Reasons to Celebrate in January

Holidays That Need more Recognition: January Edition

Get out of the slump that Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's leaves us all in.

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Looking to find a way to celebrate everyday life or a way to bridge the gap from those amazing holiday months to the treacherous drop of nothing? Take a look at any one of these holidays in January! There's sure to be something that'll pique your interest, and make you wanna celebrate. These holidays (and one imposter) show all types of people: chocoholics, Tolkienists/wannabe Hobbits, and those who still have and cherish their favorite childhood rubber ducky come to band together to celebrate some amazing holidays this month!

JRR Tolkien Day-Jan. 3

J.R.R. Tolkien medallion in signature shape

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Yes, I can read Elven--can't you? J.R.R. Tolkien is one of my literary heroes, for his works of literature: The Hobbit, The Lord of The Rings Trilogy, and The Silmarillion (Which I need to read soon!), Not to mention that he fought (albeit trudgingly) in the first world war, and he was an Oxford Professor. Tolkien is often referred to as the Father of Modern fantasy, due to some of the contributions that he made to the genre of fantasy literature. This day celebrates his legacy, who he was, and the brilliant fantasy worlds that he created.

National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day-Jan. 9

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January 9th is dedicated to the everyday heroes around us. It celebrates those who work in law enforcement, like police officers. "In light of recent negativity directed toward law enforcement nationally, there is a need to show law enforcement officers that our citizens recognize the difficult and sometimes impossible career they have chosen, in public service to us all" (Article link here) The news focuses more often on the negative, showing bad cops and things like that. This day reminds us that the people shown on the news are not the people that we see daily on the highway, or passing by the station. There are a lot of good cops out there who risk their lives all the time for safety for you and I. Let's show them some appreciation, and drop cookies off at their station, or bring them a card, or even just thanking a cop--even if the only one you see has pulled you over for speeding...

National Gluten Free Day-Jan. 13

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As a first step towards more healthy eating, or to show love for those with an autoimmune disease, celebrate National Gluten-Free Day in a few days, on January 13! This holiday can be a step in the right direction if you're looking to lose some weight, as going gluten-free can aid in losing body weight! Join us as we go gluten-free for a day!

National Rubber Ducky Day-Jan. 13

Yellow Duckies in Line on a Concrete Floor · Free Stock Photo

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Though nobody really knows why this holiday came around, it's been speculated that it's a result of Ernie's rubber ducky on Sesame Street, which debuted in 1970, with Ernie's song, Rubber Ducky. "According to a 1973 Sesame Street calendar, Rubber Ducky's Birthday is January 13 so around the country it's National Rubber Ducky Day" Celebrate with your children, or some relatives by throwing a giant rubber ducky-themed party! You could also celebrate by ordering some rubber ducks to share around your office with a positive message on the bottom. The way you celebrate is up to you!

Learn more here

National Winnie the Pooh Day- Jan. 18

Original Stuffed Animal Characters of Winnie the Pooh

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This day honors another author and soldier in WWI--A.A.Milne. This author wrote the Winnie The Pooh books for his son, also named Christopher Robin, based on the adventures he could have had with his stuffed animals (pictured above). Nearly everyone will be able to recognize this sticky bear, as his animated movies were a vital and memorable part of their own childhood, and even for today's children. Celebrate your favorite honey-obsessed yellow bear on the 18th, with friends from your generation, or with your kids or niece/nephews from the next.

Read more about Milne and the holiday here

National Thesaurus Day-Jan. 18

To me, the thesaurus is a lifesaver, especially as a writer. Whenever I get a mental block and can't think of the right word, or my word is too weak, or overused, I search a thesaurus for the better option. Celebrating this day by furthering your knowledge! Pick a few words that you'd normally use, and substitute them with better, more powerful words from the thesaurus! Another way to celebrate is by playing a game with friends. Apples to Apples is a good one, as the game revolves around finding a 'matching' word. Though not specifically a game for synonyms, the game shows some after all cards are revealed. It's also just really fun to play.

National Celebration of Life Day-Jan. 22

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In a world that's broken, and where injuries, natural disasters, old age, take people we love, and where everything feels rushed, and there's no time to appreciate anything, just take a moment and love being alive. Let all of your problems wait for a day, and just celebrate life. "Make a list of good things...Indulge yourself in an ideal day" National Celebration of Life day helps us slow down and actually enjoy the life we're working hard for. Don't let the day pass you by, join in the celebration.

