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Days to remember

Jot this down on that new 2010 desk calendar you got for Christmas: Jan. 21 is National Squirrel Appreciation Day. We thought you might want to make plans. Appreciate the squirrel by admiring the grace of its scampering from tree to roof, from de...

Jot this down on that new 2010 desk calendar you got for Christmas:

Jan. 21 is National Squirrel Appreciation Day.

We thought you might want to make plans.

Appreciate the squirrel by admiring the grace of its scampering from tree to roof, from deck to utility shed (which he made his own at first frost). Admire him for his industry. Or appreciate him for how he might taste in stew.

But note that Jan. 21 also is designated National Hugging Day (as opposed to Hug a Friend Day, April 26).

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The whole of January is National Hot Tea Month, Hobby Month, Soup Month and Oatmeal Month, which you could celebrate all at once if your hobby is cooking and you favor soupy oatmeal with hot tea.

And that's just January.

Every month, every week, every day of 2010 has been declared worthy of celebration or somber reflection by some government agency, trade or advocacy group, professional organization or plain nut job. (National Nut Day is Oct. 22.)

Does the chocolate-covered raisin really warrant its own day? (March 24.)

Silly to serious

The good people at the Web site about.com (familycrafts.

about.com) have assembled such notable days in a series of monthly calendars, in part to inspire parents and teachers looking to entertain children -- or themselves.

It's March 1? Why, it's National Pig Day!

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"Make pig tails by cutting a pink circle around and around toward the middle and then taping it onto the back of your pants," the crafters suggest. Or make pig snouts out of toilet tissue rolls.

The about.com site doesn't provide authentication for many of the more obscure special days. Another Web site -- www.brownielocks .

com/holidayauthenticity.html -- links to sources.

Another caveat: Many "officially" designated days and months are serious efforts to raise the visibility of noble causes. April, for example, is Autism Awareness Month and National Child Abuse Awareness Month.

But April also is National Frog Month.

How, you may ask, does one mark such a special time? Catch a frog? Kiss a frog? Maybe the idea behind saluting Kermit each spring is to remind everyone that frogs are harbingers of environmental distress. As the pond goes, so goes Earth.

Or maybe it's just that frogs are green and cute when they hop.

In 1973, a Nevada newspaperman grew weary of mayoral, gubernatorial, presidential and commercial proclamations honoring this or that. He declared a National Nothing Day, one day in the year when we could forget about observing or celebrating anything.

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It's coming right up: Jan. 16, right after National Hat Day.

Here's a sampling of the odd and the silly, the self-serving and the product promoting days you may embrace or ignore as 2010 unfolds.

January

In addition to celebrating hobbies, soups and oatmeal, this is Staying Healthy Month and National Thank You Month.

No, thank you.

1: Gather by lantern light to sing Happy Birthday to Paul Revere, born on this date 275 years ago. (Make it a doubly patriotic party: Betsy Ross was born Jan. 1, 1752.)

2: Grab a soda and sip it through a straw. The drinking straw was patented Jan. 2, 1888.

9: National Apricot Day, National Static Electricity Day.

12: National Pharmacist Day, Work Harder Day.

15: National Hat Day.

16: National Nothing Day.

18: Winnie the Pooh Day.

February

It's American Heart Month and the month to honor cherries, embroidery, grapefruit, snack food, bird feeding and responsible pet owners.

1: 90th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Mounties.

5: National Weatherpersons Day (you'd think they would have lobbied for a day in July).

8: Clean Out Your Computer Day.

13: Get a Different Name Day.

15: National Gum Drop Day.

17: Random Acts of Kindness Day.

22: Be Humble Day.

27: Polar Bear Day.

March

It is Irish-American Heritage Month (including that day we'll all be wearin' o' the green) and National Frozen Food Month. The first week in March is National Procrastination Week and Return the Borrowed Books Week, so that may be a stressful time for some. The second week is dedicated to bubblegum and the art of crochet, but we'd advise against trying both at the same time.

1: National Pig Day.

5: Multiple Personality Day. (Celebrate it, ignore it -- or do both!)

9: Barbie's birthday (the doll -- and we say that with all due respect -- debuted in 1959).

17: Besides St. Patrick's Day, it's the 165th anniversary of the invention of the rubber band.

