I’m sure you’re probably thinking the exact same thing that I’m thinking – it’s just not fair! I mean, sure, Christmas is right around the corner and it won’t be long before Santa Claus is coming to town, but really, is this the only thing on people’s minds?! Here we are in the 21st century, where multitasking is the name of the game and those who can’t juggle 28 things at the same time are thrown to the proverbial curb, yet when it comes to holidays, it seems that we’re still pretty much a one-track society…and that’s sad! Don’t get me wrong – I know that Christmas always has and probably always will have a lock on the winter months and honestly, I’m OK with that – I love Christmas just as much as the next guy, and judging by the luminescence of this year’s lighting display, probably even a tad more, all in the same, it’s become painfully obvious to me that this gargantuan of a celebration seems to be overshadowing a whole slew of perfectly good lesser holidays, so rather than ramble on and on about how I’d like to find one of those new hydroponic toasters under the tree this year, I thought I’d instead use this week’s column to clue you all in on some of the other days worth hooting about this season…

Now I’ll tell you, the thing that really impressed me the most when I was “researching” for this column was just how many food-related celebrations we have scheduled for this time of year, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s reason enough to take the month off work and party until it’s 2004! If, much like myself, desserts are your source of passion, then it seems only logical that National Pie Day (December 2nd), Ice Cream Day (December 13th), and of course, National Chocolate Day (December 28th) would be marked prominently on your calendar. There’s also Eat a Red Apple Day (December 2nd) and Oatmeal Muffin Day (December 19th) for you health-conscientious folks, and even a very special day that I’m sure Moms around the world look forward to for months and months – National Clean Your Refrigerator Day (November 15th)! My personal favorite? December 16thNational Chocolate-Covered Anything Day – just imagine the possibilities!

But wait – that’s not all! We’ve got plenty of holidays for the environmentally concerned, such as Air Day (November 11th) and America Recycles Day (November 15th), and even one for the manliest (or most ignorant) of tree huggers – Have a Party with Your Bear Day (November 16th). Those pessimists in your life will certainly feel in their element as Have a Bad Day Day rolls around on November 19th, although this could really be just another smack-in-the-face come morning with Beautiful Day to follow. Although it’s officially slated for January 3rd, Sleep Day is certainly one that I could handle a little more often, but with National Kazoo Day to look forward to at the end of the month on January 28th, at least we have something to keep us going!

And if that’s not enough, well, there are even a few others that I came across that are, frankly, downright creepy! If Male Watcher’s Day (January 8th) isn’t enough to make you concerned, then you might also consider Fabulous Wild Men Day (January 12th) and the morning-after cure on January 13th, Blame Someone Else Day. Apparently the entire month of January itself has more than enough to keep us alarmed with Dress Up Your Pet Day on the 14th and of course, Penguin Awareness Day on the 19th. I felt that same shiver down my spine that generations upon generations have been unable to shake as I read about School Nurse Day on January 24th. That having been said, not even National Inane Answering Machine Message Day on January 30th stands up to the most frighteningly bizarre holiday of the winter season – Take It in the Ear Day, December 8th!

Folks, I wish that I could make stuff like this up…

Granted, I didn’t say that they’d all be gems and I certainly couldn’t expect you to devote your entire day to most of these celebrations, but I still think that at least a bit of recognition might be nice! Why stand around the water cooler talking about the weather or Friends or that hot, new secretary on the 11th floor when you could be swapping stories about how you each spent Put On Your Own Shoes Day on December 6th? I know, some of them sound silly, while others are all-out disturbing, but somebody took the time to come up with them, so the least that we can do is take a minute or two out of our busy schedules to honor them!

Now if you’ll excuse me, today is National Maple Syrup Day and what kind of a citizen would I be if I didn’t fulfill my civic duty?! A hungry one, that’s what, and besides, with National Roast Suckling Pig Day coming up tomorrow, I’ve got some cross-training to do!