January 31st Inspire Your Heart With Art Day

There is no doubt that art can inspire us to feel many things. It can make us happy, sad, angry, romantic, nationalistic… well you name it, art can spell out something our heart feels. But what in art inspires the heart to make us better people?


Art can remind us of things we have experienced, or would like to experience. Long walks in the park, rainy days, time spent with our loved ones. Everybody sees something different in a piece of art.In the artwork above some will see the couple walking, some will see the lights, some will see the color changing on the leaves, some will see the wet setting. What do you see? How does it inspire you?

a-court-gathering-to-hear-musicSome people love classical music and others do not care for it. One fact we all have to accept is that all forms of music have it’s roots in classical music. Classical music can be exciting, soothing and do all the same things to us that a painting or piece of sculpture can do, sometimes even more. We often remember the song we heard when we met the person we love or it can stir us when we hear music that was playing when we accomplished something we felt proud of.


Dance often expresses feelings we have in another medium. While we may not be able to dance ourselves. The movement and beauty of it reminds us of things we have seen or lived. We celebrate our marriages with a dance, it may not be artful, or even coordinated, but it doesn’t matter… we showed the world our dance.


In fact, the arts can express every moment of our lives, the good and the bad, the happy and the sad. So rightfully, it the arts should be what inspire us to do more, be more and feel more. I am reminded by a friend of mine that an artist can be a dancer or painter, or a really good auto mechanic.


How to celebrate – Celebrate the arts by celebrating yourself and those lose to you. For fun, put a song to everyone you know. It will hep you remember them better and more often. Whatever you do, consider it an art. Do the best you can to make your art inspire yourself, and others, to be all they can be.


January 30th Croissant Day

Today is Croissant Day. Now you might think that something as tasteful and simple as a croissant would not have a controversial history… but you would think wrong. Apparently there are two theories, from two different countries, claiming the croissant as their own.


The first comes in 1683 when the Turks were laying siege to Vienna, Austria. The battle was not going as the Turks had planned so they decided to try to tunnel under the city walls. As it so happened, the bakers that fed the city worked underground in the basement of the castle. They heard the Turks tunneling and told the army leaders who caught the Turks off guard and ended the siege, and the war. To honor their great victory, the bakers created bread in the shape of the crescent moon, the symbol of the Turkish Army, to be devoured by the citizens of Vienna just as their army had done to the Turkish army.


Of course, France also claims the croissant as their. They say it was created either for, or by, Marie Antoinette sometime before she lost her head. This came nearly a hundred years after the siege of Vienna but who knows, maybe Marie had it made to celebrate the Austrian victory.


It doesn’t really matter now does it. If either side butters up their evidence it’s sure to get eaten before they can pour the tea.

How to celebrate – Enjoy a croissant this morning, at lunch or dinner. Find different ways to serve a croissant, stuffing it, covering it in chocolate, etc. Decide your day by the way you place your croissant. One way it looks like a frown while the other looks like a smile!


January 28th National Kazoo Day

If there is one musical instrument that everyone can play it’s the kazoo. Naturally, some are better than others and some should not even try this simple instrument, but it requires very little skill and only the minimal musical ear.


There is some debate as to the actual date of National Kazoo Day. Some say it is the fourth Thursday in January, others say it is the 28th. So, January 23-29, the entire week, has been turned into Kazoo Week. The day of celebration was apparently created by Chaplin Willard Rahn in his “Joyful Noise Kazoo Band” book.


The kazoo has been around for over 165 years. Invented sometime in the 1840’s it was first popularly demonstrated at 1852 Georgia State Fair.It was called the “Down South Submarine”. The Alabama Vest (An African-American organization) and Thaddeus Von Clegg (A German clock maker) are credited as the inventors of the kazoo.


Commercial production of the kazoo began in Western New York in 1912 when Emil Sorg and Michael McIntyre partnered to make this remarkably simple instrument. Since then the kaoo has appeared in nearly every band, assembly and school across America.


There are even professional kazoos today that can be plugged into an mixer and amplified for all to hear. Oh joy.

