Category: December

  • CLASSROOM – Monkey

    National Day Calendar Classroom - December - Monkey

    CLASSROOM – Monkey

    It’s important not to have any monkey business in the classroom. This week, though, we’re going to invite the monkey’s into the classroom for Monkey Day. It’s an opportunity to learn about different primates all over the world. Whether your students read about them or explore these fascinating creatures in blogs or videos, they can learn a lot. Many species currently face reduced habitat due to deforestation. Those that aren’t on the endangered species list are threatened or struggling.

    HOW TO OBSERVE – Monkey

    This week, we offer a coloring page and several resources to help you celebrate Monkey Day with your students.

    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.


    Monkeys are fascinating creatures. They are close cousins to the chimpanzee, another primate. This week, we invite you to explore what a monkey is and where they live.

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

  • CHRISTMAS CARD DAY – December 9


    Each year around this time, friends and families begin mailing their holiday cards. Christmas Card Day on December 9th serves as a reminder to get your stamps, envelopes, and cards together so you can share your holiday cheer.


    Sending a card during the holidays hasn’t always been a tradition. In Victorian England, sending Penny Post was inexpensive and frequent. It was also considered rude to ignore a written message. One particularly popular Victorian invented the holiday card out of necessity. Sir Henry Cole received frequent letters, and it left him little time for other responsibilities. In 1843, he asked his friend J.C. Horsley to illustrate a design he had in mind. Soon, Cole was off to the printer, and he mailed the first Christmas card in the Penny Post to friends, family, and many acquaintances. 

    Today, we mail a variety of cards at Christmastime. The tradition of Christmas cards continues in a broader sense. Social and electronic media keep us connected in this modern world more than ever before. However, the Christmas card continues to be a part of our annual tradition, even if it takes on a different style or pattern.

    • Photo cards – Many families take an annual holiday photo specifically for mailing to friends and family. These photos may be snapshots or professional photos. Most families save them from social media, so they remain a surprise when they arrive in the mail, too.
    • Christmas letter – These letters often highlight the events for each family member for the year. Not everyone has social media, so it’s a nice way to catch up with friends and family. The letters usually run a page in length, but some letter writers have a lot more to say.
    • Postcards – These simple cards generally send the same holiday message a regular Christmas card does, but without a fold or an envelope. With a photo on one side and a simple message on the other, they are quick and easy to send, too.
    • Business card – Christmas cards also come from businesses who want to remind us they still want our business. As a marketing tool, businesses know their best customers like to be remembered during the holidays, too.
    • New Year’s cards – The holidays do get busy, and some of us put off sending any holiday cards until New Year. They still want to keep in touch with family and friends, so they send their good wishes in the form of a Happy New Year card. So, don’t mark anyone off your Christmas card list until after the first of the year.

    These holiday cards may be the only communication we receive all year long from a friend or family member. Even if we spent an abundance of time with them once, these once-a-year notes touch us with a bit of meaning this time of year. We take the time to connect once again and say, “We’re thinking of you.”


    Update your mailing list. Gather the stamps and pick out your favorite card. Will you be writing personal notes on each card? Or will you send a mass letter? Dress up the pets or family members for a last-minute photo, too. Get ready to be glitter bombed as the holiday cards begin pouring in your mail studded with Ho Ho Hos! and holiday greetings of all kinds. Share your favorite Christmas card style by using #ChristmasCardDay on social media.


    While the origins of Christmas Card Day continue to be researched, Sir Henry Cole does receive credit for creating the first Christmas Card in 1843. However, the idea took several years to find its way to the United States. In 1850, Louis Prang immigrated from Prussia and opened a print shop in Boston. He mastered many methods of lithography from around the world, and after encouragement from his wife, he began producing floral Christmas cards in 1875. 

    Christmas Card FAQ

    Q. When was the first Christmas stamp issued?
    A. The United States Post Office issued its first Christmas Stamp on November 1, 1962. Jim Crawford designed the 4¢ stamp that featured a green wreath and two candles. “Christmas 1962” was written across the bottom on a red banner.

