weird and wacky holidays happening in December

December 4 is Santa’s List Day

Santa's List DayToday is Santa’s List Day. According to legend, it’s the day when Kris Kringle finalizes his list, double checks it for accuracy and puts the elves to work manufacturing gifts for children who’ve toed the line of acceptable behavior within their age groups.

Times have changed at the North Pole. Nowadays many parents and mental health specialists view “naughtiness” as a label that is damaging to a child’s self-esteem. As a result, elves must crank out even more toys as lumps of coal gather dust in a nearby warehouse. (Santa’s workshop runs on solar power.)

Even the most well-behaved child might take the news that Santa has locked in his list as a sign that anything goes for the next three weeks. It’s a risky move; although Santa has refused to grant access to journalists, it’s quite possible that he employs tech-savvy elves who scan social media and halt the assembly line in cases of egregious misconduct.

There’s no way to know if workers are capable of making an XBox One. Unlike most sweatshop labor forces, elves have 11 months of the year to learn to make new things. Hopefully, they get a little time to relax and sip a mai tai at a resort that caters to diminutive people. (Keebler Beach, perhaps?)

If the workshop sources more complex items from Amazon like everyone else, the turnaround time is shortened and, theoretically, bad behavior can be punished on short notice. In the age of Amazon Prime’s free shipping service, will Santa shut down operations and put the reindeer out to pasture?

With Arctic ice melting at an alarming rate, it won’t be long before elves implement a Kickstarter campaign to buy a houseboat for Santa. Just for today, kids can show their appreciation for Santa’s dedication by being good to the extent required of them. Those expecting a big item like a computer or a drone should consider holding off on melting Barbies or setting the family hamster on fire until December 26th.

Happy Santa’s List Day!


Copyright 2016 Worldwide Weird Holidays

Chester Greenwood Day

chester greenwood dayChester Greenwood Day

Even if you’ve never heard of Chester Greenwood, chances are, he’s been keeping your ears warm for years. Greenwood was born on December 4, 1858, in Farmington, Maine.

At the age of fifteen, he fashioned the first pair of earmuffs, with his grandmother’s help, from wire, beaver fur and velvet.

He was awarded a U.S. patent for his “ear-mufflers” in 1877.  By his mid-20s, 50,000 pairs of Greenwood Champion Ear Protectors were being mass-produced annually at a local factory.

He accumulated over 100 more patents for such diverse inventions as a mechanical mousetrap, steel-toothed rake, donut hook and a shock absorber that became the basis for a component of airplane landing gear.

Farmington became the Earmuff Capital of the World. By 1937, when Greenwood died, his company had its best year ever, selling 400,000 pairs.

In 1977, the state of Maine declared December 21—the first day of winter—Chester Greenwood Day. Farmington parade organizers moved it to the first Saturday of December because it is closer to Greenwood’s birthday, provides a slightly better chance of mild weather and always falls on the weekend so families can attend together.

Festivities in Farmington

The day’s celebrations include the annual Chester Greenwood Day 5K Run/Walk, Gingerbread House Contest, Chili Challenge and Polar Bear Dip. As always, the highlight of the day is the Chester Greenwood Day parade.

Recent parade themes have included 2016’s “Holiday Celebrations around the World” and 2015’s “Favorite Characters.” All are welcome to participate, as long as they have a flat-bed truck and giant earmuffs. Floats without them are disqualified, which means that everything from a Nativity scene to a Spongebob Squarepants sock hop must sport a huge pair of these:chester greenwood day

All floats are judged on originality, appearance, and quality of onboard performances. There are a couple more guidelines on the submission form.

Floats, or any other units, advocating, opposing or depicting any social issues are subject to approval of the Chester Greenwood Day Parade Committee. Entries by political (ballot) measures supported or opposed by individuals, groups, political action committees or by any other form are not allowed.

The Parade Committee reserves the right to withdraw any unit of which the costume or performance does not meet these rules and regulations, or does not conform to the standards of reasonable public behavior.

One more thing: Throwing candy from any float is forbidden as this may cause children to run into the street and be struck by extremely slow-moving parade vehicles. (Flying sweets also pose a risk of eye injury to paradegoers not wearing glasses.) Anyone throwing anything from any entry will result in everyone on the float being banned from the parade for life.

Now, get out there, have fun and celebrate the man who invented ear hats!

Copyright 2016 Worldwide Weird Holidays

December 1 is Eat a Red Apple Day

International Eat an Apple DayToday is Eat a Red Apple Day. Unlike the freewheeling, any-apple-goes International Eat an Apple Day (September 17), today is all about the reds:

Delicious, Rome, Ambrosia, Braeburn, McIntosh, Cameo, Empire, Macoun, Rubyfrost, Cortland, Jonagold, Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, Snapdragon, Gala, Fuji, Reinette, Lady, Baldwin, Gravenstein, Liberty, Northern Spy, Cripps Pink, Sweet Tango and more

Remember the adage: Consuming an individual portion obviates the need for intervention by a medical professional during the Earth’s current rotation around the Sun. (Or words to that effect.)

Copyright 2016 Worldwide Weird Holidays

Banished Words List Day of 2015

banished words list daySince 1976, Lake Superior State University (LSSU) has issued an annual List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-Use, Over-Use or General Uselessness. LSSU accepts nominations for banishment from around the globe, covering all manner of words and phrases worthy of exile.

Without further ado, we bring you the Banished Words List of 2015

Polar vortex
Skill Set
Cra-cra (cray-cray)
Enhanced interrogation
____-Nation (sports)

Our Favorites from 2014

Selfie (named Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionary!)
_____ On Steroids
_____ –Ageddon

Words and phrases banished in previous years include: Pre-Plan, Quality Time (’85); Conferenced, Free Gift (`88); Infotainment, Forced Relaxation (’89); Minor Emergency Clinic,  A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste (’90); My Bad, Talk to the Hand (’98); Metrosexual, Companion Animals (’04); Gitmo, We’re Pregnant (’07); Man Cave, Pet Parent (’12).

University officials note that even with this year’s focus on elections, most entries do not concern politics. Nominations for the 2016 list roll in via e-mail at a steady pace from the fields of academia, advertising, business, the military, sports, as well as politics.

We can’t wait to see the newest entries!

Copyright 2016 Worldwide Weird Holidays