Gift Cards, Dragons, Book Publishers, Prohibition, Nothing, Hot and Spicy Food, and Fig Newtons

January 16, 2021 at 1:38 pm | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Every day is a holiday. Therefore, there is at least one holiday for every day in the calendar year. All you have to do is choose to celebrate. With that said, today’s holidays are listed below — so let the festivities begin.

Good morning gift card recipients. Today is Saturday, January 16, 2021. It is the 16th day of the year, and 349 Days remain.

National Use Your Gift Card Day

National Use Your Gift Card Day is a ‘floating’ holiday’ celebrated every year on the 3rd Saturday in January. The self-explanatory title of this holiday reminds us that it is time to find all of those gift cards that we accumulated over the holidays and redeem them. It is a recent addition to the holiday calendar that was first celebrated in 2020.
According to the National Retail Federation, consumers purchase three or four gift cards per year during the holiday season, and the average dollar amount per card is $47. That’s a total of about $27.5 billion each year during the holiday season. Yet, inexplicably, each year about $1-billion worth of gift cards go unused.
There are two types of gift cards – pre-paid debit cards that can be used anywhere and retailer-specific cards that can only be used at their specific stores. You can buy gift cards almost anywhere these days and for myriad goods and services. Fast-food franchises, high-end restaurants, craft and hobby shops, day spas, amusement parks, and adventure destinations – you name it and you can find a gift card for it.
Gift cards have been around for decades, but, for some reason, began to surge in popularity in the early 1990s. They are advantageous for both the giver and the recipient. For the giver, they are a way to gift someone who is hard to shop for or who won’t divulge what they want. For the recipient, they are a way for them to get exactly what they want, without the hassle of having to exchange the gift they received.
We all do it. We stash away our gift cards thinking we will have more time to use them later – or more time to decide what we want to buy with them. Then they promptly disappear into an abyss. Celebrate National Use Your Gift Card Day by first finding all of your gift cards. Check the pockets of the clothes in your closet, your dresser drawers, all of the cubbyholes in your wallet or purse, and, of course, your infamous ‘junk drawer’. Once you have located them, use them today!

Appreciate a Dragon Day 

Appreciate a Dragon Day is celebrated every year on January 16th. The purpose of this holiday is to boost children’s literacy by encouraging them to read and create things about their favorite fictional dragons. It also encourages the exploration of the cultural significance of the dragon in our society and history.
For thousands of years, dragons have been a powerful symbol of mythology in cultures all over the world. While originally, they were meant to instill fear, in modern culture, they have become more of a source of fascination. Authors and filmmakers these days have helped transform dragons into something that instills curiosity and perhaps even admiration in people.
To celebrate Appreciate a Dragon Day, do some research on dragon mythology. Is there any folklore about dragons in the area where you live?

Book Publisher’s Day  

Where would we be without books? Book Publisher’s Day is celebrated every year on January 16th. It obviously celebrates book publishers – from the big powerhouses like Random House and Penguin, to the smaller publishing houses, to the independent online publishers, they provide us with countless hours of enjoyment.
Book publishers are responsible for distributing books. They are the conduit between authors and readers. It is their job to cull through the countless submissions from would-be authors and choose the best works to publish – a dauntingly tedious, yet necessary task.
To celebrate Book Publisher’s Day, simply pick up a book and start reading.

Prohibition Remembrance Day

Prohibition Remembrance Day is celebrated each year on January 16th. It commemorates the date in 1919 when Nebraska became the 36th state to ratify the 18th Amendment to the Constitution – the prohibition of alcohol in America – making it law. One year later, it went into effect.
Prohibition came about after many years of work by those in the temperance movement, which wanted complete abstinence from alcohol. Not surprisingly, the movement had close ties to the church. The amendment was intended to protect children, women, and families from the effects of alcohol abuse, by reducing social problems such as poverty, crime, mental illness, and drunkenness. Contrary to popular belief, the amendment did not ban the consumption of alcohol. It did, however, ban the production, transportation, and sale of alcohol.
As you might suspect, the amendment was quite controversial. Soon, this fostered an underground bootlegging industry, largely controlled by organized crime. Many people were prosecuted for violating the amendment, which overburdened the justice system. Prohibition also was costly. There was a large amount of money spent on enforcement, and there was a loss of tax revenue from the lack of alcohol sales. So, thirteen years later, the amendment was repealed by the 21st Amendment.
To celebrate Prohibition Remembrance Day, either abstain from partaking in alcoholic beverages — or have an alcoholic beverage or two in defiance. The decision is yours to make.
Author’s Note:
Always drink responsibly.

