The Most Wonderful Time of the Year: December Global Holidays
December is one of the most popular months of the year. A lot of this has to do with the fact that it’s only a few weeks before Christmas and New Year’s Eve, but it’s also because this month has several other global holidays, which honor essential people, places, and events around the world. Read on to learn about these December global holidays, their meanings, how they started, and why you should consider participating in them!
National Christmas tree Lighting
If you’re looking for family fun in Washington, D.C., look no further than watching President Trump light up The National Christmas Tree on December 1, 2017, at 5 p.m. at The Ellipse. If you can’t make it to D.C., watch it here! There will be a concert by The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets and performances by local choirs and dancers from around the country. And don’t forget about Santa Claus, who will also be making an appearance!
This year will be an excellent time for families all over America as we celebrate our country’s birthday with fireworks, parades, and parties galore!
National Day of Positivity
Many recognize December 12 (the third Monday in December) as the National Day of Positivity. You can visit your favorite coworker and say, Happy Third Monday!—and watch their face fall. They might look at you like you’re crazy, but we all need a day to be positive. This is that day. Only focus on positive things on National Day of Positivity. It’s not about ignoring problems or pretending they don’t exist; it’s about focusing on what works and makes us happy. It can be simple, like an accomplishment at work or a nice meal with friends. Or it could be something more significant—like giving back to your community or volunteering overseas. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is; what matters is that you recognize good things are happening every day and choose to celebrate them.
Giving Tuesday – Philanthropy Day
In recent years, Giving Tuesday has taken on a life of its own. Giving Tuesday is an international giving movement that encourages people to donate to charities and volunteer their time on December 1 (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in America). It’s a day devoted to giving back. The origins are unclear, but it was founded by 92Y in New York and received mainstream recognition when President Obama issued a proclamation declaring it as such in 2014. Throughout its history, giving Tuesday has raised more than $200 million for charitable causes. While you might not be able to give a lot, every little bit helps! You can get involved in plenty of ways—volunteer at your local soup kitchen or food bank, clean up your Neighborhood Park or community center or help out at your local animal shelter. You can also make a monetary donation online through one of many charity websites like Charity Navigator.
World AIDS Day
HIV and AIDS are growing concerns around the world. The World Health Organization estimates that 36.9 million people were living with HIV in 2016, up from 33.4 million in 2015. On December 1, 2017, join millions of people worldwide in taking action to stop AIDS by participating in World AIDS Day activities. This year’s theme is Know Your Status. If you think you might be at risk for HIV or want to get tested for other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), visit your local health clinic or doctor’s office today! Or call 1-800-CDC-INFO to speak with a specialist 24/7. #WAD2017
Winter Solstice Festivities
The winter solstice, which falls on December 21, celebrates hope and renewal. It marks one complete cycle of the seasons and ushers in an astronomical time for us to look forward to warmer days ahead. The solar holiday traditionally starts with Yule and continues through Twelfth Night or Little Christmas in England. In Germany, it’s known as St. Lucia Day (December 13) when girls dress up as Lucia, a figure who brings light into darkness by carrying a candle-lit wreath to bring gifts to children around Christmastime. Meanwhile, Dutch people celebrate Sinterklaas Day (December 5) by exchanging presents at school or work. In Ireland and Scotland, they celebrate St.
Festive Traditions around the Globe
There are holiday celebrations all over the world. There are cities where Christmas is celebrated, such as Bethlehem and Nazareth in Israel, while others have a tradition of lighting candles on trees on Christmas Eve or exchanging gifts. In some places, people dress up as Santa Claus and visit each other’s homes, asking for treats before receiving gifts. Here is a list of holiday celebrations from around the globe to help you get in that celebratory spirit!
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