Tag Archives: December Holidays

Frank Sinatra’s Birthday

“Whatever else has been said about me personally is unimportant. When I sing, I believe. I’m honest.”

Frank Sinatra

December 12 is Frank Sinatra’s Birthday!

Francis Albert “Frank” Sinatra, aka Ol’ Blue Eyes, was born on December 12, 1915 in Hoboken, New Jersey to Sicilian immigrants. Upon seeing Bing Crosby perform, Sinatra dropped out of high school and decided to become a singer. He had jobs singing in local nightclubs until he caught the attention of bandleader Harry James. The two began working together with much success, and with the help of James, Sinatra recorded his first album, “From the Bottom of My Heart.”

In 1939, Sinatra joined forces with bandleader Tommy Dorsey, whose group was one of the hottest at the time. This union further exposed Sinatra to the American public, and more specifically, to teenaged bobby soxers. By the time Frank was out as a solo artist in the early 1940s, Sinatramania had already begun.

Frank Sinatra’s career and personal life had many ups and downs, but he will always be remembered as one of the greatest voices of all time. Throughout his career, Sinatra had a whopping 209 hits on the Billboards pop singles chart, 55 top 20 albums, and earned multiple film awards for his roles in various feature films.

Fun Fact: Every year on December 12, the Empire State Building lights up blue in honor of “Ol’ Blue Eyes”, Frank Sinatra.

Sources: Biography.com, The Biography Channel, Wikipedia

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National Pastry Day

bakingDecember 9 is National Pastry Day! Pastries are delicious fluffy baked products usually made with the following ingredients: flour, sugar, milk, butter, shortening, baking powder, and eggs. Pastries include anything making use of flaky pastry bread from pies to cream puffs to more savory dishes like quiche. Pastries are different from regular bread due to their higher fat content which allows them to have a more crumbly and flaky texture.

Pastries can be traced all the way back to ancient Mediterranean times with the making of thin-doughed filo and multi-layer baklava. Several centuries ago, Crusaders brought the practice of pastry making back to Northern Europe. European Renaissance chefs in Italy and France created the magnificent choux pastries and puff pastries we still indulge in today, and the 17th and 18th saw the creation of eclairs, brioche, and other perfect pastry treats. French chef Antonin Carême is credited with turning pastry making into an art form.

You can celebrate pastry day by visiting your favorite local bakery, or trying out one of these delectable pastry recipes!

Happy Pastry Day!

Sources: Wikipedia, World’s Special Days

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National Cotton Candy Day

Rosa Zuckerwatte pink Cotton candyHappy National Cotton Candy Day!

National Cotton Candy Day celebrates the sweet, fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth treat you’ll always find at amusement parks, carnivals, fairs, circuses and sports venues.

Although machine-spun cotton candy was invented in1897 by William Morrison and John C. Warton, the two men did not introduce the treat to a wide audience until 1904 at St. Louis World’s Fair, where it was introduced as “fairy floss.” The inventors sold their “fairy floss” for 25 cents per box, selling 68,000 boxes during the fair’s six-month run.

In the 1920s, “fairy floss” was renamed as cotton candy.

Read more about the history of cotton candy by clicking here.

Celebrate National Cotton Candy Day by making your own cotton candy!

 

Sources: holidayinsights, punchbowl.comfoodservicewarehouse.com, wikipedia.org
Photo Source:  By Usien (Own work),  CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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Mitten Tree Day

December 6 is Mitten Tree Day!

The exact origin of this day is unknown, but many have concluded that it came into existence due to the heartwarming story, The Mitten Tree, by Candace Christiansen. The story follows a woman named Sarah who misses her grown children and therefore watches young children board the school bus near a large evergreen tree every day. One day, she notices that some of the children cannot play in the snow because they don’t have mittens. She knits a basket full of mittens and hangs them in the evergreen tree for the children. Although no one knows that Sarah is the person knitting the mittens for the children, she receives a basket of yarn on her doorstep. In return, she knits more mittens for the children. Every time she runs out of yarn, more magically appears at her door and the cycle of giving continues.

To celebrate Mitten Tree Day, you can share this story with your loved ones and make your own mitten tree by decorating a small tree with mittens you have knitted or some mittens you already have and donating it to those who are less fortunate. If you’ve never knit mittens before, here is a detailed how-to video:

Happy Mitten Tree Day!

Sources: Holiday Insights, National Whatever Day

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Santa’s List Day

santas-listDecember 4 is Santa’s List Day! Everyone has deadlines – even Santa Claus.

Today is the day that Santa is finalizing his list and checking it twice. His helpers have been diligently keeping tabs on you and everyone you know and are now reporting back so the man in the red suit himself can make his final revisions. The question now is – have you been naughty or nice?