    Q. How much does it cost to mail a Christmas card?
    A. First-class stamps for a 1-ounce letter cost 58¢.

  • CLASSROOM – Pears

    CLASSROOM – Pears

    Healthy snacks and pears go well together in the classroom. That’s why National Pear Month in December inspires us to build pear parfaits. While we can easily make these in the classroom with students bringing ingredients to offset costs, students can also make them at home. The recipe is simple, and the ingredients are wholesome and easy to obtain. Fresh pears also come in a range of colors, textures and are a popular gift during the holiday season. And let’s not forget, they come to mind in holiday songs, too.


    This week we have combined a recipe with a coloring page. It’s perfect for downloading and printing. Enjoy the recipe while you Celebrate Every Day with us!

    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, the coloring page offers the dual purpose of also including a recipe. Students can make the Pear Parfait in the classroom or take the coloring page home and make the delicious snack with their family. The ingredients are simple and easy to find. No complicated tools are needed either. Students can also enjoy the wholesome treat for breakfast.

    Pear Parfait Recipe Coloring Page

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

  • NATIONAL PLAY OUTSIDE DAY – First Saturday of Every Month


    If it’s the first Saturday of the month, it’s National Play Outside Day. So, no matter what month it is, everyone put down their electronic devices and get outside!


    All year long, we are given numerous opportunities to get outside and play. But sometimes, life, responsibilities, and distractions keep us from spending time in the fresh air as we should. National Play Outside Day is a reminder to stretch our legs and expend some energy in the great outdoors.

    Benefits of Outdoor Play

    Why is playing outside so good for us? Besides getting us off the sofa or away from the desk, it also gives us an opportunity to explore our neighborhoods. While it’s impossible to list all the benefits of outdoor play, we do have a few to share.

    • Playing outdoors is a freeing activity. It frees us from routines, enclosed spaces, and frames of mind.
    • The outdoors fills us with energy. Whether it’s the fresh air, sunshine, or physical activity, we perk up and become motivated to accomplish things.
    • It clears the cobwebs from our brains. We sometimes get stuck on a topic, project, or issue and are unable to resolve it. A change of scene often brings clarity we didn’t have before.
    • Outdoor play provides terrific physical activity for our bodies. Our hearts pump fresh oxygen to our limbs and brains.
    • We experience new sights and sounds. Children get to experience the world around them.
    • As a social activity, playing outside encourages positive interactions.
    • When you play outside every month, it becomes habit-forming – and this is one good habit to have!
    • It stimulates the imagination. Outdoor play almost has no boundaries. Your yard can be a kingdom or the playground can be a mountain to scale.

    We’ve only scratched the surface of the benefits of outdoor play. There are so many more! So, be sure to get outside with the family on the first Saturday of every month – or even more often than that!


    We know the seasons change, so what we were able to do outside last month will be different this month. However, that shouldn’t stop you from celebrating the day. This is your monthly reminder that it’s time to get outside and play. We have suggestions for every season that we’re sure you’ll enjoy!

    • Explore hiking trails near you.
    • Visit the local swimming pool or even take swimming lessons.
    • Check out every park in your neighborhood and climb, slide or swing on every playground set.
    • Start a game of catch, kickball, tag, or Frisbee or make up a game.
    • Go to the beach.
    • Run through the sprinkler.
    • Go camping.
    • Go fishing.
    • Fly a kite.
    • Jump in a pile of leaves.
    • Build a fort – of leaves or snow or whatever is handy.
    • Walk around the block.
    • Go for a bike ride.
    • Build a snowperson.
    • Go sledding.
    • Identify the constellations at night and look for meteors.
    • Visit your favorite state or national park.
    • Check out these 9 Fun Winter Outdoor Activities.

    What’s your favorite way to play outside? Introduce some of the games you used to play to your children. Whatever you do, be sure to get outside and play! Use #PlayOutsideDay to share on social media.


    In 2011, Aaron Wiggans and Rhonda D. Abeyta founded National Play Outside Day as a reminder to explore and play in the world outside. The day encourages healthful habits that will last a lifetime.



    Every year on December 18th, World Arabic Language Day celebrates the Arabic language. The day also promotes multilingualism and cultural diversity.

