A recent ad in an insert in a local paper announced that September 20 is National String Cheese Day. String Cheese? Seriously? I could believe National Cheese Day (June 4). Or even National Cream Cheese Day (none, not even for Bagels and Cream Cheese, although Cream Cheese Brownies Day is February 10). But String Cheese? I don’t think so.
Contrived holidays used to be made up by greeting card manufacturers, so they were mostly sentimental ones. When did the food industries hop on this bandwagon? And why? What are we supposed to do on National String Cheese Day, other than eat more of it? Will there be contests to see who can stretch the longest string? Will there be String Cheese Festivals, full of clowns with sticks up their noses or in their ears? Will we have String Cheese eating contests, like the hot dog ones, but without the buns?
I did some quick research and was amazed at the number of food-related holidays in the United States alone. They went on for pages. Here are just some that involve cheese. For a complete list, go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_food_days#United_States.
We have Cheese Fondue, Grilled Cheese Sandwich, and even Cheeseball Days. Those are all in April. Then there’s Cheesecake Day, and of course Mac & Cheese Day (July 14), and even a Cheese Pizza Day (September 5). National Double Cheeseburger and Cheese Toast Days are both on my birthday, making for a cholesterol-laden double whammy.
I’m marking my calendar for the foodie days that will tickle my taste buds. On the first Saturday of February next year, I’ll be celebrating National Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. On March 5, I’ll surround myself with several bags of Cheez Doodles. I’ll mark National Schlumpia Day on May 24, if I can find out what Schlumpias are by then; they certainly sound like fun.
I considered putting National Tapioca Day on my list (June 28), since my husband would certainly join in that celebration. But then I saw that Tapioca Pudding has its own day on July 15. Too confusing. Besides, I’d prefer National Rice Pudding Day. Or Crème Brûlée or Flan. None of those made the list I was using, but Rice Balls did. Go figure. (What is a Rice Ball, anyway?)
Another surprising omission from the list is National Peeps Day. I’d put that on my calendar in a heartbeat. Maybe it was left off because Peeps is a brand. But then, so is Cheez Doodles, and it's on the list. I searched for Peeps Day separately and found several possibilities. One is the day after Easter, which sounds right. That would make it a floating holiday. True Peeps lovers know that any day you can find a box of those chicks after Easter is a Peeps Day.
I noticed that November 15 is earmarked Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day. But it’s not until November 29 that we get Throw Out Your Leftovers. That sounds like poor planning to me. I wouldn’t want the stuff I cleaned out of the fridge stinking up our kitchen for two weeks. Besides, November 29 is also National Chocolates Day. It’s a no brainer which one will go on my calendar.
The last three holidays listed for December are quite predictable. The 27th is National Fruitcake Day. My mother made wonderful fruitcakes, by the way. The 30th is National Bicarbonate of Soda Day. (That might have been better for the day after Thanksgiving.) And December 31st is National Champagne Day. Or night, more likely.
Maybe I’m just old fashioned, but I think holidays should be reserved for the things in our lives that deserve to be celebrated. It’s great that we have not just Mothers Day and Fathers Day, but also Grandparents Day. (Great Aunts Day would be a nice addition.) The major holidays that match various liturgical calendars are fine by me. But—no disrespect to Druids and Wiccans, we don’t need to promote a Summer Solstice Day. And we certainly didn’t need a National String Cheese Day.