Crazy, Fun Holidays in September You’ll Want to Celebrate
It’s September, and in many areas the weather is starting to turn colder, heralding the approach of winter. Labor Day in the U.S. comes and goes at the beginning of the month, which unofficially brings summer to an end. Summer vacations and lazy days are behind us, and the days are now noticeably becoming shorter, lengthening nighttime hours.
These conditions may make you want to hibernate, but don’t despair—there are lots of great silly holidays in September to keep winter woes at bay.
September 1: No Rhyme or Reason Day
Poets love writing poems that rhyme. Even those who don't traditionally writing rhyming verse often take a break to write rhymes for the fun of it. Creating unusual and interesting rhymes can get the creative juices flowing. However, there are a number of words in every language which no other words rhyme with. In English, the most famous of these words is orange. Some other words that nothing rhymes with are:
Yet there are still ways to rhyme these words, albeit not exactly. Poets often use what are called slant rhymes when they have a word they want to use which has no rhyme. Also known as half rhymes, imperfect rhymes, near-rhymes, or lazy rhymes, slant rhyme, is created with words that have similar but not exactly the same sounds. Usually, either the vowel segments are different with the consonants being identical, or vice versa. These pairs are still considered rhymes, just not perfect rhymes. Some slant rhymes are listed below.
- orange: foreign, boring, forage, porridge, door-hinge, Mormon, chorus, swordfish
- silver: filter, shiver, filler, deliver, liver
- purple: whirlpool, hurtful, circles
- month: dunce, hunts, moth, runt
- ninth: mine, lines, absinth, labyrinth
- pint: ain't, paint, might
- wolf: gulf, fur, enough, dull
- opus: Lupus, lotus, bogus, psychosis
- dangerous: major risk, plagiarist, cameras, game to us, spontaneous
- marathon: care what's on, Santa's gone, paragon
- discombobulate: the disco they love to hate, risky even on a date
To celebrate No Rhyme, No Reason Day first see if you can expand the list of words that nothing rhymes with. Then come up with other slant rhymes for as many words as possible. Look at the list and write a poem about whatever you want using slant rhymes. It can be funny or serious or even silly if you choose. If you have trouble coming up with one, you can create one that is nonsense so you can use your favorite slant rhymes.
September 5: Be Late for Something Day
This is a great day for procrastinators. Being late is a common occurrence for all of us at one time or another. Often it is caused by unanticipated hassles such as a truck blocking the driveway, traffic or a phone call that must be handled then and there. For some people though, being late is a way of life, much to the annoyance of others. If you are a chronic procrastinator, today is your day. No one can say anything about you being late today, in fact it’s required.
Make sure to sleep in today and fall behind schedule early to make sure you are late for everything that comes after. If you don’t need any help being late, let yourself revel in the feeling of it not just being okay today but it actually being mandatory. For those who are not just on time, but make everyone crazy by being really early for everything, try, just this once, to be late for something, anything. You may just find it feels good.
Be Late for Something Day was created by the Procrastinators’ Club of America who hope it will encourage people who are rushing through life trying to make this or that appointment to stop and smell the roses along the way. Take a page from their book and slow down a little today. Spend a few minutes playing with your children before you leave, take some extra time to have lunch with a friend, enjoy the sites along your walking route, sit by the water and appreciate the view.
I never put off till tomorrow what I can possibly do—the day after.— Oscar Wilde
September 6: Fight Procrastination Day
After getting the procrastination out of your system yesterday you can move on to fighting procrastination today. Another day is always coming so if you constantly put things off until tomorrow, nothing will get done. It’s a slippery slope since avoiding things that are unpleasant, anxiety provoking or otherwise undesirable gives us a temporary sense of relief that reinforces our procrastination. This increases the likelihood we will engage in it again until it becomes a habit.
If procrastination has already become a habit for you use today to break it or prevent it if it hasn’t. Commit yourself to getting done what needs to get done today. Make a list and determine to complete it before going to bed. If you are a chronic procrastinator, make a list of just 3 things you have been putting off and make up your mind you will accomplish them today. It should feel good getting things done that you have been avoiding.
While procrastination may feel like a relief in the short run, it will only produce more worry about the consequences in the long run. So making yourself accomplish the things you need to do will ultimately feel more reinforcing than the procrastination. Give it try. If you have trouble, try some of the strategies below to help you break the cycle.
Strategies for Beating Procrastination
- Break tasks down into small steps. Often we procrastinate because tasks seem too huge to tackle. If you break big tasks down into smaller parts and focus on just one at a time it will make it seem more manageable.
- Choose reinforcers to reward yourself with when you complete a task. Small reinforcers can be used for small tasks and big reinforcers can be chosen for completing all your tasks for the day or week. Maybe allow yourself to watch one half an hour t.v. show or a phone call to talk with a friend when you complete a task and dinner and a movie with someone special at the end of the week if you accomplish all your tasks.
- Enlist the help of a friend of family member for support and to keep you honest. Ask someone who is positive but tough to provide praise when you accomplish a task and to prompt you to complete the tasks you made a commitment to get done.