    More than 290 million people speak the Arabic language. This makes Arabic one of the most widely spoken languages around the world. It should come to no surprise that Arabic is one of the most requested languages for translation services. Arabic is also one of the official languages of the United Nations.

    Some other interesting facts about the Arabic language include:

    • Arabic is the sixth most-spoken language in the world.
    • Arabic is the official language for 22 countries in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia
    • There are no capital letters in the Arabic language.
    • In Arabic, verbs come before the subject.
    • Many English words were influenced by the Arabic language.
    • There are many different dialects of the Arabic language and some are not understood by other Arabic speakers.
    • The Arabic language is written entirely in script or cursive writing where all the letters connect.
    • Arabic is derived from the Central Semitic language family, which includes Hebrew, Aramaic, and Phoenician.
    • Because of the beautiful way it is written, the Arabic language is often used in poetry, philosophy, and song.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldArabicLanguageDay

    Each year, the UNESCO headquarters in Paris hold roundtable discussions to talk about issues related to the Arabic language. Many countries host cultural events on this day. These events highlight the history and culture of the Arabic language. Seminars, conferences, lectures, and workshops showcase current developments in Arabic literature. To practice using the Arabic language, schools hold short story and poetry contests.

    To participate:

    • Take an online Arabic language test
    • Find someone who speaks Arabic and have them read something to you in their language
    • Commit to learning the Arabic language
    • Learn about the Arab culture (the word Arab means nomad)
    • Read books to understand the Arab world including The Arabs, Zaat, and The Arabian Nights.

    Share this day on social media with #WorldArabicLanguageDay


    In 2012, the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proclaimed December 18th as World Arabic Language Day. The date coincides with the date in 1973 when the UN adopted Arabic as the sixth official language of the organization. Past themes have included:

    2019: Arabic Language and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
    2018: Arabic Language and Youth
    2017: Looking to the Digital World
    2016: Media Role in Strengthening or Undermining Arabic




    On December 28th, National Short Film Day commemorates the day the motion picture industry was born, when the Lumière brothers projected a program of short films to a public audience for the first time.


    In 1895 at the Grand Café in Paris, two brothers sparked the world’s love of cinema. Auguste and Louis Lumière brought that fascination to life first in a paying audience of 33 customers. That day, the film pioneers presented 10 short films, each about 50 seconds in length. To the amazement of all those in attendance, the brothers captured everyday events on film and played them back as moving pictures. The experience of “watching movies” came alive that day. And it all began with those first 10 short films.

    Today, short films come in many genres, lengths, and styles. They entertain us with animation, fantasy, comedy, and drama. They also inform and educate us through documentary subjects that provide revealing insights into real-life stories we may have never known before.

    In short, short films continue to move us, just as they did that first time over 120 years ago!


    Watch short films all day. Share your favorite short films and use #NationalShortFilmDay on social media.

    If you’re looking for something to watch, check out these 8 Remarkable Short Films and celebrate the day!


    Film Movement +_logo_color_black+

    Film Movement founded National Short Film Day in 2019 and celebrated its first observance on December 28th, 2019. They created the day to celebrate the impact of the short film and to commemorate its long and enduring history.

    In 2019, Film Movement registered the observance with National Day Calendar®, and the Registrar at National Day Calendar proclaimed the day to be observed on December 28th, annually.

    Each year on that day, Film Movement will stream 10 short films for free on their exclusive streaming service, Film Movement Plus (, and offer new subscribers exclusive membership discounts.



    Every year on December 15th, tea-producing countries celebrate International Tea Day. The day seeks to draw the attention of governments and citizens around the world to the impact that tea trade has on workers and growers.

    The tea-producing countries that celebrate International Tea Day include:

    • Bangladesh
    • Sri Lanka
    • Nepal
    • Vietnam
    • Indonesia
    • Kenya
    • Malawi
    • Malaysia
    • Uganda
    • India
    • Tanzania

    Aside from water, tea is the most popular beverage in the world. The primary types of tea include white, black, green, oolong, herbal, and pu’erh. Tea is believed to have originated in China. There, drinkers used tea for medicinal reasons. In the 17th century, tea made its way to the UK.

