Elf Fun Newsletter
January 2: National Motivation and Inspiration Day
You have a whole year ahead of you!
What better time to be motivated and inspired!
Now is the time to start making your life count!
Celebrate Festival of Sleep Day and catch up on a little sleep.
Enjoy the day with a full 8 hours or just a cat nap. Curl up in bed, on the couch, or any comfortable place. (But not in school or at work.) And don't forget your favorite stuffed animal.
Do you like spaghetti? It's one of Christina Marie's favorite foods.
- In North America, the average person eats 15 1/2 pounds of pasta per year.
- The average person in Italy eats more than 51 pounds of pasta per year. This would wrap the Earth in spaghetti-shaped pasta more than 15 times.
- According to the International Pasta Organization, there are more than 600 different shapes of pasta around the world!
- Pasta is available in many different colors. Most pasta is made with wheat products and is cream-colored. Some pasta is made using spinach making it green. Orange and yellow pasta is made with squash, red pasta is made using tomato, gray pasta that is made with squid ink. Some pasta is called "cellophane" because it becomes transparent when cooked.
National Bird Day is January 5 and was established to draw attention to the exploit of pet birds and captive birds.
Bird Day, first celebrated on May 4, 1894, is the oldest bird holiday and is often celebrated with Arbor Day. This day gives attention to the conservation and awareness of birds.
International Migratory Bird Day, celebrated on the second Saturday in May, focuses on birds that journey long distances at certain times of the year. This day raises awareness of environmental problems leading to the decline of species.
It's Cuddle Up Day! Grab a cup of hot chocolate (with plenty of marshmallows), put on your favorite comfy clothes, and cuddle up to someone special.
Rub-a-Dub Dub, Mittens in the tub!
Mittens the Pop-In-Kins Cat likes to celebrate holidays as much as everyone else. But it looks like Bubble Bath Day is definitely not one of his favorite.
Celebrate Apricot Day on January 9 with this delicious recipe!
- 1 cup diced dried apricots
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup chopped nuts
- Soak apricots in warm water for 30 minutes. At the same time, in a bowl, cream the sugar, butter and egg. Stir in orange juice. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir into creamed mixture just until combined. Drain apricots well; add to batter with nuts.
- Pour into a greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until bread tests done.
- Cool 10 minutes in pan before removing to a wire rack.
- Yield: 1 loaf.
January 10: Save the Eagles Day
There are more then 70 species of eagles throughout the world; three species in the United States. Because of habitat loss, poaching, and dangerous pesticides, many varieties are dwindling and some are on the verge of extinction.
Save the Eagles Day brings public attention to this problem with hopes to save these majestic birds from complete extinction.
The Bald Eagle has been the national bird of the United States for over 300 years. Due to the work of scientists and the protection of the species, the Bald Eagle was removed from the list of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in June 2007.
Fun Facts about Eagles
- Eagles build huge nests out of sticks at the tops of tall trees or even on cliffs.
- Eagles can be found all over the world, except Hawaii.
- Adult eagles can have a wingspan of over 7 feet and can reach heights of 10,000 feet.
- Eagles eat fish and dead animals. They can see prey from over a mile away.
- Eagles sometimes "play" by tossing sticks to each other in the air.
- When diving for prey, eagles can reach speeds of over 100 miles per hour.
From the health benefits of drinking it to the farmers and the industry producing it, this day celebrates the wonders of milk.
January 17: Kids Inventors' Day
Happy Birthday, Benjamin Franklin. Not only was Franklin a famous politician, he was a great inventor: the Franklin Stove, bifocals, the lightning rod to name a few. At age 12, he invented the world's first swim flippers.
It is no accident Kid Inventors's Day occurs on Benjamin Franklin's birthday.
Kid Inventors’ Day celebrates the achievements of the youngest inventors and encourages children to be more creative. Many people believe children don’t yet know how difficult many things are, and are therefore able to imagine much more than adults.
Did you know children have invented many things we continue to use today? Popsicles! Trampolines! Ear muffs!
At age 3, Louis Braille lost his sight. In 1824, in his early teens he developed the Braille system while at The National Institue for Blind Youth in Paris.
Almost 200 years later, American 17-year-old Ryan Patterson invented a glove with sensors that translates the hand motions of American Sign Language into written words on a screen.
January 16: Dragon Day
Dragons are mythological creatures. Some are ferocious and some are very friendly. Some are very large and some are tiny enough to fit in your hand.
Some dragons can breathe fire while others have been known to turn things to ice.
Harry Potter met some dragons in his stories. So did the Hobbits. Pete had his own dragon. And Maleficent turned herself into a dragon.
Some dragons are real (like the Komodo Dragon). They are a lot smaller than the dragons we read about in stories.
Whatever type of dragon you may like, today is a celebration of dragons. Enjoy!
January 18: Winnie-the-Pooh Day
A.A. Milne (January 18, 1882-January 31, 1956) was a playwright, author, and poet and is best known for his children's stories about a little bear named Winnie-the-Pooh.
A.A. Milne's own son Christopher Robin Milne served as the basis for the Christopher Robin character in the stories.
Milne's son also had a collection of stuffed dolls including a teddy bear named Winnie-the-Pooh, a donkey named Eeyore, a tiger named Tigger, a kangaroo and baby named Kanga and Roo, and a little pig named Piglet. The characters of Rabbit and Owl were from the author's imagination.
January 20: Penguin Day
Penguins do not fly. Instead of wings, they have flippers to help them swim.
No penguins live at the North Pole. The Galapagos Penguin is the penguin that lives north of the equator.
Penguins eat fish and sea life that they catch underwater.
Penguins spend around half their time in water and the other half on land.
The Emperor Penguin is the tallest of all penguin species, reaching up to 4 feet in height. Little Blue Penguins are the smallest, averaging around a foot in height.
Emperor Penguins can stay underwater for around 20 minutes at a time. On land the Emperor Penguins often huddle together to keep warm in the cold temperatures of Antarctica.
Happy Chinese New Year
January 28-February 15, 2017
Chinese New Year is a celebration that lasts 15 days. The holiday is not given a specific date but is based on the phases of the moon. In 2017, the first day of Chinese New Year begins on January 28 with the new moon and ends on February 15 with the full moon on the day of the Lantern Festival. Also known as New Spring Festival, Chinese New Year celebrations include feasts, fireworks and gift-giving.
The Chinese calendar follows a 12-year cycle. Each year is named for an animal: 2017 is the Year of the Rooster. 2018 will be the Year of the Dog. The animals, in order, are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat (or Sheep), Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. 2017 is the Year of the Rooster.
According to tradition, Roosters are hard-working, talented, self-sufficient, and confident.
Click here for more information on Chinese New Year and a variety of activities.
Click on the pictures of roosters to download and print.