To think, this whole time, you could have been celebrating National Crab-Stuffed Flounder Day.
Between New Year's Day and New Year's Eve, there are hundreds of national days that go unnoticed by most people. These aren't the holidays that everyone knows by heart, like Valentine's Day on Feb. 14 and Halloween on Oct. 31, but rather national days that are dreamed up by marketing departments, internet sites, and random people. It's days like National Crab-Stuffed Flounder Day, which — mark your calendars — is celebrated every year on Feb. 18.
I've scoured the internet for some of the more obscure national days, which you most definitely should celebrate. Now, you don't have to wait for the email blasts telling you it's National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day — you'll wake up on Jan. 29 fully prepared for the greatness that awaits you.
I did not devise any of the following days, but found them listed on several sites, including this extremely helpful one. I did, however, invent National Wear Your Hair in a Ponytail Day, and I've decided it's celebrated on Sept. 4 because that's both my birthday and Beyoncé's, and it just seems right.
Jan. 9: National Static Electricity Day
Who among us hasn't put on socks, dragged our feet across the carpet, and then chased an unwitting victim in order to shock them with the built-up static electricity? On any other day, it's not a very nice thing to do to someone, but for National Static Electricity Day, just say you're giving them a science lesson, and let the sparks fly.
Jan. 14: Dress Up Your Pet Day
There's nothing cuter than an animal wearing a costume. Grab a dress for your dog, a poncho for your pig, and a tutu for your tortoise (why not?), and make sure to document everything, including the scratch marks you're bound to receive while attempting to put a cape on your cat.
Jan. 29: National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day
If there is one thing that unites us all, it's the universal joy felt when you place your fingers around bubble wrap, squeeze, and hear that satisfying pop! Democrats love bubble wrap. Republicans love bubble wrap. People who wake up at 2 in the morning shrieking, "Bernie would have won!" love bubble wrap. Bubble wrap: It's more than just packing material. It brings us together.
Jan. 30: National Croissant Day
Croissants don't get enough appreciation — bagels, muffins, and danish get all the accolades, while these flaky wonders often get overlooked. Take some time out today to eat this delicious pastry, which is just as good fresh out of the oven with a side of maple syrup as it is sandwiching deli meats.
Feb. 4: National Thank a Mail Carrier Day
Our mail will probably soon be delivered by Amazon drones, so thank the men and women who brave the rain, snow, and heat to bring you bills, Christmas cards, and Subway coupons while you still can.
Feb. 16: National Do A Grouch a Favor Day
This will go one of two ways — you will either do something nice for a prickly person, who will be so touched that they change their cantankerous ways and embrace happiness, or you will do something nice for a prickly person, who will get so irritated by your act of goodwill that they punch you in the face. Good luck!
Feb. 17: National Random Acts of Kindness Day
Spread some joy in this world by doing something nice for someone without expecting anything back. Pay for the guy behind you in line's coffee, bring enough donuts to work for the whole office, or give your kid's teacher a beautiful bouquet of flowers. (Note: If National Do A Grouch a Favor Day didn't go well, you can skip today.)
March 9: National Get Over It Day
Do yourself a favor, and get over whatever it is that's weighing you down. Skipped over for a promotion? Still pining for your ex? Stop fretting about what could have been and start focusing on what will be.
March 16: National Panda Day
Pandas are undeniably cute — even the grouch you did a favor for on Feb. 16 loves these fluffy creatures. If you're able to, go see a panda in person; otherwise, turn on the San Diego Zoo's Panda Cam and admire them from afar.
March 21: National Common Courtesy Day
It's a sad state of affairs when we have to have a special day for people to actually show common courtesy. Mark the occasion by buying everyone you know an etiquette book and bookmarking the applicable pages.
April 5: National Burrito Day
Tacos get all the love — they get fêted every Tuesday, while the humble burrito is celebrated just one day a year. Burritos are just as customizable as tacos, but are easier to eat and way easier to stuff full of tasty ingredients.
April 17: National Haiku Poetry Day
Save yourself some time, just speak in haiku today, prepare for strange looks.
April 19: National Garlic Day
Go out of your way to eat as many garlicky meals as possible, and throw a few snacks in, too. Pros: Garlic is delicious, has health benefits, and wards off vampires. Cons: The scent can stick, and no one will want to kiss you for at least two days.
