October. Fall, football, leaves, sweaters, county fairs and…pumpkins. Ugh. When did we become so obsessed with all things pumpkin? I’m going to go out on a limb right here and proclaim that I hate pumpkin spice everything. There are a whole host of memes just for pumpkin spice. Pumpkins should only be in pies or on hay bales with candles stuck inside of them, as God intended. Not a popular opinion, I know, but really??
So, what do we celebrate or honor in October? A lot! The “what’s happening” calendar lists 126 observations and that’s just for the monthly category.
We’ll consider just a few.
Of course, we must first pay homage to the serious subjects that have their awareness month in October:
Breast Cancer, Celiac Disease, Down Syndrome, Dyslexia, AIDS, LGBT History, Pregnancy and Infant Loss, Spina Bifida, Domestic Violence, SIDS.
Each of these categories brings to light stories of heart break, pain, loss and struggle. They also speak to the determination and resilience of people who have been affected, or have had loved ones who have suffered, to remind the rest of us that there are so many opportunities for caring, for donating or for being present for those who are touched by one of these issues.
InSight Books has resources for some of these--from books to awareness pins to cards. (Yes, every once in a while, I’m allowed to put in a plug for our stuff. You think I write this blog just for fun?)
And now on to the rest of the list:
Food, always food, and there are many to choose from this month:
Apple, Caramel (that makes sense), Cheese, Cookie, Spinach, Pasta, Pork, Pretzel, Pickled peppers (a whole month for pickled peppers, hum), Pear, Pineapple, Rhubarb (argh), Popcorn, Sausage, Seafood, and the ever-popular, National Dessert Month. Just grab everything and throw it into that celebration. And then there is Rhizomes and Persimmons Month. One is a root, one is a fruit. I’m not sure why they are put together. Or why they are even mentioned at all.
Did you notice that there is not a National Pumpkin Spice month? Just pointing that out.
Which brings us to the logical next step, National Dental Hygiene Month and National Orthodontic Health Month, which is a pretty good idea after biting down on caramel apples and popcorn balls at your Halloween shindig.
There are some silly and absurd observations:
National Toilet Tank Repair Month, National Window Covering Safety Month, Raptor Month (my grandson who loves ALL THINGS JURASSIC will be happy to celebrate that one), Roller Skating Month, Squirrel Awareness month (with the notation in the list that this is different from Squirrel Appreciation day, which is in January). What the what? Bat Appreciation Month, because where would Halloween be without our beloved bats? And my personal favorite, Feral Hog Month. I’m not sure if you are supposed to hunt them or make them your pets.
There is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. This is always a good idea, especially right now in the wake of so much terrible destruction and relocation of families in Texas and Florida. But, please do not tell my daughters that this is a thing. They are limited out on shelter dogs.
Global Diversity Month is a much-needed topic right now. Emotional Wellness, Dropout Prevention, Stamp Collecting, Photographer Appreciation Month, Celebrating the Bilingual Child, and Tackling Hunger Month. All worth learning more about and being aware. There are many observations for cultural heritage—Italian, German Polish. So, bring out the sausage (because it is National Sausage Month) of the country of your choice and have a celebration. There should probably be some beer in there as well.
And a few that hit a little close to home.
National Sarcastic Awareness Month. Really, we only get a month?
Self-Promotion Month. No comment.
World Menopause Month. So everyone gets to have hot flashes and night sweats to celebrate?
National I’m Just Me Because Month. I love this one!
And for the “now you’re meddling category”, Caffeine Addiction Recovery Month. No, just no. Walk away and leave me and my coffee, with no pumpkin spice in it, in peace and no one will get hurt.
Happy October. May the rhizomes, rhubarbs and the raptors be with you.
Glenda Stansbury is Marketing Director of InSight Books and Co-Founder of InSight Institute Certified Celebrant Program. She is also a speaker, a trainer, and an observer of life, and one of Doug Manning’s adorable and talented daughters. You may email Glenda at OrdersAndInfo@InSightBooks.com.