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December Weird Holidays

Really, December is here already….Today I’ve looked at what whacky holidays our nation or world celebrates and bring you these four.

National Socks Day

Because we hang stockings up in December, I thought researching about its counterpart the sock would be appropriate.

National socks day was created in 2016 by the apparel company known as Pair of Thieves. It’s a day in which the humble sock is elevated in stature so it’s equal to other articles of clothing that tend to get a lot more recognition. It is also a day people can show off their favourite socks.

Why did Pair of Thieves choose December 4th as the national holiday? Well it was to commemorate two toe-tapping historical events that happened on this day. First it commemorates the closing of the Broadway musical “On Your Toes” in 1954 which had debuted in 1936 and was known for its incorporation of ballet. And secondly for the final concert by mother-daughter singing duo Naomi and Wynonna Judd in 1991.

The name “sock” comes from the “Old English” word socc, which means light slipper, which came from soccus, a Latin word for “light, low-heeled shoe” that Roman comic actors wore. This word has roots going back to sykchos, a Greek word that consisted of animal skins that were tied around the ankles. Inhabitants of ancient Greece wore socks made of matted animal hair, while those in ancient Rome wore leather or woven fabrics.

Another early sock-like garment was the puttee which covered the ankle to the knee and also known as legwraps, leg bindings or winingas. During the Middle Ages, socks covered the lower part of the leg and were brightly coloured. Garters kept them from falling down and by about 1000 CE, socks were a symbol of nobility.

Machine-knit socks were first made in 1589 when the first knitting machine was invented. Socks could be knitted six time faster than hand-knit socks however hand-knit socks continued to be made until the 19th century, when almost all socks began being made by machines. At this time socks were made of cotton, silk or wool but with the invention of nylon in 1938, different materials began being blended to make socks. Today there are also socks made of polyester, acrylic, olefins and spandex.

A few silly facts:

  • Socks come in different colours, lengths and also have art on them

  • The oldest pair of socks recorded is from the 19th century and excavated from ancient burial ground in Egypt

  • In 2011 research revealed that the average family of four will lose 60 socks annually (my daughter started mixing her socks when she was young therefore never had to worry about hers matching)

  • Married folks accidently wear different coloured socks as they dress in the dark not to disturb their spouse (Oh, I’ve done that a couple of times, LOL)

  • Per dressing etiquette, the colour of sock should match your shoes or pants

National Maple Syrup Day

Can’t be Canadian without learning about “National Maple Syrup Day” EH!

This holiday seeks to promote the sweet condiment maple syrup, which is made from the sap of sugar maple, black maple or red maple trees. It seems to have started in 2015 as a promotional event to get more people to enjoy the sweet substance.

  • Found on grocery store shelves and farm stands

  • Dates back to the 1600s when indigenous populations in the Northeast began boiling maple sap into sugar

  • Quebec is king when it comes to production, producing almost 8 million gallons per year. Vermont comes in second at close to 900,000 gallons per year

  • There is an A and B grade of maple syrup. “B” is darker and has a stronger flavour and is usually produced later in the season

  • Sap is tapped out of trees between late February and early April

  • Maple syrup is labour intensive as sugarmakers (yes that is what they are called) insert spouts into maple trees and collect sap in buckets hanging below the spout. (A lot less now as they use hoses to run the sap directly into shacks)

  • One gallon of maple syrup requires forty gallons of sap to be boiled down in a sugar shack. Most of the liquid is evaporated in this process. To put into perspective 40 gallons fills and average bathtub which boils down to a gallon

  • A sugar maple tree produces 5 to 10 gallons of sap

  • Many recipes are made delicious by using maple syrup. Try some that I created:

  • Some people believe drinking pure maple sap helps prevent diseases like diabetes and osteoporosis, as well as occasional hangover

  • Healthier than sugar as it has higher levels of nutrients and antioxidants. But at 52 calories a tablespoonful, it would mean lots of walking or hitting the gym

  • Most pancake syrups have very little maple sap in them. Buy pure maple syrup with just the one ingredient. You will taste the difference

  • Unopened maple syrup can be stored at room temperature but once opened must be stored in the refrigerator

Learn how maple syrup was made in the old days and now by watching “Canadian Gold: Maple Syrup Then and Now”.

National Whiners Day

December 26th is Boxing Day in Canada but today I’m not highlighting that, I’m going to shine the light on National “Whiners” day. And this isn’t about the vino kind of whine….

As the year comes to an end think about how many times have we whined about things? Oh I can tell you that I must have whined about it being too hot, too rainy, too crazy in traffic, way too many times. It is far too easy to get caught up in complaining about everything that goes wrong or things we don’t get instead of focusing on what we have.

Therefore Reverend Kevin Zaborney created National Whiners Day on December 26, 1986 to remind people to be grateful for things they have instead of being unhappy for the things they don’t have. Sure we all want to blow off steam after Christmas is over, but marking the end of the most wonderful time of the year with whining goes against everything the season stands for.

So how do we celebrate National Whiners Day? It is best celebrated by expressing gratefulness for everything we have, whether it is health, love, an awesome Christmas present or our family. Zaborney also suggested the following way to celebrate:

  • Go to the mall and watch the whiner’s return their holiday gifts

  • Invite people over for a “Whine and geeze” party, where non-alcoholic wine (hahaha hear them whine) and cheese are served. Have them bring over a gift they want to whine about, that can be used as a white elephant gift exchange (swap unpractical gifts with each other); or hold a whining contest (who is the best whiner)

Gratefulness is at the root of everything. Even National Whiners Day! Practice it 365 (366) days a year.

National Tick Tock Day

National Tick Tock Day, yes Tick Tock like the clock and not the APP.

Thomas and Ruth Roy trademarked National Tick Tock Day on December 29th, 2006 through their company Wellcat Holidays. Their slogan “Time runs out! All those dreams you've had, all those fantasies? It's time, friend. Do it!”

With two days left for the year to be over the clock keeps ticking our life away. Tick Tock day is meant to remind us that every moment not spent living life to the fullest, is another moment that is gone forever. With the year almost at an end, if there are things still left doing, then don’t let the year end with regrets. Get out there and beat the tick tocks.

It was created to remind us the importance of completing tasks that are yet not finished. In a sense, wrap up unfinished business so we can start the new year with a clean slate. This can be business related, such as making sure all our paper work is completed, or in personal life such as cleaning out the cupboards.

Ticking off items on our “To Do” list before we start the new year. What a concept, starting the new year with a clear head! It can give us a fighting chance to start our next chapter in the best possible way, giving us the best shot at a successful year ahead. No one wants to carry clutter and disorganization into the new year, right?

How to celebrate Tick Tock Day:

  • Start the next year with a clear head and clean heart. Get the “It’s too late” idea out of your head and accomplish what you need to today. Because it is never too late to leave regrets behind

  • Stop worrying about the past and what we should have done. Focus on the future and what we will achieve. Grab a diary or journal and start making a list of what you want or need to do and start ticking off the list

  • Put your health and well-being first on the list. Schedule the doctor appointment, plan the vacation, put all birthdays and anniversaries on the calendar and don’t forget to celebrate them.

Life is so precious, and nothing is more important than living life well ALWAYS.


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