    Because of the large number of tea drinkers in the world, tea demands a massive production scale. Unfortunately, in many tea-producing countries, production comes with many challenges. Some of the obstacles tea-producing countries face include low wages for tea workers, lack of medical care for tea workers in rural areas, and a lack of clean and potable water on tea plantations. There is also a need for improved sanitation on tea plantations. Additionally, women make up 50 percent of the workforce on tea plantations. These women usually don’t have access to education.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalTeaDay

    Trade unions and workers’ organizations gather on this day to organize seminars, public events, and presentations. Their goal is to heighten a sense of collectivism among tea growers and strengthen tea growers associations. The day also celebrates tea culture. Organizations host events recognizing the significance of tea as a major export crop for tea-producing countries.

    You don’t have to be from a tea-producing country to celebrate this day. To participate:

    • Drink a cup of your favorite tea or try a kind of tea you’ve never had before
    • Have a tea party with all the favorite girls in your life
    • Learn about the intriguing history of tea
    • Take a friend out for a cup of tea
    • Read about all the health benefits of tea

    Be sure to share this day on social media with #InternationalTeaDay.


    International Tea Day was created at the World Social Forum in 2004. In 2005, the first International Tea Day was celebrated in New Delhi. Sri Lanka began organizing celebrations in 2006. Trade union movements have been responsible for organizing International Tea Day celebrations, as well as Global Tea Conferences. In 2015, the Indian government made a proposal to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The proposal was to expand the observance to countries around the world. In June of 2019, the UN considered combining special tea days in different countries into one day.

    The Intergovernmental Group on Tea proposed to celebrate International Tea Day on May 21st. The proposal was approved at a recent FAO conference and is awaiting approval by the UN General Assembly.




    Every year on December 14th, the country of Bangladesh observes Martyred Intellectuals Day. This is a day of remembrance for the large number of intellectuals who were killed by Pakistani forces in 1971.

    In March of 1971, a major conflict erupted due to elections in East Pakistan. A political party called the Awami League had won the elections. Arguments arose during the formation of a new government. Things were especially tense between the Bengalis and West Pakistanis. Violence ensued as the Awami League launched a campaign of civil disobedience. Supporters attacked many non-Bengali civilians. This was the beginning of the Bangladesh Liberation War.

    On December 14, 1971, the Pakistani forces began sensing defeat. As a result, they abducted and killed Bengali intellectuals and professionals. They did so as a way to intellectually cripple the newly liberated country of Bangladesh. These intellectuals included teachers, lawyers, scientists, doctors, engineers, and journalists. They were forced out of their homes, blindfolded, and killed.

    According to the Provisional Government of Bangladesh, 360 intellectuals were killed. This number has been disputed. Some say over 1,000 intellectuals were killed. Even though a comprehensive list of those who were killed has been promised by the government, that list has yet to be produced.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #MartyredIntellectualsDay

    Government officials in Bangladesh commemorate the day by laying wreaths at the memorial site in Dhaka for the martyred intellectuals. Many people in the country also have a moment of silence or hold candlelight vigils. Even though this day is observed in Bangladesh, there are some ways for you to participate:

    • Study the history of Bangladesh and how it became an independent nation in 1971
    • Watch “1971” a documentary about the Bangladeshi Liberation War
    • Think about what it is like for family members of the martyred intellectuals do not have any closure after so many years

    Share this solemn day of remembrance on social media with #MartyredIntellectualsDay


    In 1993, the government of Bangladesh had the idea of building a memorial in Dhaka for the martyred intellectuals. Construction for the Martyred Intellectuals Memorial began in 1996 and was completed in 1999. Before the memorial was built, family members and loved ones of the martyred intellectuals visited the site of a mass grave where their loved ones were believed to have died.

    Our team is still researching the exact date that the Martyred Intellectuals Day was officially created.




    Every year December 12th marks International Universal Health Coverage Day as a way to urge countries to accelerate progress toward Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The day also seeks to promote the idea that access to affordable quality health care is a human right.

    Universal health coverage is a system that provides quality medical care to all of its citizens. The federal government offers health care to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. Out of 33 developed countries, only the United States is without universal health coverage. In 2010, President Obama passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This, however, is not considered universal health care.

