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Wright Flyer Aircraft model

On this day, December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright took their first or maiden flight in an aircraft they had designed together. And while it is unknown if this was the first actual flight ever made in history, it was done in the first ever patented aircraft, the Wright Flyer. The brothers went on to make further inventions and additions to aviation technology, leading the way for all future aviators.

History of Wright Brothers’ Day

President Dwight D. Eisenhower is the one responsible for creating this codified holiday. As such, it is commemorated each year and marked on government calendars but is not classified an actual government holiday. President Eisenhower declared on September 24, 1959, that December 17th should forevermore be celebrated, honoring the experiments of the Wright brothers and all others who have contributed to aviation history and technology.

How to Celebrate Wright Brothers’ Day

Wright Brother’s inventions

Since that time, every U. S. President has made an annual proclamation, honoring the Wright brothers and their endeavors in flight as well as inviting all Americans to do the same. Furthermore, Washington D. C. holds the Wright Brothers Dinner each year where the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy is awarded

Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, where that maiden flight was taken also celebrates the day with similar festivities, as does Dayton, Ohio, the brothers’ hometown. Many schools are known are to hold special activities that focus on aviation and its history, some even take field trips to the closest aviation museums. Other institutions or programs hold various luncheons and dinners to honor these pioneers of flight.

Individually, many decide to celebrate in their own way by going to museums that focus on aviation, going to the airport, attending air shows, taking a flight, or even taking flight lessons. It may seem to you that this old looking plane the Wright brothers flew wasn’t all that great, especially compared to what airplanes and crafts that are flown nowadays. However, you have to remember that at the time, there was nothing else like this. This was the cutting edge of technology, a dream of the future at the time.

Can you imagine what aviation would look like today if these two brothers hadn’t created the Wright Flyer and made that flight? While their craft is not the only kind that was manufactured, nor were they the only ones experimenting with such technology, their efforts led the way for inventions and aviation leaders all over the globe. This day is meant to remember and honor those efforts, understanding that actions and discoveries made today will someday be a part of history.

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Christmas card day

Sending festive Christmas cards of season’s greeting is an age-old tradition amongst millions of families worldwide. We make a list and check it twice, ensuring that no one is forgotten or left out. Whether it’s the classic jingles of Christmas past or modern electronically sent messages, we want to make sure they receive it before Christmas Day.

History of Christmas Card Day

However, this unofficial holiday is not celebrated on this day just make sure you get your cards out to the mailbox on time. On December 9, 1843, Sir Henry Cole of England designed the first commercial Christmas Card. It showed a family raising a toast together. It was produced by J. C. Horsley, who went on to produce many more of Cole and other’s holiday cards. From there, a lithograph firm, Prang and Mayer, started creating and selling Christmas cards by the masses. By 1880, they were producing over five million cards a year.

Many of those first cards are now collector’s items and are sold for thousands of dollars at auctions. The British Museum houses Queen Mary’s early 1900s collection of them. Today, Christmas cards are made in millions of designs and themes. Some are more traditional and include the popular “Merry Christmas” messages with an image of jolly old Saint Nicolas. While others may steer in a more religious direction, quoting bible verses or blessings with wise men standing around a holy child in a manger. Still others, for those who may not celebrate Christmas, are sent wishing season’s greetings and best wishes for a new year.

How to Celebrate Christmas Card Day

Happy Holiday Card

Whatever your preference, today is the day to remember your Christmas card list and work on getting them out to your loved ones. It's always nice to be able to make handmade cards if you have the time. Grab your glue stick, markers, and glitter and get to creating. This can be an amazingly fun activity for your children as well. Maybe start a family tradition of making cards.

If you aren’t that crafty or don’t feel you have the time, there are always pre-made cards to send and even e-cards. These are sent electronically and take hardly any time at all. Plus, you don’t have to worry about missing the mailman or not making it to its recipient on time. However, nothing beats the real thing and this day is the perfect time to get those cards ready and in the mail before the last day of mail service arrives.

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Puppy gift for Christmas

Photo Credit : Rhaul V. Alva via Unsplash

One of the most requested Christmas presents among children every year is a new puppy. Pets teach children important lessons and growing up with a loving companion animal can be a great experience for any child. However, as adorable as pets can be, it’s important to consider the long-term requirements of adopting a pet. When Christmas morning has passed and the excitement of the holiday season is over, the everyday care of a pet can be a daunting experience. Here are some things to consider if you’re thinking of getting a pet as a Christmas present.

Can You Afford It?

