Christmas is in exactly one week. Are you ready?
It’s usually a very busy week: Last-minute gift shopping, putting together a holiday menu, picking out an ugly Christmas sweater, writing cards, wrapping gifts, and so much more.
There is more to this week than just Christmas, though. There are several national days you can find if you take a magical journey with Rudolph to the Island of Misfit Holidays. There you’ll find a couple of boozy days, a day of encouragement, and even a day popularized by Frank Costanza!
Misfit? Maybe. Fun to celebrate anyway? Yes.
I invite you to celebrate each misfit holiday with Newdie Mag and Rudolph to help relieve some of the stress as we lead up to Christmas Day.
Dec. 19 – National Underdog Day
National Underdog Day was first celebrated in 1976 and is dedicated to people who work hard but never get on top. I don’t know about you, but this sounds like me and a lot of people like me. It also sounds like the perfect day to represent the Island of Misfit Holidays.
Use this day to give someone having a tough time some encouragement. Send a text or a note to someone who needs it. It’s Christmas, so maybe even an early gift.
Root for a losing team! There are several NBA and NHL games on this day. Watch until the half and then root for the losing team in the second half. It can make for a fun evening and if they win it’s good luck! (I may have just made that up, but it sounds legit.)
Lastly, treat yourself on this day. With all the shopping, decorating, and more going on with the holidays you may feel like an underdog. Take a break, splurge a bit on yourself, maybe help yourself to some Bourbon Pecan Pie. Help out the ultimate underdog.
Dec. 20 – National Sangria Day
Speaking of treating yourself … Sangria Day is an excellent way to do that. Sangria traditionally consists of red wine and chopped fruit, often with other ingredients such as orange juice or brandy. This delicious drink can be the perfect escape from the holiday madness. Just invite a few friends over and serve this recipe:
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 1 lemon, sliced into rounds
In a large pitcher or bowl, mix together the brandy, lemon juice, lemonade concentrate, orange juice, red wine, triple sec and sugar. Float slices of lemon, orange, lime and maraschino cherries in the mixture. Refrigerate overnight for best flavor. For a fizzy sangria, add 2 cups of club soda just before serving.
Dec. 21- National Ugly Sweater Day
Good news! I already added this to the list of things we have to do for Christmas. If you haven’t been invited to an ugly sweater party yet, the 21st is the perfect evening to throw one. Don’t feel like throwing a party? Just have a couple friends join you at a bar in your ugliest X-mas garb. You’ll turn heads for sure.
Dec. 22 – National Date Nut Bread Day
It’s better than fruit cake, right?
You can tell this day is from deep in the Island of Misfit Holidays. Fruit cake is one of the biggest misfits of the holiday season, but Date Nut Bread is hardly on the radar even though it tastes better IMO. Help out the underdog again this year and substitute fruit cake as something to serve to family and friends on National Date Nut Bread Day.
Here’s a wonderful recipe:
- 1 cup water (boiling)
- 8 ounces dates (chopped)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (10 1/4 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chopped walnut
- Heat the oven to 350 F.
- Grease a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan.
- Pour the boiling water over the chopped dates in a medium bowl; add the butter and set aside.
- With a mixer, beat sugars and egg until light.
- In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add to the sugar mixture, alternating with the date and water mixture.
- Stir in chopped nuts.
- Pour into the loaf pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Dec. 23 – Festivus
On Dec. 18, 1997, the hit NBC series Seinfeld vaulted Daniel O’Keefe’s “Festivus” into the pop culture and the world may never be the same. O’Keefe invented Festivus in 1966 to commemorate he and his wife’s first date. Their son, Dan O’Keefe, later helped write the episode that made the parody holiday famous. Festivus took place at the fictional Constanza household and was quite entertaining!
How can you celebrate festivus? Throw a Festivus party for your friends.
- Start by ditching the tree, replace with an aluminum pole, unadorned: “Tinsel is distracting”
- The episode features what looks like meatloaf served on a bed of lettuce for the Festivus dinner. A more traditional turkey or ham is OK according to O’Keefe, though. I still like the meatloaf idea. Find a wonderful Cajun meatloaf recipe here.
- According to Festivus tradition, the Festivus meal is followed by the airing of grievances, where every guest tells every other guests how they have disappointed them over the year. So tell all your guests how disappointed you are in them.
- Follow the meal with feats of strength, where the head of the household wrestles with other guests, and the feats end only when the head of household’s head is pinned to the ground.
- Make sure to use the greetings “Happy Festivus” or “Festivus for the rest of us”
Dec. 24 – National Egg Nog Day
This may be the least misfit-y holiday in the week leading up to Christmas. Egg nog goes well with any Christmas party and is perfect to sneak a few of Santa’s cookies with on Christmas Eve.
Have a very Merry Christmas!