How to Celebrate National Unicorn Day

Did you know today, April 9th is National Unicorn Day?  A legendary horse-like creature dating back to the 5th century, a unicorn has a single spiraling horn protruding out from the forehead. Are you wondering how to celebrate this incredible magical being? Check out the following ideas for celebrating National Unicorn Day.

Image by SilviaP_Design from Pixabay 
  • Write a Story: Have you been considering writing a book centering around a unicorn. Today is the perfect time to write your unicorn story.
  • Write Your Child’s Story: If you have younger children, ask them to tell a story about a unicorn. Writing down or recording the story is a great keepsake. Who knows, the story may be the building blocks to a future novel.
  • Draw or Paint: Draw or paint a unicorn picture. Create a whole scene around your unicorn. For example, where does your unicorn live? What does your unicorn eat? What magic powers does your unicorn have?
  • Read A Book: Go to your local library or download a story about a unicorn. The story can be for yourself or read to your young children.
  • Do Crafts: Time to get creative. Modeling clay is a great medium to use to create a unicorn. Air dry clay is inexpensive and easy to use. Simply shape the clay into a unicorn, allow to dry, and paint.  If you need additional crafting help, check out Pinterest for unicorn ideas.
  • Watch a Unicorn Movie: Turn National Unicorn Day into family night (yes, your cat counts as family). Do not forget to make your favorite treat or order pizza.

Whatever you decide to do, enjoy National Unicorn Day.  Celebrate the simple unofficial holidays.

National Cherry Pie Day

Did you know February 20th is National Cherry Pie Day? How do you celebrate? Eat some cherry pie, of course.

  • Family Night: Cherry pie for dessert is a great way to celebrate your weekly family night.
  • Guilty Pleasure: Eat a delicious piece of cherry pie while binge-watching your favorite new series.
  • Homemade Cherry Pie: Pull out your favorite recipe and bake a homemade cherry pie.
  • Local Bakery: If you are not a baker, stop at your local bakery and buy a cherry pie. Not only will you get a tasty cherry pie to share with your family (if you want), you are supporting a local business.
  • Give One Away: Whether you bake or buy, consider dropping a second cherry pie off to your neighbor, friend, or family member.

Why celebrate National Cherry Pie Day? Why not? The weather, social distancing, and simple daily routines have a way of making life dull. Celebrate silly holidays with your family, significant other, roommates, or your cat.

 

 

 

 

National Collecting Rocks Day

Did you today, September 16th, is National Collecting Rocks Day? Are you wondering how to celebrate? Well, simply go outdoors and collect rocks. Rock collecting is an easy pastime to start with your family. Children love to collect. Who knows, go on outings to collect rocks may lead to a lifetime love of geology.

Why Collect Rocks?

Collecting rocks is a hands-on learning experience. Unplug from your devices and spend an afternoon outdoors. Turn rock collecting into an adventure for your family. Rock collecting has many benefits, including:

  • Building vocabulary
  • Increasing fine motor skills by searching and picking up rocks
  • Expands imagination
  • Builds large motor skills by walking to find the rocks.
  • Promotes family togetherness
  • Provides a foundation for further learning

Plus, collecting rocks is fun.

Ideas for Your Rock Collection

How many rocks did you find? Are you wondering what to do with your collected rocks? Check out the following ideas.

  • Identify: Rocks fall into three main categories, sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous. Identifying rocks is a great learning experience.
  • Display: Using old egg cartons or other throw-away plastic containers, display your rocks. Egg cartons are wonderful to separate and label your latest rock finds. Or invest in a larger container to continuously fill to show your rocks.
  • Paint: Paint and hide larger rocks around your community.
  • Crafts: Smaller rocks or stones are great for crafting. Arrange your rocks into animal shapes or other patterns. Glue the rocks to a board to display on the wall.
  • Make Jewelry: With the right type of crafting material, you can turn rocks into necklaces and bracelets.
  • Polish: Invest in a rock tumbler to polish and shine your finds.

Fall is an excellent time to go rock collecting with your family. But be warned, once started collecting rocks is addicting. You may want to check pockets before doing the wash. Finding a hand full of rocks in each pocket is an expected outcome for starting rock collecting.

Going Back to Hogwarts

Harry Potter fans worldwide celebrate September 1st as the day to return to Hogwarts. Since social distancing and restrictions are still in effect for many areas, finding small ways to celebrate is essential. Are you wondering how to celebrate going back to Hogwarts? Check out the following ideas for inspiration.

Celebrating Going Back to Hogwarts

“Whether you come back by page or by the big screen,

Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”

J.K. Rowling

Return to Hogwarts in your own way by participating in different family-friendly activities.