National Nothing Day

National Nothing Day is celebrated each year on January 16th. Quite simply, it is a holiday for nothing. The purpose is to provide Americans with one day when they can just sit without celebrating, observing, or honoring anything. It was created by columnist Harold Pullman Coffin in 1973.
Although National Nothing Day was mentioned in all of my primary sources, they were all over the board with their interpretations regarding the meaning of this holiday. One source went into a lengthy esoteric diatribe about the meaning of “nothing.” Another stressed the futility of celebrating “nothing.” Yet another, for some odd reason, even tried to make a correlation to the upcoming Martin Luther King Day ‘floating holiday’ which is celebrated on the 3rd Monday in January, and would therefore fall on Jan. 16th every seven years – effectually saying that it would be racist for someone to celebrate “nothing” if it happens to fall on MLK Day.
Please note that National Nothing Day is not “do nothing” day. You still have to fulfill your daily obligations like going to work or school. Other than that, celebrate [or don’t] National Nothing Day in whatever manner you choose – have an uneventful day.

International Hot and Spicy Food Day 

International Hot and Spicy Food Day is celebrated annually on January 16th. As you might expect, it is a holiday that celebrates hot and spicy foods.
Archeological evidence suggests that people have been using hot spices in their recipes for over 6000 years.  Throughout the world, there are hundreds of different spices that contribute to an array of hot flavored foods. Hot (spicy) foods can actually be very good for you because of their medicinal and antimicrobial properties. Garlic, chilies, onions, allspice, and oregano all kill bacteria and make food safer to consume.
To celebrate International Hot and Spicy Food Day, spice up your life with a few hot peppers or hot sauces in/on/with your meals today.
As of 2020, the hottest chili pepper in the world is the Carolina Reaper. With 2,200,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), these peppers are about 420 times spicier than a jalapeno pepper with a SHU rating of about 5200.

Fig Newton Day 

If your taste buds demand something blander, do not despair. There is still a food-related holiday for you today. Fig Newton Day is celebrated annually on January 16th. It celebrates oddly enough, the fig newton cookie.
Up until the 19th century, many physicians believed most illnesses were related to digestion problems. As a remedy, they recommended a daily intake of biscuits and fruit. Fig rolls served as an ideal solution but were locally produced or homemade products.
Popular myth has it that Nabisco’s chewy Fig Newton cookies were named after Sir Isaac Newton. In reality, they were named after their birthplace, Newton, Massachusetts. Fig Newtons were created by Charles M. Roser, a cookie maker in Ohio. He won fame for creating the Fig Newton recipe before selling it to the Kennedy Biscuit Works (later renamed Nabisco), located in Cambridgeport, Massachusetts. They were known for naming many of their cookies after neighboring towns – the “Newton” in Fig Newton is a nod to the nearby town of Newton. They rank as the 3rd most popular cookie in the United States, with over 1 billion eaten each year.
Today, Nabisco makes ‘Newton-type’ cookies in 4 other flavors besides the original Fig Newton. They are strawberry, apple & cinnamon, sweet peach and apricot, and triple berry. Although this holiday specifically mentions Fig Newtons, I don’t think that the “holiday Gods” would consider it sacrilege if you choose to celebrate National Fig Newton Day with one of the newer varieties. I dislike any kind of ‘Newton’ cookie, but especially Fig Newtons – so I won’t be joining you in your celebration.

Below are some other holidays celebrated on this date that are worthy of mention.

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