Adopting a pet doesn’t have to be expensive, but it can be. It’s possible to find someone who’s pet has recently had puppies or kittens, and who’s happy to send them to a good home for free. However, more often, adoption shelters have fees that help to cover the cost of caring for the animals in the shelter and facilitating their adoptions. Adopting a dog from a shelter can run between $100 and $150. Cats tend to be slightly less expensive.

Once you have your new pet at home, there are costs associated with caring for them long term. The Anti-Cruelty Society advises that you should plan to spend about $1,500 in the first year of caring for a dog. This includes vaccines, veterinary appointments, food, bowls, toys, bedding, and miscellaneous supplies. There are lots of hidden costs in bringing a new pet into the home.

Is Your Home Pet-Friendly?

One of the biggest surprises people encounter in adopting a pet is the number of ways a cat or dog finds to eat, chew, scratch, stain, or otherwise damage everyday household items. Nearly everyone who brings home a new dog, for instance, will have to replace a pair of shoes or favorite scarf that the pup decided to sample one day while he was bored.

Dealing with this inevitable learning curve requires patience. Are you prepared to teach your pet their new surroundings, and train them over time in what to do and not to do? Can you deal with a pet that occasionally marks the house, and needs time to be housebroken? These are things to consider before you bring an adorable animal friend home for the holidays.

Do You Have Time for a Pet?

Cats are largely self-sufficient creatures. They don’t need to be walked and they don’t necessarily want to play fetch. Dogs are a different animal. Most breeds require some measure of exercise and they’ll need your help to get it. Can you commit to walking a pet on a regular basis? Will you or your child have energy to play with him at the end of the day? Remember that pets who are socialized properly are happier and healthier and show fewer destructive behaviors. This means that the more exercise your pup gets, the less likely she is to nibble on your favorite pair of shoes.

Of course, adopting a pet can be a wonderful experience at any time of year. The key is simply to think it through and make sure you’re prepared for the responsibility. Though it seems like an especially sweet gesture at Christmas, bringing home a family pet is a big commitment. As long as you approach it thoughtfully, it can also be thoroughly rewarding.

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Thanksgiving Games

Thanksgiving is a fabulous holiday. It’s an excuse to get together with your family and friends to eat, spend time with all that you are thankful for. However, most family Thanksgiving dinners are, well, just that. They are dinners and sometimes a little on the boring side. And for those of us with children, it can seem even more boring. This year, why not make it a little different? Here are some family-friendly activities and games for every age and to put a fun spin on your large gatherings.

Traffic Yam

Supplies: metal spoons, uncooked yams, and painter’ tape (or anything to make a straight line on the floor)

Each player is given a yam and a metal spoon. The yam is placed on the floor on one end of the room. The players must then race to get their yam across the room to your tape line and back to the starting line. The yam can only be moved with the spoon. No hands. Whoever gets across the finish line first wins. Players can play defense as well and push other people’s yams.

The Feather Float

Supplies: Small, light feathers

This one is super simple and can be played individually or on teams. Each player gets a feather. Players must blow their feather in the air, keeping it afloat for as long as possible. You could also give a time limit and the players have to keep their feather in the air for that amount of time.

The Mayflower

Thanksgiving Games

Supplies: small corks, fake flowers, Large under the bed containers, plastic straws (optional)

Fill the under the bed container with water. Attach a fake flower to the corks and give one to every player. To play, each person must place their cork in the water at one end of the container and then blow it to the other end. The first boat or cork to reach the other end wins. Players can use a plastic straw to blow if they would like.

Corn to the Copia

Supplies: empty cornucopia, small fake corn, blindfold

This is a team game with two players on each team. One player stands on one side of the room and gets blindfolded and the empty cornucopia. The other stands about ten or so feet away and has a bucket of the fake corn. The player with the corn must hike the corn like a football to their teammate with the cornucopia. The idea is for the blindfolded player to catch the corn as it is hiked.

Try out a few of these ideas for your Thanksgiving gathering this year to make things a little more fun and encouraging for all. From all of us here at Best Brains, Happy Thanksgiving.

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Make A Gift Day

In case you hadn’t realized, Christmas is almost here. A time spent with family and friends, eating your favorites dishes and exchanging gifts. When it comes to those exchanged gifts, the goal is usually to give something heartfelt, something that will be appreciated, and something that shows the recipient just how much they mean to you. Nothing does this quite like a handmade gift. It's also a great way to maybe save some money or make use of old and/or forgotten items. And then there is always that gift you forgot to get and now have to improvise for.

History of Make A Gift Day

This is an unofficial national holiday, which means that it is pretty much celebrated nationally on the same day every year but no one really knows who came up with the idea or when it came to be and no documentation of it can be found in presidential proclamations or congressional records. However, it makes sense for this holiday to be around this time, as Christmas is just around the corner and the gift-giving season is in full swing.

