December~Winter Solstice and More

December. The twelfth month of the year. It’s unbelievable almost a full year has passed since I began this series. Activities, holiday festivities and celebrations fill the month of December – one of the busiest times of the year. The winter solstice occurs on December 22. What else can we learn about this month?

December comes from the Latin word decem, meaning ten as it was the tenth month of the year in the ancient Roman Calendar.

“I heard a bird sing, in the dark of December. A magical thing, and sweet to remember.” Oliver Herford

A few more things about December:

  • Turquoise is the December birthstone
  • Narcissus is the flower
  • December is Universal Human Rights month, National Read a New Book Month, and National Stress Free Family Holiday Month (easier said than done). Nobel prizes are awarded in December.
  • Poinsettia day is December 12 and National Chocolate Day is December 27.
  • We celebrate Christmas Day on December 25.
  • On December 14, 1791, the Bill of Rights passed.
  • The Wright Brothers made their first flight on December 17, 1903
  • On December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed the U.S. Navel base at Pearl Harbor and the United States entered World War II
  • On December 3, 1967 the first heart transplant was completed.
  • Nine states joined the Union during the month of December. Delaware (our first state), Pennsylvania, and New Jersey by ratification in 1788, Indiana in 1816, Mississippi in 1817, Illinois in 1818, Alabama in 1819, Texas (my home state) in 1845, and Iowa in 1846.
  • The December full moon is known as the Full Cold Moon or the Full Long Nights Moon. I think it is one of the most brilliant moons of the year because of its high trajectory across the sky. To quote Clement C. Moore, “The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow gave the luster of midday to objects below.”
  • Famous people born in December include NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers, poet Emily Dickinson, novelist Jane Austen, singer Jimmy Buffett, and actors Denzel Washington, Brad Pitt, and Anthony Hopkins.

I hope you have enjoyed this series about the months of the year. I’ve learned a lot of interesting and fun things while researching them. 2016 is a new year and new beginnings. But for now, “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.”

  • Another great and informative post. Thanks, Joan.

    • I sort of hate to see this series end. Maybe I’ll come up with a new idea for next year!

  • kathunsworth

    December is not one of my favourite’s due to the heat but I do love saying goodbye to an old tired year Joan.

    • We’ve had a weird December – tornadoes, flooding, blizzards in the northwest part of the state. Finally it’s settled into more seasonable temps. Here’s to a bright New Year!