National Use Your Gift Cards Day - Third Saturday in January


National Use Your Gift Card Day reminds Americans to use the $1 billion in gift cards left unused each year. On the third Saturday in January, take stock of the gift cards you received over the holidays. Make the most of each one of them before they’re forgotten for good!

We all do it. Stash away gift cards thinking we will have more time later to use them. They collect dust and disappear into an abyss somewhere. We discover them as we clean and often don’t remember how much was on the card or if we used a portion of it. Those partial balances add up, too!  The first step is to collect the cards together and see what you have. You know where to look.

  • Every pocket of every purse and wallet you have
  • The infamous junk drawer
  • Glove compartment of the car
  • Bottom of the toy box (it may have been used to scrape goo off a toy)
  • The other junk drawer
  • A gift bag with the tissue paper still in it
  • The toolbox (we know what happens when a flathead screwdriver can’t be found)

Once you have your gift cards, get organized. Where do the gift cards work? Restaurants, retail, and services all offer gift cards. Some gift cards are designed to be used just about anywhere.

Maximizing Your Gift
  • Check for deals to maximize your gift cards. In most cases, gift cards work just like cash and can be used with coupons. There are exceptions, however, so it’s always good to check first.
  • Is the card to a place you don’t shop? You have a few options:
    • See if the card is good at a companion location
    • Check to see if the gift card can be cashed out
    • Have a gift card swap party or sell your gift card for cash
    • Donate your gift card to a charity fundraiser like a silent auction
  • Plan to overspend the amount of the gift card to avoid having small balances lying around. Even if you add a small useful item (lip balm is always handy) to go a penny over the amount, you’ll be able to hand the card over to the retailer to recycle the card.

HOW TO OBSERVE #UseYourGiftCardDay

Collect your gift cards. It’s time to use them. Don’t let them sit for a year and risk losing your gift altogether. Maximize your gift cards with deals and get the most out of your gift cards, too. Have a shopping spree or a spa day with your gift cards. Don’t let those gifts and savings pass you by! Use #UseYourGiftCardDay to share on social media.


Tilson PR founded National Use Your Gift Card Day in 2020 to make sure everyone gets the most out of their gift cards. Leave no gift card unturned and find tips, ideas, and deals by visiting useyourgiftcard.com, too.

The Registrar at National Day Calendar® proclaimed National Use Your Gift Card Day to be observed on the third Saturday in January, annually.



National Winnie the Pooh Day on January 18th commemorates author A.A. Milne’s birthday in 1882. He brought the adorable, honey-loving bear to life in his stories, which also featured his son, Christopher Robin. 

Milne’s lovable Pooh Bear, as he was fondly called, is a fictional bear inspired by a black bear named Winnie. Winnie lived at the London Zoo during World War I. The author’s son, Christopher Robin, would visit the bear often and named his own teddy bear after her and a swan named Pooh.

This friendship inspired a collection of books starting with Winnie-the-Pooh in 1926. E.H. Shepard beautifully illustrated the books.

Their adventures took them and millions of children through the Hundred Acre Woods. Each character played a unique role in the books. Whether the wisdom of Owl or Rabbit lead the group awry or a celebration ensued, the stories characters became beloved around the world. 

In the 1960s, Disney bought the rights to the Winnie-the-Pooh characters dropping the hyphen from Pooh’s name. The illustrations were a bit different, too.

Milne’s stories have been translated into over 50 languages and are considered classic children’s stories today.

HOW TO OBSERVE #WinnieThePoohDay

Snuggle up with your favorite Pooh fan, a pot of honey, and take turns reading about the adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Share your favorite Pooh Bear adventure or quote. Watch a Winnie the Pooh movie. Listen to songs like “Return to Pooh Corner” by Kenny Loggins. 

Use #WinnieThePoohDay to post on social media.


Since at least 1986, National Winnie The Pooh Day has been observed across the country. However, we’ve been unable to identify the founder of the day. We will continue researching. 



National Thesaurus Day, on January 18th, honors Peter Mark Roget, the author of Roget’s Thesaurus, who was born on this day in 1779.  

In 1840, Roget retired from a successful career in medicine and spent the rest of his life working on “Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases.” The work was the result of decades of collecting lists of words and categorizing them, much like a scientist would collect specimens. In Roget’s case, he collected words. He first published his thesaurus in 1852. And it was more than a book of synonyms – it was a complete categorization and organization of each word by meaning. 

Since then, poets and writers have used the thesaurus to help make their writing come to life. However, the thesaurus also has its detractors. Some say the thesaurus weakens language and destroys it. 

Whether you are looking for a more accurate word or trying to improve your writing, the thesaurus can be your best friend. Expanding your vocabulary increases both written and spoken communication skills, creative writing abilities, and can be helpful in advancing your career.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalThesaurusDay

Use a thesaurus to find the right word for your writing.  Use #NationalThesaurusDay to post on social media.


While the day commemorates the birth of Peter Mark Roget, our research did not identify the founder of the observance. However, we did find new words to add to our lexicon. 

