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Welcome to the final month of 2013. A month of awareness for all the other awareness months of the year, according to the website thinkquest.org.

Of course, December brings us the holidays of Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Eve. It also is a month of remembrance: World AIDS Day (Dec. 1), Special Kids Day (Dec. 5) celebrating the lives of children with disabilities, Pearl Harbor Day (Dec. 7) and Human Rights Day (Dec. 10).

But on a far less serious note, December is a month of fun -- and some rather silly holidays including National Tie Month (as in neckties) and Bingo’s birthday month.

Here’s your final month of 2013 wacky celebrations:

Dec. 1

Food rules the holidays this month, and we start off with two food festivities: National Pie Day and Eat a Red Apple Day.

Dec. 2

In honor of National Fritters Day, may we recommend a fritter-filled breakfast. Dec. 2 also marks the year’s second National Mutt Day. (The first is July 31.)  Created in 2005, this day is all about embracing, saving and celebrating mixed-breed dogs, which represent the largest percentage of homeless dogs euthanized each year.

Dec. 3

It’s National Roof-Over-Your-Head Day, a day to appreciate all we have in life -- starting with the roofs  over our heads.

Dec. 4

Today is Wear Brown Shoes Day. Why? No one really knows anything about this holiday, except that it apparently exists.

Today is also Santa’s List Day -- reportedly the day Santa reviews his naughty and nice lists, making adjustments where necessary.

Dec. 5

It is National Sachertorte Day, a day commemorating a decadent multilayer chocolate cake  created in 1832. Unfortunately, you can get this cake only from bakeries in Vienna and Salzburg.

Fortunately, we have a tasty alternative, as it is also National Cookie Day as declared by the world’s preeminent cookie connoisseur, Cookie Monster.

For those who want fun away from food, Dec. 5 is also Bathtub Party Day and Ninja Day, for which we are encouraged to dress like Ninjas.

Dec. 6

Today's festivities include: National Gazpacho Day, Mitten Tree Day, Put On Your Own Shoes Day and Faux Fur Friday.

Dec. 7

Back to food fun, today is National Cotton Candy Day.

It is also Chester Greenwood Day -- otherwise known as Earmuff Day -- in honor of the inventor of “ear protectors” and the lucrative industry he brought to his hometown of Farmington, Maine.

Dec. 7 also marks Letter Writing Day, perhaps in honor of the Christmas letter tradition.

Dec. 8

Perhaps it’s a spillover from Chester Greenwood celebrations, but today is Take It In the Ear Day.

Much easier -- and preferable celebrations for Dec. 8 -- are National Brownie Day and Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day.

Dec. 9

Today we honor Sir Henry Cole of England (1818-1874), the creator of the very first commercial Christmas card. Today is also Techno (music) Day and National Pastry Day.

Dec. 10

Legend has it, today marks the Inuit holiday Festival for The Souls of Dead Whales -- except apparently there really is no such holiday.

Dec. 11

Welcome to National Noodle Ring Day,- a day to partake in that old-time dish of eggs, noodle, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and cheese baked in a ring mold, then center-filled with creamed chicken or other comfort-style foods.

Dec. 12

One might assume National Ding-A-Ling Day commemorates this season of Salvation Army bells ringing. One would be wrong. Apparently, Ding-A-Ling Day is all about acting like a ding-a-ling.

Other holidays today are Poinsettia Day, honoring the plant’s discoverer, Joel Roberts Poinsett; National Cocoa Day; Gingerbread House Day; and National 12-Hour Fresh Breath Day.

Dec. 13

Welcome to Ice Cream and Violins Day. Whatever that is.

Dec. 14

Among the food themes, today is probably not one on top of anyone’s list -- National Bouillabaisse Day. For those unfamiliar, bouillabaisse is a fish stew or soup. It is also Monkey Day, a holiday with two-focuses: monkeying around and raising awareness to the theory of evolution, medical research and animal rights.

Dec. 15

Food of the day is Lemon Cupcakes, in honor of that little known national holiday. More importantly, it is Cat Herders Day, a day recognizing the frustration of trying to manage the unmanageable.

Dec. 16

Not much can top today -- National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day.

Dec. 17

Think warm thoughts. Its National Maple Syrup Day.

December 18

Nearly 500 online retailers are participating this year’s annual online holiday: Free Shipping Day. It is also Bake Cookie Day -- no doubt replacing all the cookies we ate on Dec. 5 -- and “Answer the Phone Like Buddy the Elf Day," in which we channel Will Ferrell of “Elf” fame.

Dec. 19

Our food is sort of healthy today, as it is Oatmeal Muffin Day. It is also Look for an Evergreen Day, considered to be one of last of the remaining days to buy a Christmas tree.

Dec. 20

Take a shopping and baking breather today with Games Day, Go Caroling Day and National Sangria Day.

Dec. 21

Today marks the Winter Solstice, making it the shortest day and longest night of the year. Today’s holidays commemorating the solstice include: National Flashlight Day, Look at the Bright Side Day and Humbug Day, for those of us with a Scrooge factor.

Dec. 22

Yay, more food -- it’s National Date-Nut Bread Day.

Dec. 23

Seinfeld fans know today is Festivus (for the rest of us).

Dec. 24

Toss in an egg nog chaser in honor of National Egg Nog Day.

Dec. 25

As odd as it seems, today is National Pumpkin Pie Day. It is also “A’Phabet Day or No “L” Day” -- very punny.

Dec. 26

Folks in England, Australia, Canada and New Zealand celebrate Boxing Day today -- a day of showing appreciation and thanks with gifts and tips. Today is also National Whiners Day (for those who didn’t get what they wanted from Santa) and Thank You Note Day, which is far preferable behavior.

It’s also National Candy Cane Day. Sweet.

Dec. 27

You knew it had to happen, right? Yes, today is National Fruitcake Day. It is also Make Cut Out Snowflakes Day,

Dec. 28

Today marks the start of that two-day holiday celebration -- National Chocolate Day. It is also card playing day.

Dec. 29

Today is Pepper Pot Day, commemorating  tripe and pepper corn soup that was fed to starving Continental Army soldiers in the winter of 1777-1778. It's also Tick Tock Day. Time is running out to accomplish all those resolutions you made one year ago, so take some time to re-assess and get on with it.

Dec. 30

Welcome to Festival of Enormous Changes at the Last Minute, National Bicarbonate of Soda Day and Bacon Day -- celebrating all things bacon

Dec. 31

We end the year with three quirky holidays: Unlucky Day, for those unlucky enough to have to work; No Interruptions Day, for those who are the only people working today; and Make Up Your Mind Day, a day to make final decisions on all that we put on hold this year.

Reach Erin Andersen at 402-473-7217 or eandersen@journalstar.com.

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