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Welcome to our blog! Here you'll find our weekly dog and cat contest winners along with the inside scoop on some of our favorite calendars and more. 

The 13th Day of Christmas

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
Your friends and family gave to you:
Twelve Roses Blushing,
Eleven Books a Reading,
Ten Socks a Knitting,
Nine Watches Ticking,
Eight Candles Melting,
Seven DVDs a Playing,
Six Gift Certificates a Spending,
Five Cal-en-daaaars!
Four Blue Pillows,
Three Shining Gems,
Two Little Puppies,
And an iPad in a Shade of Green.

Christmas day, for many families, is a total binge on presents, delicious food, and all-around togetherness. The day after Christmas is a different story. There's a lot of clean-up—a lot of dirty dishes, a lot of wrapping paper to recycle, and maybe even some complicated and technical gift assembly (Barbie Dreamhouse, anyone?). You may even have a new 2015 Page-A-Day calendar to register to access your digital calendar in the new year. If so, check out our brilliant tutorials from Abby Stokes for great tips!

So, start the dishwasher, take the trash out, write your thank you notes... but only if you feel like it! Whatever you decide to do today, don't forget that there's still time to get a 2015 calendar before January 1st for yourself or someone you love. If you're riding high on holiday gift cards after Christmas, make a trip to your local bookstore or online store to pick up your calendar, or check out our shop at pageaday.com to find your perfect calendar at a great price. 

Happy 13th Day of Christmas! Let the celebration continue. 

Greet Loved Ones With Enthusiasm!

You may be running into lots of family and friends tomorrow on Christmas Day! Take advice on this #WoofWednesday, from the new book Really Important Stuff My Dog Has Taught Me, and greet your loved ones with a true enthusiasm. This book is tender, funny, warm, and utterly inspiring. 

If you love dogs, and we're guessing you do, check out the hashtag #DogsKnowBest on Twitter and tap into a world of cute, cool canines and perfectly imperfect pups.  

Greet with Enthusiasm

Check out the book: Really Important Stuff My Dog Has Taught Me.

Pairing an irresistible photograph with just the right sentiment, every page delivers a life lesson that appeals as much to our hearts as our minds.

It reminds us again and again of what’s important, like love: “Be there when others need you.”

Compassion: “Even the smallest act of kindness matters.”

Perseverance: “Keep going until you find your way home.”

A healthy sense of self: “Make it squeak until someone pays attention.”

Living in the present moment: “Scratch where it itches, when it itches.”

And that happiness is a choice: “Leap higher than you have to.”

 

checkEnter your dog in the Page-A-Day® Dog Contest. Vote for this week’s dog contestants.

Which Page-A-Day® dog calendar is right for you?

A Festivus for the Rest of Us

The Festivus for the Rest of Us“Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way. A new holiday was born: a Festivus for the rest of us!”

That speech is the dramatic origin of the non-denominational holiday that takes place on December 23 (that’s today!) according to Frank Costanza, George’s dad on the hit television show Seinfeld.

While the Festivus episode, which aired in 1997, spread word of Festivus across the country, the holiday actually dates back to the 1960s. Dan O’Keefe, a writer for Seinfeld, was inspired to include Festivus in an episode’s script because his dad had made up the holiday three decades earlier.

So what exactly is Festivus? Well, it includes a dinner, an Airing of Grievances in which family and friends basically sit around and tell each other what they did that bothered each other in the past year! Finally, there’s the Feats of Strength, wherein the head of the household can challenge any guest present for Festivus celebrations to a wrestling match. While there aren’t really any culinary or decorative traditions attached to Festivus, the holiday does replace the traditional Christmas tree with a barren aluminum pole.

If you’re just dying to know more about Festivus, Dan O’Keefe actually wrote a book called The Real Festivus. Yes, you can learn all about the holiday’s mysterious origins, its authentic traditions, and real life grievances that have been aired!

If you think you'd like to incorporate Festivus into your annual celebrations, you can order an aluminum pole with a base stand to stick in your corner instead of or beside your tree. No joke! The website festivuspoles.com really does exist, along with dozens of Facebook fan sites, Instagram feeds, and memes for the holiday. The image in this post is from FestivusWeb.com.

We’re guessing most of the people who observe Festivus annually have a pretty good sense of humor—they also might enjoy the 308 Jokes + 57 Puns Page-A-Day calendar, or Uncle John's Bathroom Reader TV Trivia Challenge Page-A-Day calendar. as a present for Festivus (or, for that matter, for Christmas or New Year's)! It's too late to order for Christmas delivery from our site, but you can find our calendars in stock at many, many bookstores.  