- If positive reinforcement isn’t working, try response cost instead. While positive reinforcement makes things more pleasant, sometimes it may not be motivating enough to get you to break a long established pattern of behavior. Response cost involves losing something positive as a penalty for making the response. One way of doing this is through a fine. Impose a system whereby you have to donate a certain amount of money every time you procrastinate.
- The amount you set for the fine should be big enough that you want to avoid losing it but not so big that if you lose it once or twice you will discontinue the system. The amount will also depend on how often you procrastinate and how important it is to you to break this habit. If you only delay or avoid doing things that aren’t crucial in some way you can take more time to break the habit since there aren’t serious consequences to your behavior. If your behavior is getting you in trouble somehow, such as avoiding work that needs to get done which could possibly get you fired then set the fine higher since you need to break that habit quickly.
- Set deadlines that allow you to procrastinate for a short period but still get things done before they can cause problems. So work assignment that must be done in the next 48 hours and it will take you two hours to complete, decide that in needs to be done by the end of the day. You can then decide to procrastinate until the next day if you aren’t able to buck down on your first attempt and as long as you leave enough time to complete the task you will still be okay. If you use this strategy build in extra time maybe a couple of extra hours, so if something come up or there is a unanticipated problem that occurs you will still be able to complete the task.
- Do something to take your mind off of what you are trying to accomplish for a brief period of time, then come back to the task. If you feel overwhelmed and simply can’t seem to make yourself buckle down try reading, watching t.v., taking a walk or doing something else that will take your mind off the task. Set a timer so you don’t continue to engage in the activity you are using to cope with feeling overwhelmed. Often when we step away from something that seems like it is too much for us, we are able to return to it with a renewed sense of calm and confidence.
- Engage in some light to moderate exercise. Research has shown that light to moderate exercise can increase productivity and mental acuity.
September 16: National Guacamole Day
Today is National Guacamole Day. Maybe you love guacamole as a sports time snack or along with a cold beer when eating Mexican food. But there’s more to guacamole than you may know. Ripe avocados, the primary ingredient of guacamole is filled with more than 20 vitamins, and good fats that help reduce cholesterol and fight cancer. Avocados can even be used as a healthy alternative for butter or shortening in baking.
You can buy ready made guacamole at the grocery story but it’s so easy to make I recommend making your own. There’s nothing like homemade guacamole and it doesn’t need any preservatives or coloring like some of the stores brands are made with. Try the guacamole recipe below and have a wonderful, green filled day.
Easy Guacamole Dip
The secret to this dip lies in the fresh onion which you mash with the back of a fork to release the oils and natural flavor. Choose avocados that are slightly soft. If you can’t find ripe ones, place the avocados in a paper bag with a banana or apple until they soften.
- 4 Haas avocados, ripe
- 1 white onion, finely chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves minced (you can substitute 1 teaspoon store bought fresh minced garlic)
- 2 tablespoons salsa
- Juice of 1 lime
- ¼ teaspoon salt (to taste)
- ⅓ teaspoon cumin (optional)
- Chop the onion then, using the back of a fork, mash it until it turns translucent
- Scoop out the avocado flesh and add it to the onion
- Add garlic, salsa, lime juice, cumin and salt
- Mash and mix well.
September 19: International Talk Like a Pirate Day
Ahoy, mateys. Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, a day for all sorts of fun. Grab your eye patch and your parrot and practice your "pirate-speak" so you can use it today with all the others who will be celebrating. If you’d like to up the ante you can dress like a pirate also. To celebrate this holiday gather friends and family and throw a pirate themed party. Send out invitations in the form of scrolls. Hide treasure, make a treasure map and see who finds it first. Make sure to have a supply of grog on hand as talking like a pirate is thirsty work.
Learn this pirate song to impress everyone with your amazing ability to sing in pirate.
Are you a Pirate at heart, or in your soul? Take this personality quiz to find out what kind of pirate you are.
For a crash course in talking pirate, drink recipes and all things pirate, visit the official International Talk Like a Pirate website.
And remember, if anyone refuses to talk like a pirate today, make them walk the plank.
September 21: Miniature Golf Day
Today is the day to hit the links, well the miniature links that is. Miniature golf is a fun summer and fall tradition for adults and children alike. You don't have to be good at miniature golf to enjoy today. In fact, there is some honor in being terrible at the activity. Plus, the obstacles ensure that if you lose you can it on plain old luck which is half of the fun of it. See if you can get the ball in the clown’s mouth or make it past the windmill. Take some friends with you today to play a round or two of miniature golf to guarantee that your day is up to par.
September 22: Hobbit Day
The American Tolkien Society created this special day, holding a huge party, with lots of food, dancing and fireworks. It is the birthday of two of the main hobbit characters in The Lord of the Rings, Frodo and Bilbo Baggins. Hobbits are halflings who inhabit Middle-earth in J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional works.
Hobbits are about two to four feet tall, have hairy feet, eat seven times a day and live underground. They are a happy people who love a good party. In honor of Hobbit Day, throw a long expected party reminiscent of the one at the beginning of the book with dancing, music, songs and games. If you like dressing up make it a costume party. Put up pictures and decorations with a hobbit theme. There are lots of images online that you can print out to use for your party.