How to celebrate – Get your own kazoo and start making music instantly. Form your own kazoo band. Test out several kazoo to find the one thatgives you the optimal sound.

January 27th International Fun At Work Day

There are those bosses that believe when one is at work it should be labor intensive and humor belongs outside the work place. These are bosses that generally have a high turn-over and progressively get less and less stuff done. It is natural for people to want to laugh and enjoy themselves, that being said it is natural that those desires lead to the work play environment.


A good boss realizes that people spend a great deal of time at work and to make them more productive, being somewhere they want to be instead where they have to be, will enhance their business. Toxic workplaces are always on the look for the next employee because no one truly wants to be there.


I have seen schools that worked well, people enjoyed each others company and wanted to educate the children in their charge. I have also seen school were all the humor is taken out of the workplace and the desire to work becomes a daily grind instead. Students grades go down, friends become enemies and nothing is accomplished but getting through the day. This leads to entire generations becoming toxic.

Business people dancing in office

I have seen business that have family picnics, fun based incentives and actual playtime for the employees, thrive. I have seen the exact same business taken over by someone who stopped all those practices and just wanted work out of their people. The business quickly went out of business. I remember a boss telling me, “What would happen if you died on the way home? You didn’t get your job completed and where would that leave me?” My response, “If I’m dead… what do I care?”


So if you are the boss, take the time to show the employees that you care about them. Give them a reason to laugh and enjoy what they do. They’ll want to spend more time at work then and if you show you care about them, then they will care about you and your business.

How to celebrate – Enjoy work today and make sure others around you are enjoying themselves. Find challenges that aren’t life or death for people to participate in while working today. Plan a years worth of events that make your employees want to come in and see what the next day brings instead of sending them home wishing they could have the day off.

January 26th Spouses Day

Today is National Spouses Day (not to be confused with National Military Spouses Day). Today is the day we celebrate the person we have chosen to spend the rest of our lives with (hopefully).


When we are young, the appeal of someone else is obvious. Physical attraction normally comes first, followed by the sharing of ideals and dreams. We hope to grow with each other, sharing the joys, and sorrows, our mate feels. Every new experience brings us closer together, even some old experiences take on a different meaning than before when we experienced them by ourselves. It is the time of life when we go eyes-wide-open, expecting to share our lives completely with each other.

Senior man giving woman piggyback ride

As we grow older many of our dreams and interests have changed. Hopefully our spouse is experiencing the same things. This is a trying time, a time when we begin to feel time is running out for us to gather in the things in life we think we want. So we try even harder to grasp hold of the future and take what we want, need, and feel we deserve. If we have chosen the right mate, they will be experiencing the same thing. It can be a time when we grow closer than ever before, or we can grow further apart. Sometimes being defeated in what we think we want can lead us to something more important, what we really need. There is nothing more rewarding than finding out that the person we remember when we were both young will still be the person we share our challenges with gracefully. They will help us accept our limitations and advance ourselves into being someone better.


And if we are lucky to reach our senior years with our mate we will find a friend, and a lover, maybe not as attractive as we once were, certainly not as active as we once were, and a little more willing to let life lead us to where we are going than trying to shape it ourselves.

A spouse is someone we hope to have with us for life, for better and for worse, richer and poorer… till life do us part.

How to celebrate – No matter what stage of life you are in make sure your spouse knows you are happy they are the one that has experienced life with you. Don’t let a day go by without telling your spouse you love them. Let your spouse know daily what is right about them when it is so easy to find things that are wrong.

January 25th Opposite Day

Today is the one day of the year you can say what you mean and not mean it at all! It can also be a very dangerous day if the person you are interacting with is not aware it is opposite day. If you say that you don’t love someone, if the person is aware it’s opposite day they know you love them, but if they don’t… watch out!


Some say that opposite day was created during Calvin Coolidge’s administration in the 1920’s. Some people in the Country felt they were getting rich, but we all know they were about to lose all in the 1930’s. Some felt Coolidge was a good president, or did they?