So, Happy Festivus... and good luck if you happen to be the unlucky one chosen for the Feats of Strength!

Build Holiday Traditions with Advent Calendars

The Story of Christmas Advent Calendar

Traditions can be the most special part of holiday festivities. If you have children of your own, or nieces and nephews, a day-by-day Advent calendar can be an exciting way to bond over the beautiful stories of the holiday season. 

The Story of Christmas is an innovative Advent calendar, storybook set, and tree-trimming keepsake perfect for families who want to bond over holiday traditions and celebrations. Wonderfully illustrated and brimming with holiday spirit, the calendar features 24 jewel-like miniature board books nestled in a three-paneled, stand-alone backer. Capture the magic of the first Christmas by reading the tiny books in sequence. Relive Gabriel’s visit to Mary (#4), travel with the Three Wise Men (#9) and experience Jesus’s Birth (#24).

The Nutcracker Story Book Set and Advent CalendarThe Nutcracker Storybook Advent calendar is a great gift to spruce up your kids' storytime during the holidays. Enjoy passing the winter days before Christmas by catching up on the timeless story of the Nutcracker and the Mouse King. The front cover of this special Advent calendar opens—the flaps part like stage curtains to reveal 24 full-color illustrated storybooks. These little storybooks are meant to be opened and read, one per day, from December 1 until Christmas Eve.

Take your holiday traditions to the next level with these lovely calendars. We're all wishing you a very Merry Christmas (if you celebrate), and a joyous holiday season.

Meet Alex: Our Page-a-Day® Cat of the Week!

Alex - This week's Page-A-Day Cat Photo Contest Winner

We adopted Alex on Valentine's Day in 2009 from the Berkshire Humane Society in Pittsfield, Massachusetts after suddenly losing our beloved orange tiger cat, Sneaky Pie (adopted from the same shelter eight years earlier). Alex was at the shelter because he had been abandoned in an apartment. The woman at the shelter recommended him because of his dog-like personality--very much like Sneaky. We brought him home and he immediately made himself at home--he wasn't timid or shy at all. He loves playing with his rattle mice and catnip toys. His favorite winter time activity is watching the birds and squirrels at the feeder. He is a never ending source of entertainment for us.
 

Congratulations to Alex, Our Page-a-Day® Cat of the Week!

checkEnter your cat in the Page-A-Day® Cat Contest. Vote for this week’s cat contestants.

Which Page-A-Day® cat calendar is right for you?

Meet Navi: Our Page-A-Day® Dog of the Week!

Navi, Page-A-Day Dog of the Week

Navi is a bundle full of energy and enjoys playing with her older 'sister' Leia, who is a Husky-wolf hybrid. She's also a big lap dog and we love having her as part of our family.
 

Congratulations to Navi, Our Page-A-Day® Dog of the Week!

checkEnter your dog in the Page-A-Day® Dog Contest. Vote for this week’s dog contestants.

Which Page-A-Day® dog calendar is right for you?

National Haiku Poetry Day and the Winter Solstice

Haiku Image Japanese

National Haiku Poetry Day originally occurred every year on December 21, the Winter Solstice. Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry that traditionally celebrates the seasons. As Haiku has become more and more popular with poets across the globe, the subject of the poetry style has changed. Now, famous Haiku poems are written about everything from nature to urban living!

In 2012 the Haiku Foundation changed National Poetry Day to April 17. The change was made to coincide with the National Poetry Month, April and the number 17 represents the total number of syllables in haiku.

Haiku is a non-rhyming verse poem. It consists of 3 lines: the first and last line having 5 syllables, while the middle line consists of 7 syllables. We’ve included some famous Haiku poems for your National Haiku Poetry Day pleasure.

Leave your own Haiku poetry here in the comments.

Consider me
As one who loved poetry
And persimmons.

- Shiki

Winter seclusion -
Listening, that evening,
To the rain in the mountain.

- Issa

On this road
Where nobody else travels
autumn nightfall.

- Basho

Find inspiration for your own haiku poetry every day of the week in the 365 Words a Year Page-A-Day Calendar. Inside the calendar, there is a new word for every day of the week, waiting for you! You can also soak up the wisdom and enlightenment from our Zen Page-A-Day Calendar. 

