Tuesday, February 03, 2015

February Survival Guide: Pick A Holiday And Celebrate The Hell Out Of It

"February is merely as long as is needed to pass the time until March."--Dr. J.R. Stockton

Certainly Dr. J.R. Stockton could benefit from a little history lesson highlighting the Romans, namely King Numa Pompilius and Julius Caesar, but let's give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he was being snidely metaphorical. A lot of us know that March is just as bad, climatologically speaking, as February, with the added bonus of being even longer. We might say, even, "March is merely as long as is needed to pass the time until April."

But I digress. (Big surprise.)

My point, and I do have one, is this: February has some Image Problems, and being The Home Of Valentine's Day doesn't solve them; ask almost any male in A Relationship. Thankfully, I have an Excellent Readership here at the Dept., and because of their inspiration, we can not only help February, but also survive it.

Dear Reader Shirley from gfeeasily commented earlier that she is "one of those girls who just throws everything in the mix and cheers for it all", a trait that I find both useful and endearing. It sounded somehow familiar to me, and then I realized why. It complements perfectly a sentiment that Dear Reader J. over at Thinking About has shared often: "Life can be really hard sometimes, so celebrate when you can."

To that end, I present to you a list of Holidays in February far beyond what we usually associate with the month. Here is where you can discover the Origin of each of the Holidays, but personally, I don't care. To paraphrase Shirley and J., February sucks, so I'm just going to mix them all up and celebrate whatever the hell I want.

February is also known as:

American Heart Month
An Affair to Remember Month
Black History Month
Canned Food Month
Creative Romance Month
Great American Pie Month
National Cherry Month
National Children’s Dental Health Month
National Grapefruit Month
National Weddings Month

Here are the

Official February Holidays:

1 National Freedom Day

2 Groundhog Day

2 Candlemas

3 The Day the Music Died - Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper died in a plane crash in 1959.  We will commemorate, not celebrate.

4 Create a Vacuum Day--I'll just run the one I have, thanks.

4 Thank a Mailman Day--I will set out a nice card!

5 National Weatherman's Day--Grrrrrrrr.

6 Lame Duck Day--Do I send President Obama a note, or do I increase awareness about gimpy waterfowl?

7 Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day - first Saturday of month--I may have to add a scoop to my coffee.

7 Wave All Your Fingers at Your Neighbor Day--I think not.

7 Send a Card to a Friend Day--eCards do count; I give you permission and the environment thanks you.

8 Boy Scout Day

8 Kite Flying Day--Maybe where you live...?

9 Clean out Your Computer Day - second Monday of the Month

9 Toothache Day

10 Umbrella Day--I feel like this should be in April, really.

11 Don't Cry over Spilled Milk Day--Oddly, I like this.

11 Make a Friend Day--I'll let all the FB people do this.

11 White T-Shirt Day--My standard for jammies, so every day is this.

12 Abraham Lincoln's Birthday--I always read The Gettysburg Address. Often aloud.

12 Plum Pudding Day--In February? Have any of you had this?

13 Blame Someone Else Day - first Friday the 13th of the year--I choose...republicans.

13 Get a Different Name Day--I will always choose Samantha.

14 Ferris Wheel Day

14 National Organ Donor Day--All of us at the Dept. are donors!

14 Valentine's Day

15 Candlemas - on the Julian Calendar

15 National Gum Drop Day--Absolutely celebrating this one!

15 Singles Awareness Day--Kraft American for grilled cheese.

16 Do a Grouch a Favor Day--DOING THIS!

16 Presidents' Day - third Monday of month

17 Random Acts of Kindness Day--I feel like no one ever has randomly performed an act of kindness toward me.

18 National Battery Day--Check your smoke alarms again!

19 Chinese New Year - Year of the Goat. Don't trust goats.

19 National Chocolate Mint Day--St. Patsy's favourite ice cream.  I might take her some.

20 Cherry Pie Day--I will take a trip to the pie shop for this.

20 Hoodie Hoo Day--NOT even saying this. Ever.

20 Love Your Pet Day--This is every day. Come on.

21 Card Reading Day--I used to cast and read rune stones. Don't judge. But not cards. I'll read your business card or greeting card!

