Holidays and Observances in December

National days to celebrate this month

December Calendar

The Spruce / Margot Cavin

The month of December has more to offer than just holiday preparations. Special days and observances can be a way to explore a variety of subjects, including awareness of health conditions, safety issues, and ways to promote a healthy lifestyle. It's a bit on the lighter side when it comes to daily observances this month. That's because there are a handful of major annual holidays this month that takes up most of December. However, if the holiday season is overwhelming it can be helpful to shift your child's attention (and your own) to a variety of other topics to balance out the month's revelry.

Here are all the official and unofficial special days to celebrate in December.

December Daily Holidays and Observances

  • December 1: Rosa Parks Day, World AIDS Day, Eat a Red Apple Day, National Pie Day, Giving Tuesday* (Tuesday after Thanksgiving)
  • December 2: Special Education Day, National Mutt Day
  • December 3: Make a Gift Day, National Roof Over Your Head Day, Let's Hug Day, National Apple Pie Day
  • December 4: Santa's List Day, National Cookie Day, Wildlife Conservation Day
  • December 5: Repeal Day, International Volunteer Day, National Communicate With Your Kids Day
  • December 6: Mitten Tree Day, National Microwave Oven Day, Coats & Toys for Kids Day* (first Saturday), National Gazpacho Day
  • December 7: National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, Letter Writing Day, International Civil Aviation Day, National Cotton Candy Day, Walt Disney Day* (first Monday)
  • December 8: Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day, National Brownie Day, National Christmas Tree Day
  • December 9: Christmas Card Day, National Pastry Day
  • December 10: Human Rights Day, Nobel Prize Day, First Night of Hanukkah* (varies, sometimes in November), Dewey Decimal System Day, National Lager Day
  • December 11: First Day of Hanukkah* (varies, sometimes in November), National App Day
  • December 12: National Poinsettia Day, Gingerbread House Day, National Ding-a-Ling Day
  • December 13: National Violin Day, Ice Cream Day, International Children's Day* (second Sunday), National Horse Day, World Choral Day* (second Sunday), National Cocoa Day
  • December 14: Roast Chestnuts Day
  • December 15: Bill of Rights Day, National Cupcake Day, International Tea Day
  • December 16: Boston Tea Party Day, National Chocolate Covered Anything Day
  • December 17: Wright Brothers' First Flight Anniversary, National Maple Syrup Day
  • December 18: Bake Cookies Day, National Twin Day, National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day* (third Friday)
  • December 19: Look for an Evergreen Day, National Oatmeal Muffin Day, Holly Day
  • December 20: Go Caroling Day, Games Day, National Sangria Day, National Wreaths Across America Day* (third Saturday)
  • December 21: First Day of Winter/Winter Solstice* (date varies), Crossword Puzzle Day, Humbug Day, Look on the Bright Side Day, National Flashlight Day, National Hamburger Day, Forefathers' Day, Don't Make Your Bed Day* (first day of Winter), National Short Story Day* (first day of Winter)
  • December 22: National Date Nut Bread Day
  • December 23: Festivus, National Roots Day, National Pfeffernüsse Day
  • December 24: Christmas Eve, National Egg Nog Day, National Chocolate Candy Day
  • December 25: Christmas Day, National Pumpkin Pie Day
  • December 26: National Whiners Day, Boxing Day, National Candy Cane Day
  • December 27: National Fruitcake Day, Make Cut-Out Snowflakes Day
  • December 28: National Card Playing Day
  • December 29: Tick Tock Day
  • December 30: Bacon Day
  • December 31: New Year's Eve, Make Up Your Mind Day

Daylight in December

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you'll see the least amount of daylight during December. Winter Solstice in December is the year's shortest day in terms of daylight hours. That specific day has over six hours less sunlight than the longest day that occurs in June.

December Weekly Holidays and Observances

  • Hanukkah* (changes yearly and lasts for 8 days)
  • National Handwashing Awareness Week (first week)
  • National Influenza Vaccination Week* (typically first week)
  • Tolerance Week (first full week)
  • Human Rights Week (second week)
  • Thank a Soldier Week (the week including Christmas)
  • Kwanzaa (December 26–January 1)

December Monthly Holidays and Observances

  • Art and Architecture Month
  • Egg Nog Month
  • Handwashing Awareness Month
  • Hi Neighbor Month
  • Learn a Foreign Language Month
  • Made in America Month
  • National Drunk and Drugged Driving (3D) Prevention Month
  • National Fruit Cake Month
  • National Identity Theft Prevention and Awareness Month
  • National Pear Month
  • Noodle Ring Month
  • Procrastination Awareness Month
  • Read a New Book Month
  • Root Vegetable Month
  • Safe Toys and Gifts Month
  • Sign Up for Summer Camp Month
  • Stress-Free Family Holidays Month
  • Tomato and Winter Squash Month
  • Tropical Fruits Month
  • Universal Human Rights Month
  • World AIDS Awareness Month
  • Write a Friend Month

*Denotes that date changes each year.