5 Ways to Feel Zen during the Holidays

Zen ChristmasBetween family members getting into town, party planning, a cooking to-do list that makes your head spin, and all the gift shopping that you still haven't gotten around to, you may feel like you need a vacation—like immediately. How are you supposed to have a Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year when you're a giant ball of stress?!

We don't have all the answers, but we do have 5 tips for keeping your cool this holiday season. Oh, and did we mention we also have some calendars that will help you stay cool, calm, and collected?

  1. Enjoy nature. Get outside for a walk and some fresh air, even if it's cold and snowy.
  2. Make lists. Check them twice. This tip isn't just for Santa, it works for all of us gift-givers and holiday planners.

  3. Meditate. Breathe deeply and exhale all your worries. 

  4. Recite a mantra or chant. Try something calming like, "Life is easy and fun," and "Everything is under control."  

  5. Set the stage for calm. Lower the lights, put on an album of light music or nature sounds, and allow yourself to really relax. 

To achieve calm throughout the new year, try the 2015 Zen Page-A-Day® calendar will help you "zen out" with inspirational quotes, stories, and sutras. Sometimes, all you need is that gentle little reminder that everything is going to be okay! The Keep Calm and Carry On Mini Calendar is another great choice to remind you to stay serene. Hang it where you feel the most stressed this holiday season and remember that holidays don't have to be perfect to be perfectly beautiful.

Wright Brothers Day Trivia

Wright Brothers Airplane112 years ago today, December 17th, Orville and Wilburt Wright set out in their aircraft with their hearts full of hope. It was a gamble—never before had we successfully taken flight, and it was certainly not for lack of trying. Triumphantly, they soared above Kitty Hawk, North Carolina and realized the great dream of flight.

If only they knew then what their accomplishment would herald! Can you imagine a time traveler telling them that this first humble takeoff would lead to airports in every city, over 100,000 flights per day on average, and man setting foot on the moon? We're not sure they would have believed it.

To honor the path they paved on that fateful day in December, Congress declared today Wright Brother's Day in 1963. If you're not observing Wright Brothers Day by flying, take this quiz based on information from the Smithsonian exhibit on the aerial age to see how much you know, so you can get it right on the Wright Brothers!

(This photograph is from Wright-Brothers.org, "Augustus Herring tests the Chanute's "oscilating wing" glider at the Wright brothers camp in Kitty Hawk, NC in 1902.")

Wright Brothers Quiz

1. Where were the Wright Brothers from?

a. Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

b. Asheville, North Carolina

c. Dayton, Ohio

d. Cincinnati, Ohio

2. Before the Wright Brothers took flight. They were businessmen. What was their first line of business?

a. Restaurants

b. Printing

c. Sewing machines

d. Automobiles

3. The Wright Brothers were no one-trick ponies. What was the name of their second business that took flight in the 1890s?

a. Wright Plane Co.

b. Wright Cycle Co.

c. Wright Engine Co.

d. Wright Telegraph Co.

4. How long did the first official flight last?

a. 3 minutes

b. 45 seconds

c. 12 seconds

d. 12.5 seconds

If you enjoyed this quiz, you'll love the 365 Days of Amazing Trivia Page-A-Day® calendar—new fun facts for every day of the year!

 

(Answer Key: 1-c, 2-b, 3-b, 4-c)

Beloved Blessings and Prayers

Lotus FlowerAt Page-A-Day, we're wishing you a very happy holiday season. No matter what your faith, this time of year gives lots of opportunities for reflection, kindness, love, and prayer. Here are a few uplifting blessings and prayers for you and your family this holiday season.

These four blessings and prayers cover a range of sentiments this holiday season. Send them to a friend or write them down and post them to your desk to keep yourself inspired!

Jewish blessing: "For as long as I have breath, You are with me; I will not fear." 

Classic Irish blessing: "May you always have walls for the winds, a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire, laughter to cheer you, those you love near you, and all your heart might desire."

Biblical blessing (I Corinthians 13:13): "And now these three remain, faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love."

Native American blessing: "Give thanks for blessings already on their way."

Find more blessings and prayers every day of the week in the 365 Bible Verses a Year 2015 Page-A-Day Calendar. Inside the calendar, there is a bible verse for every day of the week, waiting for you! You can also soak up the wisdom and enlightenment from our Zen Page-A-Day Calendar

Meet Kaycey: Our Page-A-Day® Dog of the Week!