22 George Washington's Birthday--GW never did it for me. I don't find him as fascinating or compelling or wonderful as AL or even TJ.

22 Be Humble Day--Humility is admirable any day if it is genuine. Don't fake it just for the day.

22 Walking the Dog Day--Never could do this yo-yo trick well. Real dog--Zydrunas is too strong for me to walk him; he is dog-reactive.

22 International World Thinking Day--Primarily to think about global women's health issues. I will fit it in while humbly walking the dog.

23 International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day--I appreciate how slipping my Dog Relatives these speedily ingratiates them to me.

23 Tennis Day--Very hard on my knees, this sport. Plus, why must the women wear skirts? Quite sexist.

24 National Tortilla Chip Day--Pass me the guacamole.

25 Pistol Patent Day

26 Carnival Day

26 National Pistachio Day--These are too pricey and worky for me. More for you.

26 Tell a Fairy Tale Day--Once upon a time the republicans listened to reason...

27 Polar Bear Day--I remain an avid Polar Bear enthusiast and supporter.

27 No Brainer Day--Sadly, an everyday holiday for so, so many.

28 Floral Design Day

28 Public Sleeping Day--Celebrated in classrooms daily.

28 National Tooth Fairy Day - and/or August 22--What? Santa Claus, a major International star/celebrity, gets ONE holiday a year. The Tooth Fairy gets TWO?

There is no February 29th this year, so we are spared an extra day of winter.  Next year we have Leap Day, which some people also call Sadie Hawkins Day, Opposite Day, Backwards Day, or any other sort of clever Anything Goes kind of classification.  I never understood any of that, but I did know someone born on February 29th who delighted in dividing her age by four and alternating between February 28th and March 1st for her birthday celebrations.  In most other areas of her life, she was quite joyless and plodding, so this tiny bit of capriciousness was a rare charm.

Which of these Holidays might you celebrate?  Are you embracing the new February Philosophy?


  1. I initially read the 14th as "Ferris Beuller Day" and I got a little disappointed. I really dislike Ferris Wheels. As I have gotten older, I have somehow developed a slight fear of heights, and nothing terrifies me more than a Ferris Wheel. My 5 year old, of course, loves them.

    Disneyland California Adventure has a humongous Ferris Wheel that she insists on riding every time we are there, and I always find myself holding her shoulders in a death grip, afraid that she is somehow going to fall out (even though it is completely enclosed) or that the entire gondola will break off and we fall into the water below us.

    Hey, I never said it was rational.

    1. Gina--I did the very same thing! Ferris Bueller, such a classic.

      I used to love Ferris Wheels, and back when I went to Cedar Point amusement park, I rode the big wheel and the double Ferris Wheel. I loved the view it afforded me of the whole park and the fact that it didn't spin fast or make any sudden moves. The last time I was at Cedar Point, however, I was pregnant with Jared, so...30 years ago!

      Thanks to constant news cycles, we have a neverending supply of information on Rides Gone Wrong, and I know I'd never get on a state/county fair amusement. Places like Disney or Cedar Point are permanent and better maintained, so I don't have as much fear there. But why go looking for trouble? ;-)

  2. First of all, I applaud Shirley and J for their sensible approaches to living life. Secondly, I am in awe of your ability to find the good in February, a month that I usually try to ignore by doing mundane chores around the house [i.e. clean out closets]. This year, however, I think that I'll try to latch onto any of the celebration-worthy days above that don't involve dogs [don't have one] and that don't involve pain [toothache day?]. Also, while I'm babbling here: I've always wanted to be a Samantha, too. I like to think of it as the Bewitched effect!

    1. Ally Bean--Aren't Shirley and J each a treasure? We can take a lesson, for sure.

      February is already onerous enough by being tricky to spell and pronounce for lots of people. Why not try to beat it into submission once and for all?