More info here

National Opposite Day-Jan. 25

Opposite Swans, light and dark

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January 25 is National Opposite Day! ...Or is it? Opposite Day is a crazy, wacky holiday, where everything is backward. This can mean at your family, school, or even work life, that you do/say opposite things, instead of the normal way. "I won't not eat pizza for lunch today" or the like. Use your new knowledge of words to help you today, saying contradictory things, or just doing the opposite of what you usually/are used to doing. Celebrate in whatever way that you want, but don't not have fun with it!

National Chocolate Cake Day- Jan. 27

Sliced Cake on Plate · Free Stock Photo

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Okay. A holiday surrounding chocolate cake. Can anyone not celebrate this?? While chocolate cake isn't my favorite because of its often 'too-rich' taste, cake is cake. I'll eat it. Happily. Bake a cake or buy one to celebrate this holiday! Share with friends or keep it all to yourself! Baking a cake from scratch is a lot of fun, but can turn wrong in many ways, opt for a boxed cake mix for less hassle, and make up for it in the decorations (chocolate ganache looks and tastes amazing, especially with a raspberry hint, so there's one way you could go.)

National Hot Chocolate Day-Jan. 31

Chocolate Marshmallow Frappe Served in Mug · Free Stock Photo

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Just a few short days after national Chocolate Cake day is National Hot Chocolate Day. What is it with January and chocolate? January 31 celebrates the warm and physically warming drink that everyone's had. Hot cocoa, while I don't personally like it, is a great way to warm up after freezing yourself out in the wilderness (A.K.A. while shoveling your driveway, or walking in from the car). Treat yourself to a good cup of chocolate today, maybe sub it in instead of your morning or afternoon coffee. celebrate simply by participating through drinking a cup of it today!

National Soup Month

White Round Ceramic Plate Near Brass Cookware

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Finally, the last holiday on the list isn't exactly a holiday, but a holimonth? I had to throw it in as number ten because I love soup! Probably not surprising as I do come from New England, but still. Soup is awesome, especially when it's piping hot on a freezing cold January afternoon. Celebrate the month of soup by trying a couple new ones. Try a soup a week, expanding your palate and your flavor profile! Some of my favorite soups are: Tomato (with grilled cheese sandwich of course), Chicken corn chowder, Ramen, and chicken noodle.

January has many meaningful or fun holidays that are littered through, giving us reason after reason to do something good or grow ourselves as people. Expanding our knowledge with a thesaurus, living in a fantastical world for a couple chapters with Tolkien, or showing our care for local law enforcement with a box of cookies or donuts (That wasn't supposed to be a stereotype, donuts are a good treat to share), or even just by sharing the last slice of chocolate cake with a friend, join us, celebrate with us!

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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My Strange Obsession: Bibibop Addition

I am obsessed with Bibibop.

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I am obsessed with Bibibop.

Sounds strange, right? But it's true.

For those of you who have never had the opportunity to experience Bibibop, Bibibop is an Asian Grill set up similar to Chipotle. You're able to go down the line of food, choosing a base (always go with the purple rice), hot toppings (they all slap), protein (the tofu is to die for), some cold toppings (a great way to try kale for the first time), and a sauce (if you don't get the Yum Yum sauce, you're weird.)

And, let me tell you, the final product is always delicious.

I hadn't been introduced to Bibibop until this past year, but once I tried it for the first time, I never looked back. Now I am constantly craving the taste of the Yum Yum sauce. I usually hit up Bibibop once every two weeks, but if I was rich, I would probably eat it every other day.

Though, admittedly, the prices are pretty good. And they celebrate meatless Mondays with 20% off to anyone who doesn't get meat in their bowl.

Plus, it's pretty healthy. Unlike most restaurants, like Chipotle, where your somewhat healthy meal can instantly become bad for you with the addition of something on the menu, Bibibop's entire menu provides nutritional value and offers gluten-free and vegan options.

Basically, Bibibop is the most underrated and most delicious restaurant in the world, which is why my obsession with it runs so deep. Although I would usually admit that obsessions are unhealthy, I think this one might be okay.

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