May 9: National Lost Sock Memorial Day
Pour one out for the socks that got lost on their way to the dryer, never to cover a foot again. You did your duty, dear sock, and we'll forever ponder how you managed to disappear somewhere between the bedroom hamper and the laundry room.
May 11: National Twilight Zone Day
Some might argue we're actually living in the twilight zone, but until super tall aliens land on Earth carrying copies of To Serve Man, we should all spend today watching our favorite episodes of the classic sci-fi series.
May 13: National Crouton Day
The crouton is one of the best toppings at any salad bar, giving your pile of lettuce a very necessary crunch. If you're trying to be healthy, this is one of the first garnishes you avoid, but today, embrace the carbs.
June 18: National Splurge Day
As my credit card statements can attest, my life's motto is "treat yo self," but for those who show more restraint, today's the day to go wild with no regrets. Buy those shoes, order the more expensive sushi roll, and get a pedicure and a manicure. You could also wait until Oct. 13 for Treat Yo Self Day, but my advice is to celebrate both days with equal abandon.
July 17: National Emoji Day
Sometimes, a smiley face with dollar signs for eyes and a tongue says it all. Emojis help us get through all kinds of conversations, and for that, they deserve to be honored.
July 31: National Avocado Day
A ripe avocado is a beautiful thing, whether it's added to a sandwich or used for guacamole. Take some time out of your day to appreciate these little green gems.
Aug. 10: National Lazy Day
This is the one day a year you can be completely unproductive without beating yourself up about it. Take advantage of this rare opportunity.
Aug. 16: National Tell a Joke Day
Yes, Dad, you can share your most cringe-inducing "joke" today without fear of ridicule.
Sept. 12: National Report Medicare Fraud Day
This was the most random national day I could find, and that is the sole reason it's included on this list. The Department of Justice rewards whistleblowers who come forward with cases of Medicare fraud, so if you have some information, they'd love to hear it.
Sept. 12: National Day of Encouragement
Today, give a pep talk to your friends and family members who need a little motivation, inspiring them to dream big and realize their full potential. Unless of course they're involved in Medicare fraud, in which case, stop encouraging them and alert the authorities.
Oct. 5: National Get Funky Day
Find some bell bottoms and platform shoes, throw on some '70s music, and get down with your bad self.
Oct. 15: National Grouch Day
Wow, there sure are a lot of days set aside during the year to honor the irritable. I guess your best bet today is to just leave the grouches you know alone, allowing them to be crotchety in peace.
Nov. 1: National Cook For Your Pets Day
This would be a lot more fun if it was National Take Your Pets Out to Dinner Day, but it's still very nice of you to ditch the canned food for a home-cooked meal.
Nov. 12: National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day
This incredibly specific day honestly seems like it's unnecessarily abrasive. Anchovies aren't super common, so why go out of your way to ostracize a topping that a lot of pizza places don't even have? Rude. I say, buck the system and order those salt bombs.
Nov. 19: National Carbonated Beverage with Caffeine Day
Again with the strangely specific days. Today, avoid the 2-liter Sprite and say hell no to San Pellegrino, choosing instead to guzzle down a Coke, Pepsi, or Mountain Dew.
Nov. 25: Blasé Day
Eh, celebrate today if you want, whatever.
Dec. 8: Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day
This one will take some preparation, unless you have old-timey clothes hanging around in your closet. Craft a persona based on your favorite bygone era, then act bewildered by modern technology and fake pass out after asking someone what year it is.
Dec. 13: Pick a Pathologist Pal Day
This is definitely one of the more WTF days on this list, but a good reminder that pathologists need friends, too. I don't recommend loitering outside a coroner's office and accosting the first one to exit the building, but at the same time, how else are you supposed to celebrate Pick a Pathologist Pal Day? Godspeed with this one, aren't you glad the year's almost over?
Dec. 31: Make Up Your Mind Day
This is literally your last chance to decide on whatever you've been wishy washy about for the last 12 months. Don't you want to start the new year off with a clean slate? Maybe I should answer for you: Yes, yes you do. Leave your indecisiveness behind and get ready to start making a multitude of choices.