Unwrapping December: 10 Holidays and Events for Families to Explore

Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa are just the start!

By Macaroni KID November 29, 2023

Welcome to the magic of December! A month brimming with festivities and heartwarming gatherings — it's not just about Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. Yes, these are fabulous times to cherish with family and friends, but December's calendar is dotted with even more diverse and meaningful celebrations — some familiar and others waiting to be discovered by you and your family:

Kara Murphy

Rosa Parks Day

Rosa Parks Day, marked in just a few states, recognizes the day Parks was arrested in 1955 for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery, Ala., bus. That bus, pictured above, is now housed at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich., giving visitors a chance to sit in the very place Rosa Parks sat during that defining moment of the Civil Rights Movement. Dec. 1

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International Day of People with Disabilities

One billion people live with disabilities worldwide. December 3 is designated by the United Nations as the International Day of People With Disabilities, an annual occasion designated to join together to support people with disability and raise awareness of the importance of creating equal opportunity for people with disabilities in all aspects. Find out more. Dec. 3

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Saint Nicholas Day

St. Nicholas Day is celebrated widely across Europe, where it holds a special place in the hearts and cultures of many countries, from the Netherlands and Belgium, where children eagerly await Sinterklaas, to Germany and Austria with their Nikolaustag traditions of polished boots filled with treats. Want to take part? Let your children leave shoes or stockings out on the eve of St. Nicholas Day ... perhaps St. Nicholas himself will fill them with small gifts or sweets before morning! Dec. 6

Las Posadas

Las Posadas, which translates to "The Inns" in Spanish is a religious festival that is a traditional and important part of the Christmas festivities in Mexico and parts of Latin America and in Hispanic communities in the United States. Las Posadas is often organized by neighborhood committees, with a different host family each night. Visitors, who ask for lodging for Joseph and Mary, bring food, candy, and star-shaped piñatas to celebrate. At each stop, passages of scripture are read and Christmas carols are sung. Dec. 16-24

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The eight-day Jewish celebration, often called the Festival of Lights, is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games, and gifts. We love these amazing sweet potato latkes. Dec. 7-15

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Ugly Sweater Day

Today is the day to break out that absurd holiday sweater and let it shine! It's the day when your fashion faux pas turns into festive fun — the more outrageous and colorful the sweater, the better. Dec. 15

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Winter Solstice

Need to explain the winter solstice to your kids? This is the day that has the shortest period of daylight of the year. In 2023 the winter solstice falls at exactly 10:27 p.m. EST. Dec. 21

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Christmas Day

Merry Christmas! Traditions for Christmas range from religious to secular and include gift exchanges, decorated Christmas trees and light displays, church services, visits with Santa, and meals with family and friends. No matter how you celebrate, may your day be merry and bright. Dec. 25

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This annual celebration was started in the U.S. as a way to honor African heritage in African-American culture. Kwanzaa has seven core principles: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. Talk to your kids about how they incorporate those principles into their lives! Dec. 26-Jan. 1

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New Year's Eve

Happy New Year! Have littles who won't be able to stay up until midnight? Celebrate with your own Noon Year's Eve celebration — they don't need to know it's a few hours early! Try these 7 simple ideas to ring in 2023 at home with your kids! Dec. 31