Gift Cards, Hats, Wikipedia, Strawberry Ice Cream, and Fresh-Squeezed Juice

January 15, 2022 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning gift card recipients. Today is Saturday, January 15, 2022. January 15th is the fifteenth day of the year and 350 days remain.

National Use Your Gift Card Day 

National Use Your Gift Card Day is a ‘floating’ holiday’ celebrated annually on the 3rd Saturday in January. This self-explanatory holiday reminds us that it is time to find all of those gift cards that we accumulated over the holidays and redeem them – if we haven’t already done so. This holiday 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. The first step in celebrating National Use Your Gift Card Day is to first find 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 all of them, use them today!

National Hat Day 

National Hat Day is celebrated every year on January 15th. You needn’t be a haberdasher to deduce that this holiday encourages people to wear their preferred style of headgear today.
Hats have been around for millennia. The earliest record of people wearing hats dates back to around 3000 BC. A mural was discovered at an archeological dig from that era depicting a man wearing a crude straw hat. However, I’m sure that headgear made from animal skins was around long before this.
Wikipedia lists more than 130 different styles of hats. Hats can be used to designate a person’s status, rank, or position. They can also be used to make a fashion statement. Much more than these things, most hats are also functional as well. Helmets (a type of hat) protect our heads during a variety of activities. Some hats, such as stocking caps and fur-lined hats provide warmth.
The majority of a person’s body heat escapes through their head, even more so if you are cursed with glabrous pate – like yours truly. I wear a chapeau year-round. They protect my cue ball–like cranium from the damaging rays of the sun in summer and provide warmth in the winter.
However, listed below are some basic guidelines one should follow regarding proper hat-wearing etiquette.

  1. You should always tip your hat when you greet a lady or elderly person as a sign of greeting and respect.
  2. You should always remove your hat while participating in a funeral procession, or when a funeral procession passes by.
  3. You should always remove your hat when the National Anthem is played or when the U.S. flag passes by.
  4. Hats should never be worn inside residences.

If you decide to celebrate National Hat Day, simply adorn you head with your ascot, brandish your baseball cap, break out your beanie, bestow your beret, don your derby, flaunt your fedora, put on your Panama, slip on your sombrero, strut your Stetson, or traipse around in your Trilby — or throw on any other type of head cover you have readily available today and wear it proudly.

Wikipedia Day 

Wikipedia Day is annually on January 15th. As you might suspect, this holiday celebrates the launch date of the online encyclopedia – Wikipedia. Wikipedia was originally started as a side-project on Nupedia. The name ‘Wikipedia’ is derived from two words – ‘Wiki’, which is the name of an online search engine; and ‘pedia’, the last letters of the word ‘encyclopedia’.
Wikipedia is a good source for general reference work on a particular subject, however since virtually anyone can submit information or edit information already provided, you need to verify your results with other sources if your research requires 100% accuracy.
The best way for you to celebrate Wikipedia Day is to use this handy, informative website to research a subject of interest to you today.
Author’s Note:
Full disclosure, I often use Wikipedia when writing these posts.

Strawberry Ice Cream Day 

Strawberry Ice Cream Day is celebrated every year on January 15th. It obviously celebrates strawberry ice cream. (I am just left to wonder why an ice cream holiday is celebrated in the middle of the frigid month of January).
According to a survey conducted by the International Ice Cream Association, strawberry is the third most popular ice cream flavor, favored by 5.3% of the population. While fruity ice cream flavors are still popular today, vanilla and chocolate are the clear favorites.
The ice creams we know and love today evolved from ancient flavored ices. As early as 3000 BC, people in China served their guests sweet juices mixed with ice or snow.
So, if you want to celebrate Strawberry Ice Cream Day today, treat yourself to a delicious bowl (or two) to celebrate Strawberry Ice Cream today. I may have some for dessert tonight. I’ll just wear my wool Navy watch cap while eating it to retain some body heat.
Interesting factoid:
Dolly Madison served strawberry ice cream at President Madison’s second Inaugural Ball in 1813.

National Fresh Squeezed Juice Day 

National Fresh Squeezed Juice Day is celebrated annually on January 15th. As you might infer from its name, this holiday encourages us to re-educate ourselves about fresh-squeezed juice and the many health benefits it provides. Popular fruits and vegetables for juicing are oranges, grapefruit, apples, pineapple, passion fruit, mango, grape, cranberry, pomegranate, tomato, and carrots.
According to Wikipedia, “Juice is a liquid naturally contained in fruit or vegetable tissue. Juices are prepared by mechanically squeezing or macerating fresh fruits or vegetables without the application of heat or solvents.”
Juice Bars are the latest fad and are popping up everywhere. It has become increasingly popular to combine a variety of fruits into single juice drinks. Almost every neighborhood now has a Juice Bar where you can enjoy a glass of your favorite juice and congregate with a few friends or enjoy a moment of solitude.
Juices are also available commercially in your local market. Many commercial juices are filtered to remove fiber or pulp, but some of these juices are also available in “high pulp” versions as well where they leave in some of the pulp. Juice may be marketed in concentrate form, sometimes frozen, requiring the user to add water to reconstitute the liquid back to its “original state”. However, concentrates generally have a noticeably different taste than their comparable “fresh-squeezed” versions. Other juices are reconstituted before packaging for retail sale. Common methods for the preservation and processing of fruit juices include canning, pasteurization, and freezing.
Home juicers have also become “trendy”. Home juicers allow you to prepare the same juice (or juice combinations) that you pay dearly for at your local juice bar in the convenience of your own home for a lot less money. At least at home, you know that the fruits and vegetables you juice are fresh.
For a healthy treat today, celebrate National Fresh Squeezed Juice Day. Have a glass or two of your favorite juice or juice combination today.

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

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