Kaycey, Page-A-Day Dog of the Week

Kaycey is a seven year old golden retriever. She is happiest when she is receiving tons of affection from her owners and chasing her balls in the backyard. Although she sheds constantly and tries to run away when her feet need to be wiped, she is loved unconditionally by her family. We are very lucky to have her!
 

Congratulations to Kaycey, Our Page-A-Day® Dog of the Week!

checkEnter your dog in the Page-A-Day® Dog Contest. Vote for this week’s dog contestants.

Which Page-A-Day® dog calendar is right for you?

Meet Callie: Our Page-a-Day® Cat of the Week!

Callie - This week's Page-A-Day Cat Photo Contest Winner

Callie is an interesting 3 year old calico who loves playing with pony tails and exploring. She likes to supervise her friends, especially our guinea pigs, Twitch and Macy. Callie likes drinking out of glasses, just like her family. She is a wonderful, loving, unique, crazy cat and that is why we love her!
 

Congratulations to Callie, Our Page-a-Day® Cat of the Week!

checkEnter your cat in the Page-A-Day® Cat Contest. Vote for this week’s cat contestants.

Which Page-A-Day® cat calendar is right for you?

Upcycled Paper Christmas Ornament

Upcycled Paper Craft OrnamentsThe colorful (or black-and-white) pages from your Page-A-Day® calendars are so well-designed that you may want to transform and keep them, even after the calendar year is over. Upcycle those used pages from your calendar and use them to decorate your Christmas tree. Use brightly colored ribbon to dress up the ornament, or use burlap twine for a more trendy look. "Easy Paper Craft Accordion Ornament" inspired by Homemade Gifts Made Easy (our other recycled/upcycled paper craft projects are from the book Paper Made: 101 Exceptional Projects to Make Out of Everyday Paper).

View our other upcycled Page-A-Day paper crafts:

What you need:

  • Pages from last year's Page-A-Day® Calendar
  • Pencil
  • Something circular to trace (e.g. a glass or a cup)
  • Scissors
  • Mini glue dots or double sided tape
  • Stapler

Read full post.

Upcycled Paper Craft Ring Vase

The colorful (or black-and-white) pages from your Page-A-Day® calendars are so well-designed that you may want to transform and keep them, even after the calendar year is over. This "Ring Around the Rosy Vase" is featured in Paper Made: 101 Exceptional Projects to Make Out of Everyday Paper.

One of the best techniques for turning humble materials into something spectacular is through the use of repetition. One rolled strip of a calendar page isn’t so special but dozens, stacked up to cover a simple glass vessel, make it spectacular. This is one of those aha! projects: People won’t be able to tell what this vase is made from at first, but their oohs and ahhs will only increase when they discover the secret!

View our other upcycled Page-A-Day paper crafts:

What you need:

  • Pages from last year's Page-A-Day® Calendar
  • Craft knife and self-healing cutting mat
  • Ruler
  • Round implements of different sizes for rolling (a pencil, thin marker, and wide marker work well)
  • Small brush
  • White glue
  • Decoupage medium
  • Pencil
  • Glass jar (clean peanut butter or jelly jars from the recycling bin work well)
  • Noncorrugated cardboard circle (at least 1" wider than the circumference of the jar)

Read full post.

Upcycled Paper Photo Frame

Upcycled Recycled Paper Craft Photo Frame Project - Page-A-DayThe colorful (or black-and-white) pages from your Page-A-Day® calendars are so well-designed that you may want to keep them, even after the calendar year is over. This "Paper's On a Roll Photo Frame" project is featured in Paper Made: 101 Exceptional Projects to Make Out of Everyday Paper.

View our other upcycled Page-A-Day DIY paper crafts:

What you need:

  • Last year's calendar
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Craft knife and self-healing cutting mat
  • Tacky Glue (we prefer Aleene's Fast Grab Tacky Glue from ilovetocreate.com
  • Noncorrugated cardboard, enough for a 10" and a 6 1/2" square
  • Wood glue

Read full post.

The 115th Annual Christmas Bird Count

The National Audubon Society coordinates the Christmas Bird Count each year during this season. The Christmas Bird Count is a census of birds in the Western Hemisphere, by volunteer birdwatchers. From the Audubon website, "The 115th Christmas Bird Count begins on Sunday, December 14th, 2014, and runs through Monday, January 5th, 2015. The count period runs from December 14 to January 5 every year.  Let the counting begin!" Browse the great photos in the Christmas Bird Count Gallery on the Audubon Society site.