In 2017, National Day Calendar® began celebrating each state in the order they entered the union starting the week of Independence Day and ending with Hawaii. We highlight a small part of each states’ history, foods and the people who make up the state. Many states have their own state celebrations, and National Day Calendar’s observances in no way replace them. There’s so much more to explore, we can’t help but celebrate our beautiful country even more!



On January 18, National Michigan Day recognizes the Great Lake State.

Surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes, Michigan has more shoreline than any of the contiguous 48 states. Of the 50 states, only Alaska has more.

First explored by the French, the area became a U.S territory in 1783.  Flush with iron and copper, Michigan would become a center of industrial activity.

Lake Michigan separates the upper and lower peninsulas of the 26th state granted statehood, making Michigan unlike any other in design.  To move from one peninsula to the other, ferries used to carry travelers back and forth.  But in 1957, the Mackinac Bridge connected the two sides making the journey more convenient and safer.  At 26,372 feet long, it is the third longest suspension bridge in the world.

Industry and Music

Industry dominated the early 20th century in Michigan. From logging, shipping, rail and automotive, the population grew with an influx of workers during war and peacetime. Influenced by skilled trades, engineering, and manufacturing, employment exploded.

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, assembly workers were in high demand all across the country. The Willow Run plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan built B-24 Bombers. As the epicenter of the automobile industry, Michigan was ripe for the increased production.

One of the Willow Run factory workers became a Rosie the Riveter spokesperson wearing the iconic bandana and flexing her muscle to sell war bonds. Rose Will Monroe’s efforts, as well as thousands of other women in Michigan and across the country, changed the course a war and the image of women for generations.

Known for its Motown sound and legendary music makers, Michigan and Detroit launched some of the most memorable names in jazz and gospel music.  From Smokey Robinson and Diana Ross to the Jackson 5 and Stevie Wonder, the birth of Motown was the launching of an era.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalMichiganDay

Join National Day Calendar as we recognize Michigan’s industrious spirit and natural beauty. Uncover hidden treasures and explore all Michigan’s history, lakes, and peninsulas! Use #NationalMichiganDay to share on social media.



National Peking Duck Day, on January 18th, recognizes the national dish of China. 

This dish is considered a delicacy due to its elaborate preparation and intense flavors. Since the Yuan Dynasty established by Kublai Khan, the process for preparing Peking Duck is rooted in tradition and has been perfected over thousands of years.

The crispy, flavorful skin is the signature element of Peking Duck.

The preferred bird for this dish is the White Beijing duck or in the United States, the Pekin duck. They are raised for 65 days before being brought to slaughter.

It is plucked, pumped full of air between the skin and the meat, soaked in boiling water, skewered, and hung to dry. While drying, the duck is glazed with a sugar coating and left for 24 hours. This whole process adds to the crispness of the skin.

The duck is then roasted hanging from the center of the oven to allow the fat to drip, basting the skin as it does.

When presented, Peking duck is often sliced artfully by the chef before the diners. 

Traditionally served in three portions, a Peking duck meal begins with the crispy skin, which diners dip into sugar.

Following the skin, thin pancakes are filled with the tender duck meat, hoisin and bean sauces, and cucumbers, onions, and garlic.

The final serving is a duck soup or broth.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalPekingDuckDay

Use #NationalPekingDuckDay to post on social media.


While we’ve never had Peking Duck, we’ve also not identified the source of this food holiday. However, we think it’s a swimmingly delicious way to celebrate!

On Deck for January 19, 2020

National Days

International Days


Recipe of the Day

New York Cheesecake
Prep:  25 minutes
Cook:  45 minutes
Total Prep:  70 minutes
Servings:  6-8



1 – 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar

8 ounces cream cheese
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sour cream

1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup sugar


First Prepare Crust:

Mix graham cracker crumbs, butter, and 1/4 cup powdered sugar.

Press into a well greased, 9-inch springform pan.

Spread up the side and along the bottom of the pan.

Place in freezer and chill for 5 to 10 minutes.

Next prepare filling:

Heat oven to 400°.

In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese and 3/4 cup sugar until smooth.

Add eggs, vanilla, and cornstarch and mix well.

Stir in  1 cup sour cream.

Pour the mixture into the cooled crust and bake for 45 minutes.

Turn off the oven and let cool 3 hours with the door slightly ajar.

Refrigerate overnight.

Prepare topping (before serving):

Combine 1 cup sour cream and 3/4 cup sugar.

Pour over chilled cheesecake before serving.

About National Day Calendar

National Day Calendar® is the authoritative source for fun, unusual and unique National Days! Since our humble beginnings on National Popcorn Day in 2013, we now track nearly 1,500 National Days, National Weeks and National Months. In addition, our research team continues to uncover the origins of existing National Days as well as discover new, exciting days for everyone to celebrate.

There’s a celebration for everyone. While National Road Trip Day satisfies the itch to wander, many pet days let us share our love of animals. National 3-D Day and National Astronaut Day honor the advancement of technology, too. Every food day you can imagine (National Avocado Day, for example), will keep you celebrating, also!

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