      My grandmother used to call me Samantha Jane every once in a while when she was feeling particularly sprightly. I would bask in that for days, knowing that she was feeling happy and light, and knowing that she had given me a special nickname, something she did not do for many others. She had about eleventy hundred grandkids, and I did not live near her or share her hobbies (religion and sewing), so it was such a rare honor. When I found out that Samantha Jane had actually been under consideration for my given name, but had been discarded because it was "too unusual" in 1959, I never have gotten over it. Still feeling like a Samantha after all these years....

  3. Who knew that February was so packed with official holidays? Having been a good little Catholic schoolgirl in the long ago 1950s, I remember Candlemas and Groundhog Day being conflated with the feast of St. Blaise. This involved all of us trooping up to the altar rail after morning Mass to have our throats blessed with crossed candles. It was supposed to guard against sore throats (largely ineffective), or choking on fishbones (highly effective). Come to think of it, though, the only fish I ever encountered as a child was canned tuna and fish sticks.

    I miss the separate celebrations of Lincoln's Birthday on the 12th and Washington's on the 22nd, even though the latter was the only get out of school day. I don't favor the generic "President's Day", when some of them don't deserve to be honored. C'mon, William Henry Harrison? Warren G. Harding? Millard FILLMORE, for pete's sake? Let's sing a chorus of The Simpson's "Mediocre Presidents" song on the 16th and have done with it.

    1. fauxprof--My poor mother, at her wits' end, once trooped us all to a St. Blaise Throat Blessing after a particularly horrid bout with strep. I always got it so spectacularly, with high fever, delirium, and scary spots on my inflated tonsils. So convinced of the Mysteries Of Faith, I was certain of its powers. You can imagine my ensuing dismay and broken heart the following early spring when I was down for the count again.

      Speaking of fishbones, I was always intrigued by the edible ones in canned salmon. Salmon patties were a staple during Lent in our household, and I gleefully chewed right through them. Odd, the things we remember.

      It IS irksome to think of honoring President Lincoln in the same breath as a Chester Arthur or a shit like Richard Nixon, for heaven's sake. I once had my juniors do their research papers on the topic of a US President and whether or not he was a failure or a success. They were absolutely boring in the extreme, primarily because the class was low-level and the kids glommed onto whatever 3 achievements or lapses they could find first and merely exploited those, no matter what I did to try and encourage/discourage them. Naturally, I eliminated the obvious presidents like Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson.

      Gosh, I don't miss that. Not one bit.

  4. Thanks for the kind words, Nance and Ally Bean! I like Reader J's thinking, too. It's so true that life is full of plenty of tough stuff, so why not celebrate whenever possible? Sort of along the lines of not saving things for special occasions because being alive is a special occasion. Corny as all get out for sure, but cliches become cliches because they're true and we know that life is short so celebrating and being joyful when possible just makes sense. Btw, I read that February is also Love of Reading Month. That should be every month though. Don't you wonder who establishes these events? Some seem so arbitrary. Perhaps we should just create some days based on our favorite things? Until then, I think you have given us plenty of options, Nance!

    I really like Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. Surprisingly, I've never actually done that before. I've eaten it for dinner though! (I'm with St. Patsy on her flavor choice.) I think Presidents' Day was when they started doing that politically correct thing of being all inclusive. Blech. I always think of Lincoln on his actual birthday. I'm so glad you're giving me your pistachios, Nance, as I never have enough of them! Not too many of those other days excite me, so it's good that I have a general spirit of celebration and don't wait for validation from the occurrence of a day that's a good fit for me.

    Looking forward to all your February posts. Hoping to keep up with them!

    1. Shirley--We've eaten ice cream for dinner, too, and when the boys were little, they thought that was quite the event. I always enjoyed a few Rule-Breaking Moments like that with them. Their reactions were priceless.

      Pistachios are always a welcome find in someone else's dish or snack, but I cannot justify buying them. So expensive for such a lot of work, like crab legs, and then such little return. I'll save my big bucks for cashews, which make Rick so very happy. Personally, not a big Nut Fan. They give me a stomach ache after a bit.

