Special Days and Observances in December

December calendar
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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. Sometimes it can be helpful to shift your child's attention to a variety of topics, especially if the holiday season is overwhelming.

For some of these observances, you may find materials and events provided by your community centers, health centers, and schools. If not, a quick internet search can likely yield helpful results. In other cases, you can put the date on your calendar and think of activities you can do with your family or friends centered around the daily observance. These special days are a way you can both learn more together and have fun.

Month-Long Observances

The following are celebrated throughout the month of December.

  • Write a Friend Month
  • Safe Toys and Gifts Month: The American Academy of Ophthalmology encourages safe toys that will not harm children's eyes.
  • Stress-Free Family Holidays Month
  • Read a New Book Month
  • Learn a Foreign Language Month
  • Sign Up for Summer Camp Month
  • Art and Architecture Month
  • AIDS Awareness Month
  • National Drunk and Drugged Driving (3D) Prevention Month

Week-Long Observances

The following are celebrated for a full week, throughout the month of December:

  • National Handwashing Awareness Week (first week): Prevent the spread of colds and flu by learning when and how to wash your hands.
  • National Influenza Vaccination Week December 3–9: If you haven't already gotten the seasonal flu vaccine, now is the time to do so.
  • Christmas Tree Week (first full week)
  • Tolerance Week (first full work week)
  • Hanukkah (changes yearly and lasts for 8 days)
  • Human Rights Week (second work week)
  • Thank a Soldier Week (the week before or including Christmas)
  • Kwanzaa December 26–January 1

Special Days and Holidays

The dates listed are rough estimates throughout the month of December. Some of these observances are done on the same day every year, while others vary. Check your calendar to see which day they are observed this year.

First Week:

  • December 1: Rosa Parks Day
  • December 1: World AIDS Day
  • December 2: Special Education Day
  • December 3: Make a Gift Day
  • December 4: Santa's List Day
  • December 4: Cookie Day
  • December 6: Give a Secret Gift Day
  • December 7: Pearl Harbor Day
  • December 7: Letter Writing Day

Second Week:

  • December 8: Winter Flowers Day
  • December 8: Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day
  • December 9: Homemade Gift Day
  • December 10: Human Rights Day
  • December 10: Nobel Prize Day
  • December 10: Day of the Horse (always second Saturday)
  • December 11: World Choral Day (always second Sunday)
  • December 13: Violin Day
  • December 14: Deck the Halls Day

Third Week:

  • December 15: Bill of Rights Day
  • December 16: Boston Tea Party Day
  • December 17: Wright Brothers' First Flight Anniversary
  • December 19: Build a Snowman Day
  • December 20: Go Caroling Day
  • December 20: Games Day
  • December 21: Forefathers Day
  • December 21: Look on the Bright Side Day
  • December 21: (approximate) Winter Solstice, which is also National Flashlight Day

Last Week:

  • December 23: Festivus
  • December 23: Roots Day
  • December 25: Christmas Day
  • December 26: National Whiners Day and Boxing Day
  • December 28: National Card Playing Day
  • December 30: Take a Walk Day
  • December 31: New Year's Eve