- Holidays and Celebrations
A Month of Commemoration - July
From diseases, to food, to wheelchairs, July represents several things for several people. Here is a list of the commemorations celebrated in July.
Alopecia Month for Women
"International Women with Alopecia Month" (July) also falls under this category.
Though alopecia areata affects both men and women equally, this condition can arguably bother women more (as, sadly, it is more socially acceptable for a man to bald). The condition is caused when the immune system attacks hair follicles, though fortunately the damage isn't permanent. Though alopecia areata generally attacks the young, it can attack those of any age. Due to the lack of awareness (both of the condition and how sufferers cope), Bald Girls Do Lunch worked hard to make July "Alopecia Month for Women."
Bereaved Parents Awareness Month
In the same league, July is also known as "Worldwide Bereaved Parents Month" or "Worldwide Bereaved Parents Awareness Month."
A line from the play reads, "No parent should have to bury a child. No mother should have to bury a son. Mothers are not meant to bury sons. It is not in the natural order of things." The Last Days of Judas Iscariot
The pain a parent has in losing a child is unimaginable to anyone who has not experienced the same grief. In an effort to help both those who have lost children, as well as those who wish to support their bereaved parent friends, July is Bereaved Parents Awareness Month. It is sometimes difficult to reach out to those who grieve because we fear that we will do or say the wrong thing; but while sufferers may differ in what means most to them, there are resources that guide friends and family in what to say and do to help the parent through their grieving process.
Bioterrorism/Disaster Education & Awareness Month
Though we don't often like to think about it, there may be a time where an emergency kit is necessary and it is important for each of us to be informed of the potential disasters in our area. Some basic supplies would include water, food and blankets; but depending on your area other supplies are usually recommended in your emergency kit. Bioterrorism/Disaster Education & Awareness Month is a good reminder to stay prepared.
Cell Phone Courtesy Month
With the invention of technology also came another way for people to be discourteous to others. In an attempt to remind people of good manners, Jacqueline Whitmore, an expert on etiquette founded the event in hopes that people would be more respectful with how they use their phones while they are in public areas.
This goes for the ladies too...
Family Golf Month (USA)
To celebrate Family Gold Month, many golf courses in the United States will offer reduced price (or even free) lessons, rounds of golf and other incentives for families to golf together. Golfing is a good way to bond with your family while simultaneously getting in your exercise.
Fragile X Awareness Month
This is also known as "National Fragile X Awareness Month."
Although autism awareness has increased, many people still have yet to hear about fragile X syndrome (FXS) unless they (or their child) have this particular syndrome. FXS is the most common known genetic cause of autism and inherited intellectual disability. In addition to the "hidden" disabilities, there are sometimes physical and behavior characteristics that set those with FXS apart from others. As with the autism spectrum, those with FXS can range from mild to extreme cases, though few suffer from all symptoms.
Hemochromatosis Screening Awareness Month (USA)
Like FXS (look above), hemochromatosis is an inherited disorder that typically found more in people with European ancestry than people who are descended from other places in the world. Those with hemochromatosis may not realize they have it before diagnosis as the range of symptoms can go from "none" to "severe". Hemochromatosis is a condition where the sufferer's body absorbs more iron than what is normal and is not able to eliminate the iron. This causes a build-up in several of the body's organs which can make them not function properly.
July is Hemochromatosis Screening Awareness Month to not only bring awareness to the condition but to also bring awareness to the debate on whether or not a screening should be done for the the condition.
Independent Retailer Month
Independent Retailer Month serves to remind us about local-owned and independent businesses in one's area. Typically shopping at a local independently owned business helps your local economy, though many people tend to shop at "Big Box" stores which may or may not positively impact your community.
International Blondie and Deborah Harry Month
Since 1974, the New York based band Blondie and its lead singer, Deborah Harry, has taken the world by storm. What many may not know is that in July, the band is celebrated for the influence it has had on the music industry, which reverberates even in today's music.
International Group B Strep Awareness Month
Group B Strep is a serious condition that can infect infants during pregnancy and in the first few weeks and months after they are born. According to the CDC (Center of Disease Control), approximately 1 in 4 pregnant women are carriers of Group B Strep, which they can then pass to their children through the form of sepsis and meningitis.
