December Holidays to Celebrate–Part 1

December is the twelfth and final month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendar. It is also the last of seven months to have a length of 31 days. December got its name from the Latin word decem (meaning ten) because it was originally the tenth month of the year in the calendar of Romulus c. 750 BC which began in March. The winter days following December were not included as part of any month. Later, the months of January and February were created out of the monthless period and added to the beginning of the calendar, but December retained its name.

December 1 marks Meteorological Winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Winter is often defined by meteorologists to be the three calendar months with the lowest average temperatures. This corresponds to the months of December, January and February in the Northern Hemisphere, and June, July and August in the Southern Hemisphere.

December 6 is Mitten Tree Day.

Mitten Tree Day

International Mitten Tree Day is celebrated on December 6th each year, all around the world. This is a great day for people to celebrate the gift of warmth – in your office, your school, your home, or in your community! International Mitten Tree Day is sometimes used to organize donation campaigns to help those in need.

While the origins of this holiday are unknown, it is believed that it is a response to the book “The Mitten Tree,” by Candace Christiansen. In this story, a grandma knits mittens for children and hangs them on an evergreen tree near a bus stop so that those children waiting for the bus who don’t have mittens can use them to play in the snow. Every time the lady runs out of yarn, a basket with more yarn appears at her door, and she is able to continue to knit mittens for the children.

December 7 is the 79th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The National Park Service now has a park at Pearl Harbor. From the park’s webpage on 2020 celebrations:

This years Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration’s theme, Above and Beyond the Call, represents a milestone of its own, as the first December 7 commemoration to follow the nationwide commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII. This year’s ceremony will focus on Battlefield O`ahu. Though the Japanese Empire focused on the destruction of the Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor, the attack encompassed the entire island with assaults on Army and Marine aviation bases as well as civilian facilities.

The experiences of the soldiers, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and sailors defending O`ahu, as well as the civilians caught in the crossfire, would exemplify courage under fire and perseverance. Their spirit at the beginning of the long crucible of war would frame the template for the securing of victory and peace.

This years event will will be held on December 7th at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and will encompass the service and sacrifice traditionally commemorated in multiple ceremonies and sites the week of December 7th. In order to protect our Pearl Harbor Survivors and World War II Veterans in attendance this years ceremony will be closed to the public. This event will be live streamed for public viewing via our Facebook page and The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center will reopen to the public for visitation on December 7th at 11:30 am, with USS Arizona Memorial Programs resuming and running every 30 minutes from 12 noon – 3 pm. Advance reservations will be required from December 5th – December 7th.

December 10 is Dewey Decimal System Day. Seems appropriate that a Decimal System is celebrated on the tenth of a month.

Dewey Decimal System Day December 10th celebrates a system of classification and the man who invented it. December 10, 1851, is the birthday of Melvil Dewey (1851-1931) inventor of the Dewey Decimal system of library classification.

As the most widely used library classification system, the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) or Dewey Decimal System has been in use since 1876. That was the year when American Librarian Melvil Dewey developed and established it. Divided into ten main categories, the numerical system arranges mostly non-fiction publications.

Since its inception, the system has been maintained and kept pace with modern technologies. A schedule of expansions and revisions helps keep the system current and progressive. The DDC is the most widely used classification system in the world. Found in 135 countries around the world, the DDC has been translated into 30 different languages.

National Cocoa Day is celebrated December 13.

Warm-up with a hot cup of chocolate on National Cocoa Day. December 13th ushers in a celebration worthy of the winter holidays.  

We make hot cocoa with cocoa powder, heated milk or water, and sugar. However, the terms hot chocolate and hot cocoa are often used interchangeably by Americans, causing a bit of confusion. To make hot chocolate, we use ground chocolate containing cocoa butter. It’s mixed with hot milk and is drinking chocolate.  

12 thoughts on “December Holidays to Celebrate–Part 1”

  1. Dewey Decimal is pretty good and works for a library that is not too large or too specialized. I have heard numerous complaints that it is way too American and European focused and I can certainly attest to that bias.


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