How well do you know the month of December? Who would know better than Farmer’s Almanac?
The Month of December
December is the 12th month (and last month) in our modern-day Gregorian calendar (as it was in the preceding Julian calendar).
Back in Roman times, the calendar only had ten months and began with March! The winter period was not even assigned months because it was not an active time for military, agriculture, or civil life.
The month of December originally consisted of 30 days. When January and February were added to the calendar (around 700 BCE), December was shortened to 29 days. Then, in the subsequent Julian calendar, two days were added to December, making it 31 days long.
Tanzanite is the December birthstone.
- 6th is Saint Nicholas Day. St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children, inspires traditions around the world from hunts for presents to stockings or shoes filled with sweets.
- 7th is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
- 13th is St. Lucia’s Day, which has long been associated with festivals of light. Before the Gregorian calendar reform in 1752, her feast day occurred on the shortest day of the year (hence the saying “Lucy light, Lucy light, shortest day and longest night”).
- 15th is Bill of Rights Day.
- 17th is Wright Brothers Day.
- 21st is the Winter Solstice—the astronomical first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and first day of summer in the Southern Hemisphere.
- 25th is Christmas Day, a Christian holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. Learn more about American Christmas traditions.
- 26th is Boxing Day (Canada, UK) and the first day of Kwanzaa.
“Just for Fun” Holidays
*Did you know that December is National Pear Month? Celebrate these fun holidays this month:
- Dec. 11: International Mountain Day
- Dec. 13: National Violin Day
- Dec. 13: National Day of the Horse
- Dec. 20: Underdog Day
- Dec. 26: National Candy Cane DayOn the last evening of the year,
- December 31,: On the last day of the year, kiss the person you hope to keep kissing! Discover New Years traditions from around the world.
The month of December brings the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. This is the shortest day of the year (the day with the least amount of daylight).
In 2021, the solstice occurs on Tuesday, December 21. See our Winter Solstice page to learn more about the first day of winter.
December’s full Moon, the full Cold Moon, appears on Saturday, December 18, reaching peak illumination at 11:37 P.M. EST. Read more about the Full Cold Moon.
Look skyward on the night of December 13 after 9 P.M. for a chance to catch a glimpse of the Geminid meteors. The Geminid meteor shower is the most active shower of the year.
This year, the peak of the meteor shower lands just one day after the new Moon, meaning that the sky will be nice and dark—perfect for stargazing! If the sky is clear and temperatures aren’t too chilly, it’s worth venturing outside to try to see the Geminids.
December is the month for lots of our favorite things.
However, as cargo ships line up in ports around the nation … As gas prices inch ever-more-surely upward … As the Christmas dinner menu loses another favorite … it’s time to think cutting costs.
How about thinking DIY?
DIY Hot List
I found these ideas on the web:
- DIY Christmas Cone Trees by Steph: A Grande Life
- DIY Italian Anise Christmas Cookies by Steph: A Grande Life
Does the flavor of anise not ring your Christmas bell? A Grande Life offers a variety of recipes for every occasion.
Recipes for the Season from Farmer’s Almanac
Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat,
Please put a penny in the old man’s hat;
If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do,
If you haven’t got a ha’penny, God bless you!
Christmas always falls in December. To help you prepare for this holiday season, check out our excellent recipe collections below.
- See our Christmas Dinner Recipe page for all kinds of delicious Christmas recipes—from drinks to dessert.
- Speaking of dessert, see our Christmas Dessert Recipes page to satisfy your sweet tooth.
- Going to a party? You may enjoy our Christmas Appetizer Recipes and Christmas Party Recipes.
- Baking cookies for friends and family? Visit our 12 Days of Cookies page for our favorite cookie recipes—and wash them down with George Washington’s Christmas Eggnog!
- Baking with kids? Check out our list of Christmas Cookie Recipes for Kids.
- DIY Christmas ornaments (or gift bows!) from Misfit Mama Bear Haven