      I think many of these holidays are by Proclamation/Lobbying. You know, special interest groups get a government entity to Officially Recognize A Day Just For Them along the way for awareness. It gets officially recorded, and there you have it. I'm all for establishing a few of our own, for sure. Lead the way.

      I'm looking forward to my February posts, too, and I share your hopes that I can keep up as well. Especially since I have no idea from day to day what I will be writing about. It's all a Very Great Adventure.

  5. Boy I'm already behind! It's been extra busy at work this week. Sigh. But today is Friday & I'm catching up!

    I love pistachios & used to buy them in the shell so that it would slow me down when I ate them (Weight Watchers trick). It was not a terribly effective trick - I remember being mortified by the stack of shells that would accumulate around me. And yes, after about 10 or so nuts of any kind I start getting a belly ache.

    I'm so sad that I missed Create a Vacuum day - we Desperately need a new one. Ours has thrown a rod (or whatever is under the hood there) & I've been waiting for the Doctor to fix it. I'd just about given up & actually researched what I needed to do, when he mentioned getting a new one. I am SO THERE. Although, as we all know, in short order I'll hate it too.

    I actually prefer roller coasters to Ferris Wheels. If they'd just keep going I'd be ok, but when the ride is starting or ending, there you are, dangling & feeling vulnerable - eek!

    All right - I think I have to go read two more posts from you. Better get with it!

    1. Bug--I took Friday off, so you have the whole day to catch up!

      I wonder if our Nut Gut is a byproduct of the oil/fat in the nuts? It never fails, and I do like nuts of most kinds. I especially get nauseated after pecans. It's really quite sad because salted nuts are a perfect nibbly for Chardonnay.

      I got a new vacuum not too long ago and I am very happy with it. Ordered it from Amazon; it is the Customer Favourite or something. Under a hundred bucks, automatic cord rewind, sucks up like you would not believe. Highly recommended.

      I also prefer coasters, but it's been ages since I've ridden one. And I live so close to Cedar Point (less than an hour away). It's the lines I don't care for. And the admission. I think I'll adopt the old "Been There, Done That" philosophy on all that.

  6. Blame Someone Else Day: Did the republicans invent this? (Notice I am observing your habit of not capitalizing the name of that totally ridiculous excuse for a political party.)

    Get a Different Name Day: = When I was a kid, I always liked the name Anne. But only if it was spelled like that, i.e., with an E on the end. I settled for choosing that as my confirmation name. The nuns liked it because it was the Virgin Mary's Mom. The Mother of all Mothers, so to speak. At this point in life... I would have chosen Olivia. Not entirely sure why. I do love the letter O, however. Truly a perk being able to adopt Mr. O's surname when I got married. Had we followed hispanic tradition, I would never have been able to use it.

    George Birthington's Washday: One of the best things in my life happened on this day. Unfortunately, one of the worst things in my life also happened on this day Either one of them is potent enough to blot out any thoughts of a president's day. As far as George: never did it for me, either. International World Thinking Day is a much better alternative.

    Carnival Day: Are we talking Rio?

    National Tooth Fairy Day: Eh? I am not sure why we even need one of these. Because The Tooth Fairy is a moveable feast, depending on when one's loose baby teeth fall out. How are people expected to celebrate this? Cultural note: In hispanic countries, the Tooth Fairy is El Ratoncito Pérez: = Little Mouse Pérez = http://tinyurl.com/d37jnxs So cute.

    1. Good one on the republicans! They've been observing this for the entire Obama administration.

      I also like the name Olivia, and I also like the letter O in names, but I like it at the back. I am quite fond of the names Mario, Roberto, and Alfonso. I have no idea why, and this is a relatively recent proclivity.

      As far as Tooth Mouse, that makes far more sense to me than a Tooth Fairy, which I have always found off-putting, even as a child. I would have been far more endeared to a little Mouse Named Perez who may or may not have lived in someone's cooky jar. (Does he know Speedy Gonzalez? Because that would be a partnership with mutual benefits.)


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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