Sunday, January 17, 2010

It's a national official declared proclaimed holiday!

At one newspaper I worked for once upon a few moons ago, I maintained a calendar in the lifestyles section of weird and manufactured holidays. January, for instance, is National Bath Safety Month, National Clean Up Your Computer Month, Oatmeal Month and National Thyroid Awareness Month, among countless other oddities. We have just concluded Cuckoo Dancing Week; next week is Universal Letter Writing Week and National Fresh Squeezed Juice Week. Today is Bald Eagle Appreciation Day, and tomorrow is Thesaurus Day. Who declares these things, I've no idea. Sometimes they're created by greeting card companies or marketing firms, and more often than you'd care to think they are introduced as proclamations that eat up the precious time of councils, legislatures even the Congress.

January, for our purposes here, is also National Hot Tea Month. (For those keeping score at home, June is National Iced Tea Month. When the revolution comes, we're switching them.) Press releases have fluttered out in recent weeks, attempting to draw attention to tea by touting its health benefits. I don't drink tea because it's healthy; that is merely a fabulous bonus. Nor do I really ever wish to discuss in too much detail the wonder of flavonoids or theanine or any of modern society's left-brained interest in our simple, ancient beverage. Some even use the occasion to go citing statistics and prescribing tea as medicine.

What this means to you as a fellow lover of tea is, well, absolutely nothing. But if you must be instructed when to pay attention to an item or product, you could do worse than to troll this list of 31 Ways to Celebrate Hot Tea Month, full of some curious, creative and not-so-health-obsessed suggestions on how to fritter away these precious days of the annual tea holiday (though, sorry, No. 31 is a sales pitch).

Happy Tea-mas! Or Kwan-tea! Or Tea-giving! (Ooh, like that one ...)

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