for the weather. No special costume is required to carol, though you may add festive hats and scarves to your attire.