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Today's Family Magazine

Beat the cloudy, snowy, rainy blues

By Katy M. Clark

After the excitement of ringing in the new year, many of us are faced with the January blues.  The festive feel of the holiday season is gone and the winter days can be gloomy. 

However, each month of the new year brings something to celebrate.  Whether it’s enjoying food, honoring animals, or just being silly, here are 12 unique and fun days to commemorate as you keep the party going long into the new year! 

National Rubber Ducky Day • January 13
We celebrate the rubber ducky on January 13 after the date appeared circled on a calendar in a 1973 episode of Sesame Street.  Spend the day counting, collecting, or just taking a bath (of course!) with your rubber ducky. 

National Love Your Pet Day • February 20
Whether your family pet is a dog, cat, or chinchilla, this day is all about giving extra love to the fur babies in your family.  Or the ones with scales and feathers!  You and your kids can pamper your pet with special treats, cuddles or new toys, while reflecting on the special bond you share.

National Day of Unplugging • March 3–4
From sundown on March 4 to sundown on March 5, this 24-hour period aims to help families disconnect from technology and reconnect as people.  Enjoy a device-free dinner party and put your phone away while the kids create a play or concert. Take this time to unplug, unwind, and relax.
National Unicorn Day • April 9
This day honors the most popular mythical animal worldwide.  With a single horn protruding from its forehead, the unicorn represents magic, fantasy, and happiness.  Learn about its appearances in ancient cultures like those of the Celts, Romans and Persians.  Then draw pictures, read books, and wear your favorite clothing item with the beloved creature.
National Smile Day • May 31
Turn that frown upside down and smile!  Flash a beautiful grin at home, at school, and in your neighborhood.  Little ones can count how many smiles they see throughout the day on a clipboard while bigger kids can be encouraged to simply smile in order to brighten someone's day. 
National Eat Your Vegetables Day • June 17
This day is all about making more vegetables a part of your healthy diet.  However, if your kids balk at the idea of celebrating peas and carrots, then your family can honor June 17 in a sweeter way.  It’s also National Apple Strudel Day. 
National Ice Cream Day • July 16
Did you know that President Reagan established the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day back in 1984?  Beat the summer heat and indulge in scoops from your favorite spot or try your hand at making your own.  Your family can discuss favorite flavors or think up new ones to try.
Global Sleep Under the Stars Night • August 8
This night encourages everyone to spend a night under the stars.  Pitch a tent or bundle up under blankets in the backyard or on your patio.  Read books about constellations, shine a flashlight in the sky to make your own, and enjoy the outdoors as you turn your gaze upward. 
Talk Like A Pirate Day • September 19
Ahoy mateys!  Spend the day talking like your favorite swashbuckler.  Whether you don an eye patch, dig for buried treasure, or nosh on some chocolate gold coins, you and your kids will walk the plank to celebrate this day.  Shiver me timbers!

National Do Something Nice Day • October 5
You and your family can show kindness in big and small ways on this day.  Try giving compliments, holding the door open for someone, writing a letter to a relative, or paying for the order of the person behind you in line. 
National Family PJ Day • November 14
Who doesn’t want to spend the day in their favorite pjs?  Put on your matched or mismatched pajamas and then sleep in or snuggle up.  Get your pets in the game, too.  If you’re really planning ahead, now is the perfect time to snap that holiday card photo. 
National Cocoa Day • December 13
Prepare to welcome winter by indulging in a cup of hot chocolate. Your family can learn about the origin of drinking cocoa, said to be started by the Mayans as early as 500 BC, or have a taste test to decide which is the perfect topping: marshmallows or whipped cream.