Christmas Bird Count - The Audubon SocietyMore from the Audubon site:

"From December 14 through January 5 tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas take part in an adventure that has become a family tradition among generations. Families and students, birders and scientists, armed with binoculars, bird guides and checklists go out on an annual mission - often before dawn. For over one hundred years, the desire to both make a difference and to experience the beauty of nature has driven dedicated people to leave the comfort of a warm house during the Holiday season.

Each of the citizen scientists who annually braves snow, wind, or rain, to take part in the Christmas Bird Count makes an enormous contribution to conservation. Audubon and other organizations use data collected in this longest-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations - and to help guide conservation action.

From feeder-watchers and field observers to count compilers and regional editors, everyone who takes part in the Christmas Bird Count does it for love of birds and the excitement of friendly competition -- and with the knowledge that their efforts are making a difference for science and bird conservation."

To participate, visit http://birds.audubon.org/christmas-bird-count

December 12th is National Ugly Sweater Day

Are you the proud owner of an ugly sweater? This week is the perfect time to break it out because National Ugly Sweater Day falls on December 12th! 

Some say that the ugly sweater inspiration originates with The Cosby Show, other’s say it’s National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase. Its origins perhaps could be found in Nancy, the sweet librarian at the local library, or your very own fashion-challenged third grade teacher. Either way, many an ugly sweater now haunts the rows of second-hand stores like Goodwill and the Salvation Army.

Once you choose an ugly sweater that you love, or tolerate, the next step is to find an Ugly Christmas Sweater party. If no one you know is hosting one, throw one yourself! 

Here are some of our favorite ugly sweaters from Flickr to inspire you.

From the incredible TheUglySweaterShop.com:

The Ugly Christmas Sweater Shop The Ugly Christmas Sweater Shop

The Ugly Christmas ShopThe Ugly Christmas Sweater Shop

Other fantastic, lesser-known holidays and observance in December we love include Cookie Cutter Week, Saturnalia, National Chocolate-covered Anything Day, National Re-gifting Day, and one of our very favorites, Crossword Puzzle Day!

Welcome to Slothville

Sloths are a source of joy, amusement, and wonder. Did you know that all sloths have three toes—even two-toed sloths? Here are a few more fun facts about sloths for your entertainment! When you're done absorbing these fascinating facts, check out this adorable new video from Lucy Cooke, author of the Hangin' with Sloths calendar. 

They’re furry, they’re unhurried, and they wear a perpetual smile that will bowl you over with charm. From Lucy Cooke, a filmmaker, zoologist, and author of A Little Book of Sloth, Hangin’ with Sloths is a year of pure adorability in full color. Sloths in sleepy little piles. Sloths stretching. Sloths in trees just hanging around. The photographs capture their subjects’ sweet spirits in splendid detail. Captions provide sloth facts and stories about the lives of orphaned baby sloths.

Life in the Slow Lane, Hangin' with Sloths, Slothville  Hangin' with Sloths 2015 Calendar

Philadelphia Chickens Has Gone Platinum!

Certified platinum by the recording industry association of America for sales of over one million copies!

Philadelphia Chickens Book & CD by Sandra Boynton, New York Times Bestseller featuring Meryl Streep, the Bacon Bros, Kevin Kline, Laura Linney, Patti LuPone, Eric Stolz, Scott Bakula, and many more.

Read what The New York Times has to say on the news here.

CELEBRATE THIS PLATINUM MILESTONE... Sandra Boynton's award-winning animated Philadelphia Chickens music video premieres online (with fabulous Kevin Bacon cameos!).

The Perfect Dance Partner. Soft soft plus. Enthusiasm, grace, and a winning personality. She says her name is Phyllis, but you can call her "Phil." 12" seated height.

To print the form below, right-click or option-click on your desktop or laptop computer, and choose "Print" from the menu. 

Philadelphia Chickens Platinum

Festive Holiday Dog Photos

Is your dog excited for the holidays? Share your pet's picture in the comments of this post, or on Facebook and Twitter, or enter our contests

It's hard to escape the holiday spirit this festive time of year... even for our canine best friends. Check out these amazing photos of dogs who are ready to enjoy the cold weather and sniff out what Santa is leaving under the tree.

Coco Chanel Chihuahua Christmas HatKady Holiday Christmas Card 

Marley and Ginger with Christmas Hats

 Holiday Pug from DaPug  Holiday Photo from Da Pug  

Holiday Dogs from Andrea Arden  Holiday dogs from Deb