Though not all babies exposed to Group B Strep become infected, those who are can suffer lifelong handicaps or death.
Juvenille Arthritis Awareness Month
When we think of arthritis, we generally think of the older generation - perhaps grandfathers who worked hard their entire lives using their hands and grandmother who knit sweaters for all her children every year for winter. There are, however, hundreds-of-thousands of children who have been diagnosed with juvenile arthritis, and unfortunately, their version of the condition is generally more severe than that of their grandparents. Their immune systems attack their bodies and can sometimes cause permanent damage and even death if the condition is left untreated.
National Black Family Month (USA)
Shaun McLaughlin founded July as National Black Family Month in New York City. It was her hope that families would use the month to enrich their lives as a family by spending time together, specifically doing things that would promote good education and healthy activities. It was also created to encourage the family to remember their heritage and to also set family goals for the rest of the year.
National Child-Centered Divorce Month
While divorce is often tumultuous for the husband and the wife, it can be even harder on their children. All to often, the children's needs are not thought through and the children aren't even told what their parents are going through. July is National Child-Centered Divorce Month to remind those who may be going through a divorce to remember their children's well-fare.
There is also an International Child-Centered Divorce Month that is commemorated in January.
National Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month
Every year, cleft and craniofacial conditions affect thousands of infants, children, teens and adults. Though typically, we may think of those who have been born with anomalies like cleft lip and palate, some infants are born with with life-threatening conditions. Others gain these conditions by being burned, suffering an accident or contracting a disease. Though some of these conditions can be fixed with surgery, others suffer throughout their lives.
National Cord Blood Awareness Month
The National Health Information Center (NHIC) had dedicated July as "National Cord Blood Awareness Month." Every year, women around the world give birth to beautiful, happy babies. In those wonderful minutes after birth, the woman bonds with her child and all attention is focused on that relationship (as it should be). However, many of these women don't know that after the umbilical cord is cut that the cord still holds cord blood - a rich source of stem cells that can be used to treat disease or rejuvenate tissue. If the family chooses, they can either donate the cord blood to help someone else or they can also save it for themselves; but neither of these options are available without the knowledge or the forethought.
National Doghouse Repairs Month
When's the last time you checked out your pooch's backyard abode? Does it need any repairs? If so, this is a good month to fix the leaky roof and the sand down the rough sides. As July is National Doghouse Repairs Month, you might even think about upgrading the house a little... maybe some wall-to-wall carpeting?
Extravagant Pet Homes
National Hot Dog Month (USA)
In the United States, there is possibly no other comfort food that is as controversial or as well loved as the hot dog. Though many worry about its ingredients, many other people enter hot dog eating contests to consume as many as possible. Others do their best to "reinvent" the hot dog or find the newest and greatest hot dog topping. For all the people mentioned above, this is your month - National Hot Dog Month. Let the ketchup and mustard wars begin.
National Wheelchair Beautification Month (USA)
Author and illustrator Horace Knowles founded National Wheelchair Beautification Month for families to decorate the chairs of their loved ones with wheelchairs. Those with wheelchairs may see their chair as a burden, a sign of sickness or disability, or just something that never changes. By working together to decorate the chair, they can remember that the chair allows them to be more mobil and is a beautiful thing. Families get very creative when decorating chairs and many do their best to make the chair reflect the personality of its rider.
Share A Sunset With Your Lover Month
Also known as National Share A Sunset With Your Lover Month, July has been nominated as the month to take the time to stop and watch the sky with someone you love.
Whole Grains Counsel celebrates a different grain on their website each month. In July, they celebrate wheat by sharing recipes, telling tales of its origin and even sharing fun facts. Make yourself a nice sandwich (It is Sandwich Generation Month too, after all) and read what they have to say.
Women's Motorcycle Month
Women's motorcycle month is being established by the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum (Harley-Davidson wants May to be "Women Rider's Month") and Nationwide Insurance. Over the last several years, a higher percentage of women have began to ride motorcycles, take safety classes and enter the Motorcycle Hall of Fame.
Please let me know if there are any other commemorations I have missed and I will add them to the list. Thank you for reading and Happy Holidays!