The aisles are decked with red and green. The bells of the Salvation Army ring out into the parking lot. Santa waves from his post next to the tinsel reindeer in the neighbor’s yard. The holiday season is clearly upon us.
But did we somehow skip from Halloween straight to Christmas? What about the holidays in between?
For those of you who want to slow down the speedy arrival of St. Nick and his reindeer, we offer up a collection of holidays you can celebrate between now and Christmas that focus less on the receiving and a bit more on family and thankfulness.
Let’s start with Veterans Day, which was celebrated last week. On Nov. 11, 1919, a year had passed since the end of the first World War. This day was known and commemorated as Armistice Day. Armistice Day was a day to focus on peace, prosperity and the soldiers who had given their lives in World War I. However, after the second World War, other military personnel moved to have “Armistice” changed to “Veterans” in honor of all those who fight in war over the course of history. Congress approved the name change in 1938.
Naturally, our veterans can’t help but remind us what all we should be thankful for, and just in time for Thanksgiving, which happens only two weeks after Veterans Day.
Students at The W are already counting down the days until their precious time off from school and are anticipating all the wonderful things we love about the Thanksgiving Holiday. One student at The W, Genna Edmondson, can’t wait to spend time with her family.
“On my dad’s side of the family, we are all really split up, so like some of us are in different states, and we’ll all get together, and we usually do that on Thanksgiving night. We’ll go and have a big feast and play games and just kind of be together,” said Edmondson.
However, there is more to November than Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. Nov. 19 is National Adoption Day, a day to raise awareness of children in the foster care system and celebrate adoptive families all across the country. The National Adoption Day Coalition invites people all over the world to use #OneDayProject to tell their adoption story.
“The day an adoption is finalized is one families never forget,” reads their website, NationalAdoptionDay.org. “The National Adoption Day Coalition created the One Day Project to share with the thousands of waiting children and families what this ‘one day’ feels like.”
Two days later, more than 180 countries will join together for a lesser-known holiday called World Hello Day. The tradition is simple: say “hello” to at least 10 people. The day was created in 1974 by two brothers, Brian McCormack and Michael McCormack, who hoped to show world leaders that communication is key to resolving conflict and keeping peace.
December also has its fair share of holidays before Santa Claus comes to town. Dec. 1 is recognized as World AIDS Day. Events are held all across the globe to educate the public about the disease, erase stigmas and encourage testing for HIV/AIDS. The W got a head-start on this holiday with a week of events dedicated to HIV/AIDS Awareness from Nov. 14 through Nov. 18.
On Dec. 7, those who lost their lives at the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor are honored with Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Just over a week later, the Bill of Rights will turn 225 years old on Dec. 15. If you find yourself missing Halloween or you’re in need of an excuse for more candy, you can join in the celebration of National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day on Dec. 16.
So whether you’re a history buff, a food fan or simply looking to fill in the blank calendar spaces between Oct. 31 and Dec. 25, there is no shortage of reasons to deck the halls and send warm greetings this holiday season.