If you have not been on your best behavior this year, don’t expect much to pop up under the tree for you, aside from maybe some sad looking sticks or a box full of coal. As for all you good kiddos out there, the moment you have been waiting for is fast approaching, so we hope you have been dropping the proper hints about that perfect present you’ve been dreaming of. Hope may not be completely lost for you if you haven’t been the nicest. You’ve still got 21 days until the most anticipated day of the year, so go out there and do as many good deeds as you can! Perhaps you’ll redeem yourself… you never know who is watching!

Sources: Holiday Insights, Fat Wallet, Examiner.com, gone-ta-pott.com

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National Fritters Day

Maruya (Banana Fritters)Happy National Fritters Day!

Fritters are fried cakes or dough containing a primary ingredient of meat, fruit or veggies, such as crab, apples, potatoes or zucchini. This versatile dish can be served as a snack, side dish, dessert or main course. Learn more about fritters and different cultures’ take on the fritter here.

Celebrate National Fritters Day by trying one of the recipes below!

Zucchini Fritters

Apple Fritters

Pumpkin Fritters

Gourmet Pumpkin Fritters

Banana Fritters

Crab Fritters

 

Sources: holidayinsights.com, punchbowl.com, wikipedia.org
Photo Source: Shubert Ciencia from Nueva Ecija, Philippines, CC-BY-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

 

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New Year’s Eve

It’s New Year’s Eve! Pop open a bottle of champagne and count down to 2013 with your friends and family.

Planning a New Year’s party? Head to Finding Dulcinea to find everything you need to celebrate on New Year’s Eve, from party ideas, decorations and menus (whether going all out or partying on a budget) to celebration ideas for kids and New Year’s Eve history, facts, traditions and superstitions.

Did You Know…While most people are sharing a New Year’s kiss when the clock strikes midnight, people in Spain are eating twelve grapes, or one on each chime of the clock. Click here to see how different countries

Be safe and have a happy New Year!

 

Sources: holidayinsights.com, wikipedia.org
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Card Playing Day

Bicycle-playing-cardsDecember 28 is Card Playing Day!

There’s no better time to enjoy a relaxing card game with your family and friends than the week in between Christmas and New Year celebrations, when the excitement of the holidays has calmed down a bit but you still have a few lingering and restless  family members around.

Grab a deck of playing cards and celebrate Card Playing Day by playing some of your favorite card games. Up for a challenge? Take this opportunity to learn a card game you’ve never played before. Find rules for a variety of card games below!

Card Game Rules from bicyclecards.com
Card Games and Rules from Grandparents.com

 

Sources: holidayinsights.com, theultimateholidaysite.com
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National Fruitcake Day

TrappistAbbeyFruitcakeDecember 27 is National Fruitcake Day!

What would the holiday season be without a loaf of fruitcake that has jumped from freezer to freezer for anywhere from two to two dozen holiday seasons?

Fruitcake is a cake made of chopped candied or dried fruit, nuts and spices, then  soaked in brandy. It is also a traditional Christmas gift. It is also almost always re-gifted.

Yes, it’s quite possible that no one has actually made a fruitcake in years.

So if you received/receive a fruitcake this holiday season, be sure to get rid of it – that is, pass it along to someone else – before the holiday season is over and fruitcake is no longer an acceptable gift. Otherwise, you’re stuck with it until next year…unless you enjoy fruitcake. Then you can actually eat it, which is perfectly fine, as fruitcake is meant to be consumed.*

Three-and-a-half ways to celebrate National Fruitcake Day:
1. Re-gift the fruitcake(s) you have received this holiday season.
2. Eat the fruitcake(s) you have received this holiday season.**
3. Make a fruitcake, which you can then:

  • Eat
  • Give to someone as a gift, just to get a fresh fruitcake out there.

 

 

*If you do eat a fruit cake you received as a gift, we hope that it has undergone proper fruitcake storage. When properly preserved, fruitcake can last for months, even years – hence, the re-gifting. Some people even say fruitcake gets better with age. This implies that someone out there has eaten really old fruitcake, so eating really old fruitcake must be ok. However, this statement is vague, so eat at your own risk.

**If you are unable to re-gift the fruitcake, have no interest in eating it and do not want it to take up space in your freezer during the next year, save it for January 3. Further instructions will be provided on January 3.

 

Sources: holidayinsights.com, theultimateholidaysite.com, wikipedia.org, allrecipes.com

Photo Source: Katr67, CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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Boxing Day

December 26 is Boxing Day!

Boxing Day is celebrated the day after Christmas in Canada, the UK, New Zealand, and Australia.

It is very similar to Black Friday in the United States, with retailers opening early and offering dramatic discounts. Before it was a major shopping day, Boxing Day was a day off for servants and a time when superiors would give presents to their workers.

Whether shopping or exchanging gifts, Boxing Day is a day to spend with family and friends that you may not have seen during Christmas celebrations.

Sources: Wikipedia, About.com

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