Hobbits were known for their well stocked pantries so make sure to have either a large meal of plenty of snacks available. Some of the foods hobbits loved were mushrooms (marinated or as part of a vegetable tray), meats (cold cuts are easy), fresh bread and butter, ripe cheeses (Cheddar, Swiss, Colby, Camembert and Brie are some options), blackberries and apples (tarts or as part of a fruit tray), scones, and honey (honey cake is a good choice).
Hobbits loved playing games so there should be lots of these happening during the party. Some options are horseshoes, bean bag toss, sack-jumping, three legged race and any games involving riddles, charades, sayings or proverbs.
When it gets dark out, set off fireworks or if you can’t, at least give everyone a sparkler. Make sure to have plenty of upbeat music on hand for dancing. Have the Lord of the Rings movies playing in another room for anyone who wants to watch them. If one day of hobbit celebration isn’t enough for you, don’t despair. There is also a Hobbit Week, which occurs on the Sunday through Saturday of this week that you can celebrate in case one day isn’t enough.
September 23: National Checkers Day and Dog in Politics Day
King me! For all of you checkers fans out there, get out the board and choose a color, red or black. Can you clear the board of your opponents pieces before they clear yours? Today is National Checkers Day so make up a batch of lemonade, saunter out to the porch and play a game or three.
Today is also National Dog in Politics Day which may seem to have no connection to checkers. However, the two holidays are really intertwined as one, and both began with a single presidential speech given back in 1952. The speech was given by then Presidential candidate Richard Nixon in response to allegations of improprieties regarding a fund set up by his backers. In an unprecedented move, the Presidential hopeful took his case directly to the American people.
During the address, Nixon stated that no matter what happened, he intended to keep one gift, a black and white dog his children had named, “Checkers.” From that moment forward the speech became known as the Checkers speech. Nixon succeeded in pulling the public to his side and thanks to one small dog, Nixon made it on the ticket, went on to the White House and we celebrate Dogs in Politics Day otherwise known as National Checkers Day.
In additions to playing checkers, to celebrate today, spend some time with your dog. Dress them up in a cute outfit and feed them special treats. Take them out and show them off. Have a puppy party and invite all their friends. Go to a local dog park and let them run and romp with their neighbors. If there’s a dog friendly beach nearby, take them to soak up the sun and chase the waves. Make a video of the two of you and post it on social media. Double points if you play checkers with your dog! If you don't have a dog, maybe today is the day to adopt one (extra points if they are black and white).
Easy Homemade Dog Biscuits
Show your pet how much you love them today (and every day), by making them these easy dog biscuits you can customize to their taste.
- 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour (can substitute regular flour or oats if your dog has wheat sensitivity)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp. Beef or chicken bouillon mix (can substitute beef or chicken broth/stock or 1 bouillon cube, or vegetable bouillon if your dog can’t have meat)
- ½ cup hot water
Optional: You can add anything your dog loves to make these treats fit your dog’s preferences. Some options include oats, liver powder, a small amount of shredded or ground meat, wheat germ, protein powder, shredded cheese, small pieces of turkey jerky or bacon bits.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Dissolve bouillon in hot water (if using bouillon it should be at room temperature)
- Add remaining ingredients and mix until well combined
- Transfer dough to floured cutting board and knead until it forms a ball (about 4-5 minutes)
- Roll dough until ½ inch thick
- Cut into slices, bone or other shapes with cookie cutters
- Place dough pieces on lightly greased cookie sheet
- Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown
September 29: National Ghost Hunting Day
This one if for all you paranormal fans out there, and really who doesn’t love a good ghost hunt? This is the day that officially opens the Halloween season. Although it is named as a National day in the U.S. this is really a global holiday celebrated around the world. Ghost hunting isn’t an activity that is relegated to hidden or obscure dark and crumbling ruins. There are many public and highly populated places in major cities that are believed to be haunted. For example, ghosts have been spotted in several areas of the White House in Washington, D.C and those living in Scotland can find ghosts galore at Edinburgh Castle though take care as they like to touch and pull visitors.
In England, you can hunt Ann Bolyen’s ghost in the Tower of London though this is not for the faint of heart as she roams around headless, Given the number of ghastly executions at the Tower of London, it is no wonder that it is said to be haunted by many ghosts. Along with Ann Bolyen, you might run into Lady Jane Grey who was Queen for ten days, and the ghosts of two young boys believed to be two princes who were murdered in the Tower of London in the 15th century to remove them from the royal succession.
Volunteers at the events work to bring attention to various historical properties and educate the public about important preservation activities. There are numerous towns and properties that are available for hunting ghost in the U.S. and worldwide. See here to find the event closest to you. Form your own ghost hunting team or If you have enough friends that are interested in the hunt, join an existing team as an attendee. You can also register a haunted property for others to explore. You can find information on the planned events and locations and register to participate at the National Ghost Hunting Day website.
© 2018 Natalie Frank