31 Reasons to Celebrate in December

Special days and unconventional holidays to observe

Days and holidays to celebrate in the month of December

The Spruce / Ellen Lindner

When someone refers to "the holidays," there's a good chance they're talking about an event in December. From National Cupcake Day to Make Cut-Out Snowflakes Day, December is more than just Christmas and New Year's Eve. 

Here are 31 reasons to celebrate during the month of December.

Fun Fact

December originally was the 10th month of the year under the Roman calendar and got its name from the Latin word decem, which means 10.

  • 01 of 31

    Dec. 1: National Christmas Lights Day

    Christmas lights

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    If you haven’t already put up your Christmas lights, today’s the day to do so. And once you’re done decking your own halls, take a walk through your community to see the displays your neighbors have. It might even inspire you to put up more lights.

  • 02 of 31

    Dec. 2: National Mutt Day

    smiling mutt dog

    Jamie Siever Photography / Getty Images

    Dec. 2 belongs to the dogs—mutts that is! On this day, celebrate your unique and lovable mixed-breed dog if you have one. And if you aren't a dog owner but still want to be involved, use this day to volunteer at a shelter or foster a mutt.

  • 03 of 31

    Dec. 3: Let’s Hug Day

    friends hugging

    Matelly / Cultura / Getty Images

    Get those warm and fuzzy feelings by giving someone you love a hug today. Hugs are said to reduce stress and improve your health. Maybe you can even get your easily embarrassed teenager to give you a quick, one-armed squeeze.  

  • 04 of 31

    Dec. 4: National Cookie Day

    peanut butter cookies and milk

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    If you need an excuse to eat or bake cookies, National Cookie Day is for you. Use the holiday to host a cookie exchange or bake sale. Or simply enjoy your favorite cookie recipe.

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  • 05 of 31

    Dec. 5: Repeal Day

    table full of drinks

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    Repeal Day, or the day Prohibition was officially repealed in the United States, can only be celebrated one way: by enjoying an alcoholic beverage. Order your favorite beer, wine, or cocktail at the local (legal!) watering hole. And if you end up celebrating a little too hard, don't forget some hangover remedies.

  • 06 of 31

    Dec. 6: National Microwave Oven Day

    using microwave oven

    Eric Audras / ONOKY / Getty Images

    No appliance has revolutionized the kitchen or made heating up leftovers so simple than the humble microwave oven. Pop some popcorn or whip up a microwavable mug cake in appreciation of the appliance for National Microwave Oven Day.

  • 07 of 31

    Dec. 7: Letter Writing Day

    person writing a letter

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    When was the last time you wrote a letter on paper? Today, ditch your smartphone, and reach out to a friend or family member with some good old-fashioned snail mail. Bonus points if you make the card yourself.

  • 08 of 31

    Dec. 8: National Brownie Day

    cut brownies

    Eugene Mymrin / Moment / Getty Images

    Nothing says comfort on a chilly day like a batch of warm brownies. Whether you prefer basic cake-like brownies or gooey fudge brownies, there’s no wrong way to celebrate this delicious, chocolatey holiday. 

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  • 09 of 31

    Dec. 9: National Pastry Day

    Apple strudel with ice cream and vanilla sauce

    Malkovstock / Getty Images

    Celebrate National Pastry Day by indulging in your favorite pastry. Try making homemade puff pastry from scratch, or use store-bought pastry for a fun and delicious dessert.

  • 10 of 31

    Dec. 10: The First Night of Hanukkah*

    Hanukkah cookies

    Tamelyn Feinstein / Getty Images

    From blessings on the Menorah to a traditional family dinner and playing with the dreidel, there are many wonderful ways to celebrate the Festival of Lights. Even if you don't celebrate you can learn about the traditions and send good wishes to those who do celebrate.

  • 11 of 31

    Dec. 11: National App Day

    woman using cellphone in library
    Oscar Wong / Getty Images

    Apps help to keep us organized, connected, and entertained. So for National App Day, aim to make sure all of your apps are up to date and useful for you. And get rid of the ones you don't need to free up space.

  • 12 of 31

    Dec. 12: Gingerbread House Day

    gingerbread house

    StockFood / Getty Images

    Get ready for the holidays by making your very own festive gingerbread house from scratch. Throw a decorating party where you and your friends can get creative designing gingerbread houses. Or make one to give away as a gift.

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  • 13 of 31

    Dec. 13: National Horse Day

    Paint horse mare and foal in a field.

    Mark Newman / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images

    Horse lovers come together every Dec. 13 to celebrate all of the contributions to society that their favorite animal has made throughout history. If you’re able, go for a horseback ride today, or consider donating to a charity that helps horses. 

  • 14 of 31

    Dec. 14: Roast Chestnuts Day

    roasted chestnuts

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    Roasting chestnuts is synonymous with the holiday season; there’s even a classic holiday song about it. Today is the perfect day to learn how to roast chestnuts. You can add them to stuffing, desserts, and even soup for a rich, nutty flavor.

  • 15 of 31

    Dec. 15: National Cupcake Day

    yellow cupcakes

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    On National Cupcake Day, there's a treat to please everyone's taste. From classic vanilla cupcakes to more decadent and creative treats and even vegan versions, there’s truly no wrong way to eat a cupcake. 