Other say that opposite day came from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice In Wonderland”. Obviously things in the underworld were different, but were they really opposite? Of course, Lewis Carroll wasn’t really Lewis Carroll, he was really Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. The other male members of his family were nearly all military officers in the British army but he became a children’s book writer. However, if you actually read the book, was it written for children at all!?!


How it came sbout doesn’t really matter… Or does it? Because it is one more day for ys to cellebrate silliness!

How to celebrate – Don’t celebrate opposite day! Don’t enjoy the day! and by all means DON’T have any fun today (Ha, ha…you see what I did there).

January 24th National Compliment Day

Everyone likes to be paid a compliment. Whether it’s about the way they look, smell, the job they have done, or even their personality. A compliment goes a long way. It sticks with someone all day, sometimes even for several days. Sometimes it even makes someone try harder to repeat the things you have complimented them for.


Egos are very fragile. People need reassurance they are doing the right thing, that they fit the mold society has put before them, and even something as simple as recognition that they have gone out of their way to please you somehow. Someone who is a friend too can be rewarded. Simply telling them they are “A really good friend” tells them they are doing the right things for you.


Letting someone know they are awesome takes so little, and yet it means so much. You do have to be careful though, make sure whatever compliment you are offering is taken in the way you intend it. Don’t let your compliment backfire on you making someone think you are asking for something more than they are offering.


And if you make them blush, then you have hit the bullseye! People can be awesome, and you can be awesome by telling them how much they mean to you. National Compliment Day was founded by Kathy Chamberlain of Hopkinton, New Hampshire, and Debby Hoffman of Concord, New Hampshire, in 1998.

How to celebrate – Pay someone you know a compliment today. Pay someone you don’t know a compliment today. Take any compliments you may receive today as they are intended, don’t read anything more into them.

January 23rd Measure Your Feet Day

For some reason, today is Measure Your Feet Day. It is important to know the size of your feet so that you know what shoes to buy, rent when bowling, or flippers to get when swimming. Why we need a holiday to celebrate this is somewhat in question.


Probably the most famous foot belongs to Cinderella. Her foot had to fit into that glass slipper. As the original fairy tale goes, one of her step sisters actually cut off her toes to try and force the slipper to fit. It didn’t work. I suppose, since it was a fairy tale she was later able to re-attach them.


And apparently it is not just the length that needs to be measured but the height, width, and even which way your toes bend. It also depends on your arches, and any toes you may have that are longer than others. There is supposed to be some equation about intelligence levels as marked by the length of certain toes.


And did you know that both feet are rarely the exact same size!?! I have no idea what that means other than you might have to buy two pairs of shoes and make one set out of them.


So I doubt this day will rank high on your list unless you have a foot fetish. Take care of your feet though, as they are one of the most abused parts of your body.

How to celebrate – Go ahead and measure your feet just for the fun of it. Measure your feet over several days and see if they change daily. Compare your feet today against those of the booties you wore as a baby.

January 22nd National Come In From The Cold Day

There are so many things to do in the cold, snowy weather… skiing, sledding,skating, building snowmen… but one of the best things is coming in from the cold to a nice warm fire and maybe a cup of hot cocoa.


No matter how warm you dress yourself, no matter how many layers of clothing you put on the cold always seems to find a way in. You can even get worse sun burns from the snow than you can in the middle of summer on the beach.


No matter how much fun you are having snow, like sand, seems to get everywhere and of course, when it starts to melt, it turns into water. As that water starts to cool again, it gets really, really cold and then what was fun gets to be suffering.


And sometimes you get caught doing everyday things when a snow storm hits. You could be at work, shopping or even out to visit friends. You have that long walk to the car, bus or train in icy conditions no one wants to be out in. But there is hope!


Sitting in front of a roaring fireplace, drinking a hot cup of cocoa, and being with heart-warming friends make it all worth while.  It almost makes it worth going out just so you can go back in.

How to celebrate – When you get cold enough outside just thinking about what you’ll do when you go in is warming! Make sure you have a warm fire going for those coming to visit you. Always have cocoa, coffee or tea on ready, ready to warm up those who need it… coming in from the cold.

January 2017 Shake it Up Holiday Box


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