21: Teenagers Day.

22: Goof Off Day (and you thought it was yesterday, the 21st).

24: Chocolate Covered Raisin Day (or wait for Dec. 16, Chocolate Covered Anything Day).

April

Any surprise this is National Stress Awareness Month? It's also Poetry Month; send a nice limerick to the IRS.

10: Sibling Day.

16: Eggs Benedict Day.

20: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day.

26: Hug a Friend Day.

May

Throw a barbecue for your Asian Pacific-American friends, for this is the month to celebrate their heritage. It's also the month to honor asparagus, eggs, barbecues, hamburgers, salad and strawberries.

6: National Day of Prayer.

8: No Socks Day.

9: Mothers Day.

10: Clean Up Your Room Day (again, you thought it was yesterday).

14: National Dance Like a Chicken Day (Ah, you're thinking, if only it came more than once a year).

27: Masking tape joined the toolbox 80 years ago today. Get a few rolls and party with a friend.

June

Month-long honorees: Dairy, iced tea, tennis, potty training awareness and turkey lovers.

4: National Cheese Day.

5: Gingerbread Day.

14: Juggling Day.

16: Fudge Day.

17: Eat Your Vegetables Day.

23: Soap Opera Day.

July

Anti-Boredom Month also is National Picnic Month, and for good measure Hot Dog and Ice Cream Month, too.

4: Country Music Day.

8: Video Games Day.

9: Sugar Cookie Day. (You baked the day before, while playing Halo 2 on your Xbox.)

18: Law Appreciation Day.

29: Lasagna Day. (Only a day? There oughta be a law.)

August

If you're a build-a-better-mousetrap type, it's inspiration time: August is National Inventors Month. (But if your incessant tinkering leads to sulking or fights at home, see Aug. 25.)

1: Friendship Day.

3: Watermelon Day.

10: S'mores Day (or hold off and celebrate on the 30th, Toasted Marshmallow Day).

12: Middle Children's Day; neither first nor last, they're special today.

13: Lef-thanders Day. (If a quality left-handed pitcher, every day will be special.)

18: Bad Poetry Day.

25: Kiss and Make Up Day.

September

It's the month for baby safety, chicken and sewing, so again be careful about combining celebrations. The third week is National Farm Animals Awareness Week. Know your pigs and sheep.

1: Speaking of farm animals, today is the 80th anniversary of the publication of "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

3: Skyscraper Day.

9: Teddy Bear Day.

10: TV Dinner Day.

11: Make Your Bed Day.

19: Talk Like a Pirate Day. Arrgh!

22: Band-Aid is 90 today; check expiration dates on those in your medicine cabinet.

n 24: National Punctuation Day!!!!!!

October

No reason to wait for it, but October is Adopt a Shelter Animal Month, as well as the month to celebrate apples, clocks, dessert, pizza, roller skating, Polish-American heritage and stamp collecting.

1: Homemade Cookies Day, but hold the lard; it's also World Vegetarian Day.

2: Comic strip "Peanuts" made its first appearance 60 years ago.

12: Farmers Day.

13: Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is 85.

23: National Nut Day.

24: Bologna Day.

25: Denim Day.

November

Time to travel: National Aviation Month and (for vicarious travelers) Model Railroad Month. Pack a sandwich for the trip; it's also Peanut Butter Lovers Month.

2: Deviled Egg Day.

4: Candy Day.

5: Donut Day.

6: Time to work off that deviled egg, candy and donut weight; today is Basketball Day.

14: National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day (and don't even think about keeping those leftover deviled eggs).

25: Happy Birthday Woody Woodpecker, still young at 70.

27: Pins and Needles Day.

December

Bingo! It's National Bingo Month. If you win, you should tell someone because it's also Write a Letter to a Friend Month. (Letters to Santa don't count.)

4: National Wear Brown Shoes Day.

13: Cocoa Day.

21: Humbug Day, Flashlight Day.

24: Eggnog Day.

27: Visit the Zoo Day, Make Cut-Out Snowflakes Day.

29: Pepper Pot Day.

31: Day to Remember What You Swore to Yourself after Last New Year's Eve.

Reach Haga at (701) 780-1102; (800) 477-6572, ext. 102; or send e-mail to chaga@gfherald.com .

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