With that being said, handmade gifts have been a huge success for years, especially before the time of commercialized stores and ready-made products. For hundreds of years, people always made their own gifts, not to mention everything else. If you wanted to give your sister a new dress for Christmas or your brother a new toy, you had to make it yourself. This is a day to bring that back a bit and to get in touch with your creative side, even if you don’t think you have many crafting skills. After all, it’s the thought that counts right?

How to Celebrate

Homemade Gifts

There are so many countless ways to celebrate and enjoy this holiday. The idea is to just get out there and try. It doesn’t matter what you make or create. This is also the perfect opportunity to teach your children about the gift of giving to others and how much a heartfelt, homemade gift can mean. So, get together with your children and make something.

It could be as simple as a handwritten card or letter, a cupcake, or a batch of cookies for their teacher or grandparents. Start small and work your way up. Make a collage using some of their art projects from the past year or a personalized mug with their picture or artwork on it. There are so many options and ideas to choose from and the sky is really the limit. Even if it doesn’t turn out to be the most beautiful creation in the makers’ eyes, the recipient of such a gift will absolutely love it.

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I Love to Write Day

Writing is a huge part of education. During your child’s academic career, they will have written tens of thousands of words. These may be simple answers to everyday questions. They may be poems, short stories, letters, essays, and/or and thesis papers. And for school purposes, most do not like the task of completing them.

However, if you can instill in your child a love of writing or even a mild tolerance, you will be amazed at what they can create. I Love to Write Day is to use this and expand it. While it's not every child’s dream to write for a living, everyone does have dreams they want to see unfold. Many times, writing them down helps to solidify those aspirations and make them come to life.

History of I Love to Write Day

This day was started in 2002 by John Riddle, a non-fiction and self-help, Delaware-based author. John has been writing for over thirty years, with a total of 34 published books in his name. As many authors do, he has a great love of writing and the creativity it creates. Also, like many authors and writing-lovers, John would like others to take part in and learn to enjoy his passion as well.

That is why he created this day. It is a call to action; however, it is not meant to be overwhelming or too audacious. John stated that his goal for this day is to simply get all peoples from all ages and walks of life writing. It can be any length, any genre, and anywhere. Just something that puts your thoughts onto paper or in a computer and gets you writing. Who knows, this could be the start of your New York Times bestseller.

How to Celebrate the Day?

History of I Love to Write Day

Many different organizations including community centers, churches, schools, and even stores celebrate this day and use it to strengthen a child’s skills in writing and putting their thoughts into words.

Celebrating this day for yourself and your children is just as simple as it sounds. Write something. Don’t put limitations on it, such as length, style, or genre. Don’t think too hard about it, just write. Start a journal, write a poem, a letter, or a simple greeting or thank you card for your child’s teacher.

And don’t worry if it doesn’t sound amazing. Everyone has to start somewhere. J.K. Rowling didn’t imagine everything in her Harry Potter series in one writing session. She didn’t submit her work and get immediate approval. And she didn’t become a world-renown writer overnight.

If you or your child has big dreams, they will take time and effort before they may come to light. But the time to start is now, with just a line or two. Get those creative juices flowing. Before you know it, you may just have a masterpiece in your hands.

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Education support Professionals

No, this is not another day to celebrate teachers and all the hard work they do for you or your students. This is a day to honor those who work in or for public schools but whose jobs may be overlooked for the most part. These people make up over 40 percent of most school’s staff.

They are your bus drivers, cafeteria personnel, school nurses, maintenance and janitorial staff, teacher’s aids, and paraprofessionals. This day is made to thank them for the work and support they offer to students, teachers, and parents throughout the school year.

How it Came to Be?

This day takes places every year as part of American Education Week. This week and all of its days were created by the National Education Association or NEA in 1987. That year the NEA Representative Assembly decided there needed to be a way to honor all the contributions of school support staff.

It was originally called “Educational Support Personnel” day. In 2002, the name was changed to “Education Support Professionals” as a way to better represent the people who take on this role in education and show pride for them. Since then, this day has been celebrated as a way to remind us just how important these people are and to show our appreciation of all their efforts.

Many of these education support professionals or ESPs put in very long and taxing hours doing the jobs no one else wants to do and contributing their own personal finances to make their school succeed. Whether it is giving your child a bandage for their scraped knee, making sure they get to the bus safely, serving them food, cleaning up after your child, or adding supplies to the classroom, these people are essential to public and private schools’ daily operations. And it’s time they were rewarded for it.

