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GARY SMITH: Give us this day

Observances can be silly, but they’re plentiful by Gary Smith | April 9, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.

Good morning (an assumption on my part as to when you read the paper; if not, just go with it) and welcome to National Chinese Almond Cookie Day.

OK, Chinese almond cookies aren't your cup of tea (though apparently they are excellent when served with tea)? Not exactly sure what a Chinese almond cookie is? (I'm going out on a limb here, but I'm guessing a cookie, made with almonds.) Wondering what the appropriate gift for someone on National Chinese Almond Cookie Day is (again, limb ... Chinese almond cookies?)?

If that particular observance doesn't melt your butter (National Butter Day is May 1), don't worry: There are 1,500 designated days celebrating food alone (Quick math: While some years can seem longer than others, 1,500 means some foods are just going to have to share).

It seems lots of folks in the United States, and the world for that matter, like to celebrate enough that virtually every day is some kind of national day somewhere. So, for example, April 7 is National Beer Day in the United States. In Germany it's April 23, but only for German beer. Apparently, they're not quite the melting kettle we are. Also, Jan. 24 is National Beer Can Appreciation Day, followed by National Crush a Can Day on Oct. 27. You'd think those holidays would be closer together ... .

If you think all national days just celebrate cookies and beer and all sorts of things that we like but aren't good for us (which, I would offer is sort of the point of a national day of celebration), we also have National Eating Healthy Day (the first Wednesday in November) and National Eat Smart Month (also in November. Do these people not know when Thanksgiving is? I mean, same day, every year.).

There doesn't appear to be a National Diet Day, but I would suggest it's Jan. 2. That's the only day diets are observed.

If you decide not a celebrate National Chinese Almond Cookie Day (seriously? You're going to pass up a national day that involves cookies?) or food-related days in general, you can always take time today to mark National Cherish An Antique Day. I'm sure that's directed at old furniture, though at my age, I'll take any cherishing I can get. I mean, your knees give out but people are compelled to like you: the one advantage of getting older.

You can always spend April 9 celebrating National Winston Churchill Day. OK, at least this one has historical significance. Churchill was granted honorary U.S. citizenship on this day in 1963. He wasn't at the ceremony (family members were, so he wasn't snubbing it) and died two years later, but I'm sure he appreciated it. And, if as a way to mark the event you plan to emulate the late British prime minister by staying in bed until noon and drinking and smoking cigars all day, well, from a productivity standpoint, that really only worked for him.

Now, I know what you're thinking. National Cheesecake Day is July 30. So, just in case you weren't thinking it, yes, there do seem to be a lot of days celebrating fairly specific and potentially silly things (though, I do personally take cheesecake very seriously. And I bet I'm not the only one).

I mean, why celebrate National Chinese Almond Cookie Day when National Cookie Day is Dec. 4 (not to be confused with National Oreo Day, which is March 6 or National Milk Day, Jan. 11. Again, two holidays you'd think would be on the same day)?

I would suggest there are two answers to that – "because we can," and "why not?" I would also point out that, if you're a cat, you'll have to wait until Jan. 22 to ask because that's National Answer Your Cat's Questions Day. A hint: The answer is always, "here is your food."

I mean, yes, there is no point in observing National Broccoli Day on March 22 (unless you put lots of butter or cheese on it) or any of the other thousands of days that have been established here and around the world.

But, particularly in these times, why not? They tend to raise awareness (I mean, did you know what a Chinese almond cookie was?) and at the very worst, give you an excuse to indulge. We could use the resultant joy these days.

And if that's not enough, remember, National Ice Cream Day is always (wait for it) on a Sunday. A holiday and a dad joke all in one. What could be better?


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