  • 16 of 31

    Dec. 16: National Chocolate-Covered-Anything Day

    chocolate-covered strawberries

    Flavia Morlachetti / Moment / Getty Images

    Fruits, nuts, pretzels, and more, it seems covering food in chocolate only makes it better. So for National Chocolate-Covered-Anything Day, pick your favorite chocolate-covered treat to indulge in. Or try a new chocolate-covered recipe.

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  • 17 of 31

    Dec. 17: National Maple Syrup Day

    maple syrup on waffles

    Michelle Arnold / EyeEm / Moment / Getty Images

    Maple syrup is the perfect topping for pancakes, waffles, and more. During the spring, warmer temperatures force sugar maple trees to turn their stored starches into sugar. When the sugar mixes with groundwater, sap is formed. It takes a whopping 40 gallons of sap to produce just 1 gallon of maple syrup. So today, appreciate all the work that goes into this sugary syrup.

  • 18 of 31

    Dec. 18: Bake Cookies Day

    homemade cookies

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    If you haven’t already baked 10 dozen holiday cookies by now, today’s the day to grab your cookie cutters and get to work. From classic gingerbread, sugar, and butter cookies to Christmas cookies from around the globe, there are innumerable ways to test your baking chops today. 

  • 19 of 31

    Dec. 19: National Oatmeal Muffin Day

    oatmeal muffins

    The Picture Pantry / Alloy / Getty Images 

    Oatmeal makes the perfect breakfast muffin. So whip up a batch for National Oatmeal Muffin Day, and your friends and family will thank you for it. Try adding pumpkin or applesauce for added flavor and health benefits.

  • 20 of 31

    Dec. 20: Games Day

    family playing a game

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    Before your home is taken over by guests visiting for the holidays, get some quality family time with your immediate family by playing your favorite board games today. If you're competitive, use some pro tips for winning at games like Monopoly and Scrabble.

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  • 21 of 31

    Dec. 21: National Hamburger Day


    Adam Sargent / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Use National Hamburger Day as an excuse to indulge in a juicy burger. Prepped with a classic bun and American cheese or a glazed doughnut and bacon, nothing beats your favorite burger.

  • 22 of 31

    Dec. 22: National Cookie Exchange Day

    Homemade cookies with oat flakes, nuts, and quinoa

    Gingagi / Getty Images

    The day to share all those cookies you baked is finally here. Organize a cookie exchange with family and friends to get a taste of everyone’s favorite recipes. You also can hold a bake sale for charity with each other’s cookies.

  • 23 of 31

    Dec. 23: National Pfeffernüsse Day


    Lisa Schaetzle / Moment / Getty Images

    Pfeffernüsse are small, round, spiced cookies that are popular in Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands. Made with ingredients including flour, eggs, brown sugar, cloves, cinnamon, and other fragrant spices, these cookies are simple to make but have tons of warm, spicy flavor. 

  • 24 of 31

    Dec. 24: Christmas Eve

    Christmas decorations

    Carsten Schanter / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Whether you curl up on the couch with some popcorn and "A Christmas Story," go caroling, or feast with friends and family, today’s the day to spend time with loved ones. Eat some Christmas cookies, and prepare for tomorrow’s festivities if you celebrate. 

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  • 25 of 31

    Dec. 25: Christmas Day

    Christmas tree

    Tom Merton / OJO Images / Getty Images

    Did Santa deem you naughty or nice? It's finally time for exchanging presents, hanging out with family and friends, indulging in some delicious food, and wearing festive pajamas all morning.

  • 26 of 31

    Dec. 26: National Candy Cane Day

    candy canes on a plate of cookies

    Claudia Totir / Moment / Getty Images

    Candy canes are a staple when it comes to Christmas candy. The story goes that a choirmaster back in 1670 handed out the original candy canes to children to keep them quiet during church ceremonies. Now, candy canes are used for much more than quieting unruly kids. You can add them to cocktails, popcorn, and other sweet treats. 

  • 27 of 31

    Dec. 27: Make Cut-Out Snowflakes Day

    child with paper snowflakes

    JGI / Jamie Grill / Blend Images / Getty Images

    Not very crafty? It doesn’t matter! It’s virtually impossible to mess up a paper snowflake. But there are many guides available to help you get started on Make Cut-Out Snowflakes Day. 

  • 28 of 31

    Dec. 28: National Card Playing Day

    playing cards

    Erich Rau / EyeEm / Getty Images

    From poker to bridge and Old Maid, there are many card games to play for National Card Playing Day. Enjoy learning a new game, or partake in a family favorite.

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  • 29 of 31

    Dec. 29: Tick Tock Day

    Anthony Harvie / Getty Images

    With only two days left of the year, try using this day to take care of any unfinished business. That way, you can head into the new year with all of your boxes ticked.

  • 30 of 31

    Dec. 30: Bacon Day


    Janet Moore / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Use Bacon Day as a reason to incorporate bacon into every single meal you eat today. From breakfast bacon to delicious sandwiches, caramel popcorn, and even cocktails, bacon adds rich, salty flavor to just about anything.

  • 31 of 31

    Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve

    friends on New Year's Eve

    Todor Tsvetkov / E+ / Getty Images

    The countdown to the new year is on! Reflect on all of the things you’ve accomplished over the past 12 months. And look forward to achieving your new goals in the coming year.

* Denotes that date changes each year