How to Celebrate ESP Day

Nurse with student

The simplest way to honor your education support professionals is to simply say “thank you.” Let them know they are appreciated and how critical their job and support are to your child’s well-being while at school. Give them a card or gift card. Explain to your child the importance ESPs play in their lives and have them make a card or note to one or more of them. Make them cookies or something you know they will appreciate to let them know you care.

You can also post on social media to support them using #EducationSupportProfessionalsDay. Or write to a state or Federal elected official asking for a proclamation for National ESP Day. Invite your local newspaper, radio station, or news channel to honor and take part in the day.

No matter what line of work you are involved in or what age your children are, you are sure to know a few ESPs who deserve at least a pat on the back or a simple thank you. Think of all the education support professionals you know and show them your support today.

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Train Your Brain Day

This day each year gives us an incredible opportunity. October 13th is Train Your Brain Day. However, every day is full of choices to be made, whether big or small. Those tiny routine actions made such as opening your eyes upon waking up in the morning to life changing decisions like getting married or running for President all start with functions of your brain. You couldn’t do anything without the use of it. And with its power, you can do anything.

This Day’s History

This day was created to draw attention to the fact that your brain is powerful tool, one that has earth-changing potential. It was also established to motivate us to use that tool for the world’s benefit.

With your brain you can not only invent new ideas and innovations, solve world problems, and design some of the most amazing structures on the planet but you can also change the way you feel, the way you think, and the way you live your everyday life.

We also have an opportunity whether we realize it or not to train our brains continuously. We tell it how to react to certain situations, how to read feelings in ourselves and others, and we even tell it what it has the power to do, sometimes putting it in a box.

This day is made for realizing that there is no box too large for the mind. Its potential and capabilities are endless, you alone limit those. You, with your brain, have to power to feel certain ways, think in certain mindsets, and react to others and the world around you. How you do that is completely up to you. It’s a simple choice you can make. If you want to have the best day or life possible, you alone can choose to make decisions and react positively.

How it is Celebrated

Train Your Brain Day is celebrated by making choices to better yourself and your future. That could mean doing some cognitive exercises like crosswords, math problems, or puzzles of various kinds. It could be teaching yourself something new such a new language or enrolling in an art class. Or it could be as unpretentious as waking up with the mindset of succeeding and choosing to not get upset if things don’t go as planned or how you had hoped.

Train your brain to be a positive and empowering tool. Every moment offers you the opportunity to make a positive reaction or a negative one. Let’s choose to make the world better by training our brains to be the best they can be both in simple everyday actions and those earth-moving ones that defy all odds.

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Christopher Columbus

“In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue…” The catchy start to famous poem/song taught to many over the years serves as a reminder of just how renown this holiday is. Columbus Day remembers the day that Christopher Columbus, a famous Italian explorer, arrived in the Americas. This was recorded as being on October 12, 1492. However, the day is celebrated on the second Monday in October of every year.

Columbus Day History

Historically, Christopher Columbus is most portrayed as the first European to arrive in and discover the Americas. However, this is a controversial point for many people. Part of this is due to the fact that evidence suggests that Vikings were actually the first Europeans to explore and try to settle the land. Moreover, there is proof that indigenous peoples had lived there for thousands of years prior to that. This makes it unlikely that Columbus “discovered” the Americas, especially since he is only known to have traveled to a few islands of the Caribbean, never making it to the mainland.

Furthermore, the arrival of Columbus and his countrymen led to the demise of a great many native peoples. This may have been a result of sickness brought with the Europeans as well as direct action taken. Whatever the case, much of the history and culture of these peoples were lost. For this reason, many current day celebrations are held to honor those lost and those that still live on from those indigenous tribes. They seek to bring awareness to the issues that these people struggle with today as well as their history and cultural richness.

How Its Celebrated

This year Columbus Day will be celebrated, for the most part, on October 8th. In some states and local governments, it a public holiday in which most businesses and schools are closed. However, some areas treat it as a normal business day.

Americans do not all celebrate the day in the same way. For some it is a momentous affair, celebrating the day of their country’s discovery. Some towns and cities hold annual festivals, special church services, parades and large events. The Italian-American community, in particular, is known for such celebrations. Large cities such as New York City and San Francisco typically participate in such fan-fare as well.

In Hawaii, the day is known as Discoverer’s Day, however, it is not celebrated as state holiday. Many other states have begun to celebrate is as Native American’s Day or Indigenous People’s Day instead. This is due to the controversial nature of the holiday. In Latin America and some Latino communities, the day is referred to as the DÃa de la Raza or Day of the Race. Yet still others have re-named it or do not celebrate it at all for the same controversial reasons.

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