Fun Winter Holidays to Celebrate With Your Kids
Winter holidays bring the normal traditions of Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, and New Years. When someone says, Happy Holidays, we know that they are celebrating one or more of these occasions. There are a few other days of recognition, however, that often go unnoticed. No matter where you live or what religion you practice, these days can bring some additional fun to your family.
Some of these are only celebrated in America, but many of them are recognized around the globe. Why not consider some of these special days when making plans for your family this winter? Mark your calendar and choose the ones that will be the most fun and interactive for you and your kids.
December 1 – World AIDS Day
Take some time to learn about this important day and the facts about the millions of adults and children living with HIV in the world. Gather your family together and think of some ways that you can make a difference in the fight against this disease. Think of ways to raise money to donate to a charitable donation that is dedicated to global AIDS education, prevention, and treatment. Can you organize a bake sale or a garage sale? Can you gather all your loose change? There may be community organized events that you can participate in as well. This is a great opportunity for your family to work together toward a worthy cause.
December 4 – National Cookie Day
Time to break out those cookie sheets and start baking! Be sure to get the kids in on the action. Find some of your favorite cookie recipes or look for some new ones. Why not invite the kids’ friends over for a cooking baking party? Have a contest on who can make the best, most creative, or best decorated cookie! Don’t keep all the baked goods to yourself. Share the joy of National Cookie Day with your friends and neighbors.
You could also host a cookie party. Invite twelve friends to all bring two dozen cookies along with twelve copies of the recipe. Then everyone swaps cookies and takes home twelve new recipes along with two dozen different types of cookies.
December 7 – Pearl Harbor Day
If you live in America, be sure to show your patriotism on this day that is set aside to remember the lives that were lost on December 7, 1941 when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Hang the American flag outside of your home at half-mast. There may also be some local events to commemorate the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. This day would be a good opportunity to educate your children on this important event in American history.
A few other ideas would be to visit a local nursing home and honor the residents who lived during that time of history. Have your kids make thank you cards and send them to soldiers who are serving now. Rent an old World War II movie and talk about the impact the attack on Pearl Harbor had on Americans at that time.
December 10 – Human Rights Day
This day is celebrated world wide as a day to embrace diversity and end discrimination. Use Human Rights Day as a day to impress on your children the fact that all human are created equally and that everyone should enjoy the same rights of freedom. Spend some time talking about ways that you can reach out and help those who are less fortunate than you. Can you sponsor a child who lives in a third-world country? Can you volunteer as a family to serve at a local homeless shelter? Can you make some donations to your local Habitat for Humanity or work together and help build a home? Help your children to reach out to others who are from a different culture, race, or economic circumstance. Set the example for them follow. Show them that you really can make a difference in the lives of others.
December 17 – Maple Syrup Day
This day must start with some delicious pancakes, waffles, or French toast smothered in gooey, sticky, sweet, delicious maple syrup! Have a maple syrup taste test with several different kinds of syrup. Find some recipes on-line that use maple syrup and see how many fun things you can create. Have the kids make art projects out of maple leaves. Why not invite some friends or neighbors over for some flapjacks?
December 21 – National Hamburger Day
Some sources claim that National Hamburger Day is actually May 28 or perhaps even July 28. However, there are several other spring and summer holidays to commemorate so I’m going to stick with December 21!
On National Hamburger Day you could have a neighborhood cook off and honor the cook with the best, tastiest, most creative hamburger. You could take your family out to your favorite burger joint or create your own gourmet burger meal at home. No matter how you like your burgers, be sure to have one on National Hamburger Day. You can even go for the veggie-burger if you’re a vegetarian!
December 26 – Boxing Day
While Boxing Day is not a federal holiday in America, it is for several countries around the world. This day is in honor of St. Steven, the first Christian martyr. Many celebrate this day by spending it with family and playing sports. The name, however, comes from a tradition of donating boxes of food to the poor and to the clergy the day after Christmas.
Why not keep the tradition alive and donate some non-perishable food items to a local food bank? You and your kids could organize a food drive in the month of December and take the donations to a charitable organization on Boxing Day. You could also put gift boxes of food items together and deliver it to neighbors or single parents in your area.
December 27 – National Fruitcake Day
Now’s the time to put that Christmas fruitcake to good use! Invite your friends and neighbors over for a fruitcake fiesta! Be sure to have them bring their own fruitcake. Set up a taste test to determine the worst tasting fruitcake. Create your own fear factor game, make some blindfolds and challenge the kids to give it try. If you’re completely opposed to actually eating the fruitcake, you could make your own fruitcake-toss. See who can throw the fruitcake the furthest or hit a target. How many crazy fruitcake games can you come up with?
January 6 – Bean Day
This crazy, just for fun day is set aside to commemorate the bean and all the good nutritional value he brings. Start out this day with my personal favorite bean of all – the coffee bean. Be sure to follow it up, however, with lots of bean-filled dishes throughout the day. There are so many different types, tastes, and textures of beans, that surely everyone has a favorite.
Ask your kids what their favorite bean is. If they don’t know, buy a few different kinds and try your own taste test. If they have a favorite, be sure to incorporate their choice in your meals for the day.
You could also buy a bag of dry beans and help your kids get creative with a craft project. Why not use the extra beans to make your own bean-bags and have a bean-bag toss game?
January 23 – National Pie Day
Everyone should love National Pie Day! Why not try out a new pie recipe? Invite the kids to help you make pies and deliver them to your neighbors. Invite your friends and family over for a pie-tasting or pie eating contest. You could also take your family out to eat at a local diner and order pie ala mode for dessert. National Pie Day is all about pie!
February 1 – National Freedom Day
On February 1, 1965 Abraham Lincoln signed the resolution that became the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution. This amendment outlawed slavery in America. National Freedom Day is celebrated to commemorate the freedom of all Americans.
Celebrate your freedom on this day. Take some time to talk to your children about the freedoms that we enjoy. Read up on some facts about Abraham Lincoln. Have your kids recite the Gettysburg Address or dress up like Abe.
However you spend your winter days this year, I hope that you take some time to enjoy it with your friends and family. These days of remembrance can be some fun additions to your schedule to celebrate with those you love, learn something new, or share with someone else.
Let me know how you plan to celebrate these special days or if you have any ideas to add. I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below. If you enjoyed this Hub, be sure to vote it up! Thanks for reading!