  • Watch the Movies: Make some popcorn, order pizza, and pick your favorite Harry Potter movie to watch. Choosing a favorite may be difficult; you can always binge-watch the entire series over the next couple of days.
  • Re-Read the Series: Curl up under your favorite blanket and spend time re-reading the series. Or read the series together as a family.
  • Listen to the Audio Versions: Do you have other work to do? Turn on the audio version of the series.
  • Make Wizarding World Themed Food: In J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Remus Lupin stated, “Eat, you’ll feel better.” Of course, this was after an encounter with a Dementor. But the sentiment still holds up for returning to Hogwarts. Make chocolate frogs, coins, or a complete meal based on the food from the Hogwarts’ feast. Don’t forget the cake.
  • Have a Craft Day: Pull out your crafting supply stash and make Wizarding World themed crafts.

    Melt pony beads on old pizza pans to create large Harry Potter inspired sun catchers.

    There are numerous easy crafts to make, including owls, plaster frogs, coins, ornaments, and more. Of course, you will need your own wand.

  • Participate in Online Events: With all the restrictions in place due to the pandemic, many sites, including the Wizarding World, are hosting online events.
  • Listen to a Podcast: Find a new or re-listen to Harry Potter-themed podcasts.
  • Play Games: From video games to board games, play Wizarding World and Harry Potter themed games.

Do you want to know the best way to celebrate going back to Hogwarts? Have fun. Enjoy time with your family. Or curl up with your dog and dive back into the Wizarding World by reading the very first Harry Potter book.

Christmas in July: Homemade Gift Wrap

Are you celebrating Christmas in July? Do you need more easy crafts to keep kids busy? When staying close to home, being creative is an excellent way to pass the time. Consider making homemade wrapping paper to use later during the Christmas season. The handmade gift wrap is an easy project for all ages.

Materials Needed:

  • Sponges
  • Scissors
  • Butcher paper, newsprint, or other types of packing paper
  • Paint
  • Containers for paint
  • Markers

Instructions:

  1. Cut sponges into various shapes, for example, Christmas trees, gift boxes, stars, and ornaments. (Help younger children cut the sponges into shapes.)
  2. Spread your choice of paper on a flat surface.
  3. Squirt small amounts of paint in your container.
  4. Dip your cut sponge into the paint.
  5. Make sure the paint covers the entire sponge for a precise shape.
  6. Press sponge on to the paper. When you are finished, simply rinse the sponges of the entire paint residue. You can use the sponges more than once.
  7. Continue the process until you reach your desired design.
  8. Allow the paint shapes to dry.
  9. Use markers to add outlines, Christmas songs, Bible verses, names, or other designs to your gift wrap.
  10. Now, wrap your Christmas gifts and enjoy your finalized product.

Homemade gift wrap is an excellent way to provide a personalized touch to your presents. Use your imagination to create numerous sheets of wrapping paper. You can always set the mood by playing Christmas music.

Christmas in July: Making Ornaments

How is your Christmas in July celebrations going? Are you still looking for family-friendly activities to keep kids busy? Consider making ornaments from plaster. One of the best aspects of making ornaments now, you can save them to hang on your Christmas tree in December.

Materials Needed:

  • Christmas themed molds or pans (The plaster does not harm them, just wash thoroughly after use.)
  • Plaster
  • Throw away containers for mixing plaster. (Remember not to pour remaining plaster down the sink.)
  • Water
  • Paint in various colors
  • Paintbrushes

Instructions:

  1. Place newspapers or other protective materials on your counter.
  2. Mix plaster as directed. Always add the plaster mixture to the water for a smooth and consistent mixture. (Keep in mind, the plaster hardens quickly. You need to have your molds ready to go. You can add a little extra water to provide a bit more time).
  3. Fill molds.
  4. Place hangers into your mold. (Paper clips or pop can tab work great for an instant, inexpensive hook).
  5. Allow your ornaments to dry.
  6. Gently remove the ornaments from the molds. You may need to tap on the mold to loosen the ornament.
  7. Paint the ornaments.

Even younger children can help with the painting process. Just do not forget to add the date on the back. The ornaments can quickly turn into a lasting treasure.

Christmas in July: Make Sugar Cookies

Are you looking for another simple way to celebrate Christmas in July? Dig out your favorite sugar cookie recipe, find a new one on Pinterest, or grab a tube of dough at your local store. Regardless of your method, sugar cookies are a fun way to celebrate Christmas in July.

  1. Bake your cookies from the method of choice.
  2. Allow your batch of sugar cookies to cool.
  3. Frost cookies.
  4. Decorate

Do you want to get the kids involved in making sugar cookies to celebrate Christmas in July? Set out different types of holiday sprinkles, marshmallows, nuts, and other toppings. Then, ask your children to help decorate the cookies. Making up new designs and colors provides added fun.

Finally, time to eat the cookies. Put a plate of cookies out as part of family night.

You can always add a nice cup of hot chocolate or milk to the celebration. Now, the next challenge, who gets to pick the Christmas movie?

