Funny You Should Say That: Celebrating the Holidays (All of Them)

By John Cadley

My December is going to be busier than I expected. I have one of those calendars that includes all the holidays, and it’s a lot more than Christmas, Hanukah and Kwanza. For instance, December 5 is Bathtub Party Day. Apparently, the majority of modern folk opt for showers instead of baths, and this is the day when we rediscover the relaxing comfort of domestic immersion – preferably with friends, according to the calendar. I don’t know if they should bring over their own bathtubs or if we all will try to cram in one tub together. That would be a problem: (a) my bathtub is kind of small, and (b) I have friends I would never want to see in a bathtub.

December 7 is Letter Writing Day. The idea here is that so few people write letters any more, it will take them a whole day to do it. The good news is that after a day in the bathtub with your friends, you’ll have plenty to write about.

Then on December 9 comes Weary Willie Day, in honor of the clown character made famous by Emmett Kelly. On this day, we are encouraged to rediscover the importance of play and silliness by learning clown skills – juggling, for example. I’m not sure why this is a special day since I juggle things all day at work...which is a circus... where I’m surrounded by clowns. Maybe I’ll let that one pass and wake up to Sister Friend Day on December 10, although that could be another toughie. When I was two years old and my sister was four, she hit me over the head with a casserole dish and our relationship has been that way ever since. I suppose we could get together briefly, but then I’d have to cancel the restraining order.

Thankfully, there’s nothing on December 11, so I can rest up for December 12, which hosts two holidays – Poinsettia Day and Bonza Bottler Day. I’ll go and buy a poinsettia in the little green plastic tub with the gold aluminum foil wrapping, place it where my cats won’t get it, then forget about it until after Christmas when I’m cleaning up and discover a dried cake of dirt with a tumbleweed in the middle. Bonza Bottler Day, on the other hand, requires nothing. It happens every time the number of the month and the day coincide – i.e., December 12 is 12/12, which someone thought was sufficient cause for wild celebration. Whatever.

Next up is Underdog Day on December 15, dedicated to everybody who never gets what they want in life. They don’t say what to do on this day, maybe because it really doesn’t matter. It’s not going to work out anyway.

However, if you can wait patiently until December 21, you’ll have an entire day to vent all your frustration and discontent. It’s Humbug Day, when you’re allowed to be as cranky and cantankerous as Ebenezer Scrooge without being called Ebenezer Scrooge. My calendar says you’re allowed up to 12 “Bah, Humbugs” per person. That’s not enough for me, so I’m setting up a Humbug Cap and Trade Program in my neighborhood like they do for air pollution. Those who don’t need their full allotment can sell credits to those like me who want more. At the moment I’ve earned the right to say “Bah, Humbug” 98 times, which is about four an hour for one full day, or one every 15 minutes. Given my temperament during the holidays, that’s just about right.

December 23 is Feast of the Radishes Day. I live in Syracuse, New York, the Snow Capital of the World, and if you can find a radish in December it would rival Christmas, Hanukah and Kwanza as a day of miraculous wonder. December 27 and 28 celebrate the birthdays of Louis Pasteur and Frederic Chopin, respectively. I always combine these two by playing Chopin’s Sonata in B-Flat Minor while toasting myself with a glass of pasteurized milk every time I get a note right.

Finally, there’s Make Up Your Mind Day on December 31, when you finally make the gut-wrenching, mind-boggling decisions you’ve been putting off all year. It’s too late to do anything about them, of course, but at least you can start the New Year knowing you made them. Then you’re free to start putting off a new set of gut wrenching, mind-boggling decisions for the next 364 days.

And that’s my December. Seems exhausting. Good thing January 1 is another Bonza Bottler Day (1/1). Then I can celebrate doing nothing. 

John Cadley is an advertising copywriter in Syracuse, New York. Reach him at