    Of all the developed countries, Americans are most familiar with Canada’s universal health care system. Canada has a single-payer system where free care is provided for all, regardless of who can pay. Vision, dental, and prescription drugs are paid for by private supplemental insurance. Some of the advantages of universal health coverage include:

    • Lowers the overall cost of health care
    • Lowers administrative costs
    • Standardizes services
    • Prevents future social costs

    There are some disadvantages as well. These include long wait times for medical services, health care costs overwhelming government budgets, and healthy people paying for the sickest.
    Despite these cons, the UN and the World Health Organization (WHO strongly advocates for universal health coverage. WHO states that UHC means that all people and communities can use the health services they need without the threat of financial hardship. UHC is based on the WHO constitution of 1948 that declares health a fundamental human right. WHO believes that UHC also brings hope of better health and protection for the world’s poorest.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalUniversalHealthCoverageDay

    Events on this day are held to raise awareness of the need to have a strong health system and universal health coverage. Many people around the world share their stories on what it’s like to go without health care coverage. To participate:

    • Write to government officials encouraging them to push for universal health coverage
    • Write an op-ed in your local paper that states the advantages of having universal health coverage
    • If you have ever gone without health insurance when you have needed it, share your story
    • Watch a healthcare documentary that discusses the cost of health care. A few include Money-Driven Medicine, The Waiting Room, and Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare
    • Share this day on social media with #InternationalUniversalHealthCoverageDay


    On December 12th, 2012 the UN General Assembly made it a priority to accelerate the progress toward Universal Health Coverage. In 2015, the UN adopted a target of universal health coverage by 2030. This included access to quality essential health care services and safe and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all. On December 12th, 2017 the UN passed a resolution on global health and foreign policy that addressed the health of the most vulnerable populations. On that same day, the UN proclaimed December 12th as International Universal Health Coverage Day. Recent themes for this day have included:

    • 2019: Keep the Promise
    • 2018: Unite for Universal Health Coverage: Now is the Time for Collective Action
    • 2017: Health for All – Rise for Our Right




    Every year on December 12th, the International Day of Neutrality promotes the importance of peaceful, friendly, and mutually beneficial relations between countries.

    When a country is neutral, it means they are not taking a side in times of war or conflict. One of the best-known examples of neutrality is the country of Switzerland. During both World Wars, Switzerland remained neutral. Their neutrality goes back as far as 1815. As a result of their permanent neutral status, Switzerland has become a safe haven for thousands of refugees over the years.

    Other countries that have remained neutral during times of armed conflict include:

    • Austria
    • Costa Rica
    • Finland
    • Ireland
    • Liechtenstein
    • Sweden
    • Turkmenistan

    Even though these countries do not get involved in a conflict, some of them still have large armies and a military presence.

    Preventative diplomacy, early warnings of conflict, mediation, and fact-finding missions all help these countries maintain their neutrality. Some neutral countries might also utilize special envoys, informal consultations, and negotiations. Maintaining neutrality is not an easy feat. This is especially true in a world that is never void of conflict. In fact, dozens of new conflicts occur each year.

    Some of the most recent conflicts involve the countries of Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Venezuela. There have also been tensions between the United States and China, as well as between the U.S. Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. Many people around the world live in fear each day that there will someday be a World War III.

    With the increasing numbers of conflicts and rumors of war, neutrality is more important than ever.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalDayOfNeutrality

    Member states, organizations, educators, and concerned individuals hold events throughout the country to promote neutrality among countries. To participate:

    • Discuss with others the importance of peacekeeping, preventative diplomacy, and mediation when it comes to remaining neutral.
    • Think about what it would be like to live in a country that practiced neutrality in times of conflict. How would this change your view of the world?
    • Learn about the peacemaking missions the United Nations has been involved with since its formation in 1945.

    Spread awareness for this day on social media by using #InternationalDayOfNeutrality


    On February 2, 2017, the UN General Assembly Declared December 12th as the International Day of Neutrality. The resolution was introduced by the country of Turkmenistan. This country had been recognized as a permanently neutral state since December 12th, 1995.