Christmas in July: Pretzel Treats

Are you celebrating Christmas in July? Are you watching your favorite Christmas show? Do you need a quick and easy snack with a Christmas theme? Pretzel treats are a fun way to celebrate Christmas in July.

Materials Needed:

  • Dipping chocolate
  • Pretzels of any style
  • Sprinkles or other types of toppings (You can use anything to decorate the pretzels. Other toppings include nuts, miniature marshmallows, chocolate chips, etc.)

Instructions:

  1. Melt dipping chocolate as directed. You can melt the chocolate in the microwave or use a double boiler pan.
  2. Melt chocolate to desired consistency.
  3. Dip pretzels in chocolate.
  4. Add sprinkles. For extra fun, allow your children to help decorate with the sprinkles. Creating their own snacks is a great way to get everyone involved.
  5. Allow the chocolate to harden.

Christmas in July: Family Movie Night

Time to unplug, step away from the local news, and enjoy Christmas in July with a movie night. Order pizza, make some popcorn or other tasty snacks to make movie night extra special.

Do you need some movie ideas for your family, friends, or just you and your dog? Check out the following list of 50 movies to celebrate Christmas in July. 

 

  • A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
  • Holiday in the Wild (2019)
  • Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups (2012)
  • The Star (2017)
  • Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year (2002)
  • Elf (2003)
  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
  • A Christmas Story (1983)
  • The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About Christmas (2012)
  • If You Give a Mouse a Christmas Cookie (2016)
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • Frosty the Snowman
  • Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
  • The Litte Drummer Boy
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • Micky’s Once Upon a Christmas
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  • Mickey’s Christmas Carol
  • The Muppet’s Christmas Carol
  • Polar Express (2004)
  • A Fairly Odd Christmas (2012)
  • Home Alone (1990)
  • I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown (2003)
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: It’s a Sponge Bob Christmas
  • Paw Patrol: Pups Save Christmas
  • The Knight Before Christmas (2019)
  • Klaus (2019)
  • Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (2017)
  • The Flight Before Christmas
  • Jingle All the Way (1996)
  • The Preacher’s Wife (1996)
  • Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
  • It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
  • Noelle (2019)
  • The Christmas Chronicles (2018)
  • ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
  • Disney’s Olaf’s Frozen Adventure
  • The Year Without Santa Claus
  • Trolls Holiday (2017)
  • Santa Hunters (2014)
  • Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey
  • My Dad is Scrooge (2014)
  • Chilly Christmas (2012)
  • Saving Santa (2013)
  • Bah, Humduck: A Looney Tunes Christmas (2006)
  • Merry Christmas Drake and Josh (2008)
  • Arthur Christmas (2011)
  • Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale 2007)
  • Yogi’s First Christmas (1980)
  • In Search of Santa (2004)

 

Enjoy your movie night!

Celebrating Christmas in July

Social distancing, the news, and other regular commitments add stress and worry to daily living. Taking the time to celebrate whimsical, unofficial holidays gives you a chance to relax. Celebrating Christmas in July is all about having fun in the middle of summer. A small taste of Christmas bliss may be an added blessing.

The history of celebrating Christmas in July seems unclear with different versions of the beginning. For the most part, the origin of the unofficial celebration began at a Keystone Camp in 1933 in Brevard, North Carolina. The two-day event, July 24 and 25, had all the holiday trimmings, including Santa Claus (Milbrand, 2020). Over time, Christmas in July has grown to include marketing campaigns, festivals, movies, and much more.

How to Celebrate Christmas in July

Celebrating Christmas in July can be a smaller version of your regular holiday activities. Do you need some inspiration on how to celebrate Christmas in July? Check out the following.

  • Watch Movies: Enjoy your seasonal favorites twice a year. Watch Christmas movies or cartoons, Make the activity part of your regular family night.
  • Elf on the Shelf: Is the Elf on the Shelf part of your holiday celebration? Bring him or her out as a mid-year check-in.
  • Bake: Make seasonal holiday treats. Christmas cookies are a great addition to family night.
  • Send Cards: No, they do not need to be Christmas cards, just the sentiment of thinking of you and wishing you well.
  • Decorate: Include some holiday decorations to celebrate Christmas in July. You can either pull out all of your Christmas decorations or hang a few twinkle lights as a more subtle way to celebrate.
  • Family Meal: Make the traditional Christmas family meal or host a BBQ to enjoy the summer season.
  • Do Crafts: Make wreaths, ornaments, or other seasonal items. The best part, put these items away to decorate at Christmas.
  • Exchange Gifts: When giving gifts as part of your Christmas in July celebrations, think stocking stuffers. Small, inexpensive gifts for your child to use. Also, do not forget the dog.

Celebrating Christmas in July provides you with a chance to prepare for the holiday season. Use the mid-summer celebration as a template of the activities you want to do at Christmas time.

 

Reference:

Milbrand, Lisa. (2020). https://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/holidays/christmas-in-july