Why Your Content Calendar & Stock Image Portfolio Are Missing Out

Ufo over Manhattan

Why Your Content Calendar & Stock Image Portfolio Are Missing Out

aka “Marketing for Obscure Holidays, Part 2”

When the movie, Independence Day was released back in 1996 on the 2nd of July 2 (the same day the action in the film started), we all knew that the release date was in anticipation of the American Independence Day, the 4th of July, and that the title would probably have something to do with humanity’s independence from the threat of aliens, as a tie-in. However, did you also know that the 2nd of July is World UFO Day, in honor of the Roswell UFO incident of 1947? Coincidence? I think not. More like marketing genius. The film became the (then) highest grossing film of all time.


Even in this “always on” world, whether you’re composing a song, writing a futuristic novel, inventing or launching a new product, selling something, or buying anything, timing it all right still matters. And participating in a global economy and information highway stretching across time zones makes it even more challenging to get the timing right.

But the good news is that strong cyclical patterns of time do exist for all of us, and those patterns deeply shape not only our buying behaviors, but also our daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly activities, along with our travel, mood, attitude, and more. These cyclical patterns have such an impact on us that everyone is trying to understand the concept of optimized timing and how to leverage their learnings about it:

- Productivity experts studying how to harness energy boosts,

- Scientists (and Tim Urban) performing life studies,

- Psychologists uncovering mood swings in patients,

- Sales managers priming customers for ideal purchase decisions during seasonal promotions,

- Advertisers and content developers dayparting media to optimize content delivery and conversion rates,

- And most of all: you.

Why you?

Why should you be most concerned with studying timing? You photographers, illustrators, videographers, and stock designers out there are in an extremely unique position. And before we get into how to leverage that unique position for your benefit, let me explain why it’s such a valuable and unique position.

While, of course, we’re all part creators, part consumers, and all participants in some global shared calendar, that’s really not what I meant by you being the most important key to the timing puzzle.

For most of us, our cyclical experiences are extremely reactive. Ordinary consumer citizens of the world are at the whims of pre-programmed waves of dates on the calendar, each with mass produced experiences. On any given holiday or business day, the media we see is pre-designed for an experience that has been optimized for ideal performance according to the subjective popularity of the seller, the public, and sometimes targeted individual opinion.

Stone wall texture

Our Time-Based Experiences Depend On You

But in your case, the truth is that the underlying control of each and every holiday media experience relies on you and your stock image contributions as building blocks. At the foundation of the media—and everyone’s day-to-day experiences based on a media-related calendar—you alone get to be proactive and not wholly reactive. And in some ways, I would argue that you alone also get the chance to be objective instead of subjective. You get to say what is, objectively, a possible building block, and let others determine if it is a keystone, cornerstone, or capstone. Yes, reacting to demand and culture is part of the job. But the buck ultimately stops with you when it comes to supplying imagery for the world—out of which the rest of us can then imagine with, design from, and ultimately experience through our surroundings and the media, for each special day of the year.

Think about it:

- What would Christmas be like without a single stock photo of a Christmas tree available?

- Would we dream of going on holiday to the beach without the Caribbean crystal blue water (despite what the waves at the beach we end up visiting may actually look like)?

- Would our sports holidays be so hyped up without pictures of friends having a good time watching the game at home or at a bar?

And it’s not just about the buck stopping with you. It’s about the opportunity to make a buck, too. So when it comes to the need to understand and apply timing-based principles to your calendar, you have the power and the responsibility to decide how to shape all of our experiences, along with the incentive.


If you’re not already tapping into the market for selling holiday or obscure holiday stock images, what are you missing out on?

Well, according to a 2010 Consumer Nation article, “IBISWorld estimates that Americans spend $228.4 billion on holidays throughout the year.” For a conservative number, I divided that amount by the U.S. population. The population (318.9 million) I found was for 2017, which is undoubtedly higher than back in 2010, and spending probably is as well, even higher on average if you don’t count the people who spend nothing on holidays. The result I found was that each American on average spends $716.21 on just the major 7 holidays throughout the year. And given my larger denominator, I’d guess it’s actually probably closer to ~$1,000+. According to the IBISWorld report, gifts are about half of that spending, followed by food and beverages, and decorations and costumes. Keep in mind, this is not counting the other holidays I’ll get into later, nor does it account for birthdays and vacations, two other big reasons for spending discretionary income on special days of the year. And when you consider discretionary spending, (all necessities aside), this cyclical spending on holidays and special days is a pretty large slice of the pie.

In case you’re curious, here is the order of the 7 major consumer holidays in the U.S. from the most to the least amount of spending, according to various reports I found, (including the Consumer Nation article):

1. Christmas

2. Thanksgiving

3. Valentine’s Day (may be 4)

4. Mother’s Day (may be 3)

5. Easter

6. Father’s Day (may be 7)

7. Halloween (may be 6)

Considering how much certain people I know spend on premium candy (for themselves!), expensive costumes so they don’t reuse them from year to year, and a huge collection of over-the-top decorations for Halloween, not to mention food… if Halloween is only #7 on the list, I wonder just how much higher their overall holiday spending stats are!


In my last post, February is Just Weird: Marketing for Obscure Holidays, Part 1, I explored how strange just one month on the calendar can be, and yet how perfect of sample it is, partly because of the weird way we define what a holiday is.

When we think of timing-based decisions and holidays, we immediately think of the big consumer holidays, religious “holy days,” (some of which we may get off from work for, others which we may not), and maybe bank holidays (which may sometimes work the same way). But any date can be a special day—for sports and entertainment, patriotic, economic, cultural, or even personal reasons—and anyone can invent a holiday. In a way, all holidays are weird and obscure to begin with, most have evolved over time since their origins, and each is celebrated a little differently across the globe. Some holidays on the calendar may seem like bloatware that we just can’t get rid of that comes pre-installed on our smartphone. Others we may be excited for, but others may shun, like geeks celebrating Back to the Future Day. They all mean something different to everybody, some sacred, some secular, and one date may have several holidays overlapping.

Redefine Your “Holiday”

So, while all these different meanings can be confusing, it can also be exciting. Remember, the key role of defining that meaning, the significance of any holiday—or any special day—belongs to you. Looking at the year this way, you can see that a robust, diverse palette full of every color and texture is available to you to paint meaning onto the canvas of everyone’s calendar. You get to define and redefine what makes a holiday a holiday, what makes an ad powerful or a holiday design pop, what makes someone’s day special.

Remember this line from Quantum of Solace?

James Bond: [at a dirty, small motel] What are we doing?

Strawberry Fields: We’re teachers on sabbatical. This fits our cover.

James Bond: No it doesn’t. I’d rather stay at a morgue. Come on.

[They go to a nicer hotel.]

James Bond: [to the hotel receptionist] Hello. We're teachers on sabbatical… and we've just won the lottery!

- Quote from IMDb

You get to define the “cover” of the crummy motel room or the upscale luxurious hotel suite of a holiday in people’s minds. So put on your creative hats, your best gown or tux, and I’ll show you how to tap into the huge value of time-based, targeted, niche holiday marketing by crafting your stock image portfolio to optimize its chances of winning this market’s jackpot. I’ll also give you insightful calendars with all sorts of sporting events, obscure holidays, and special days so you can plan ahead this 2017.

Two red and blue light future sword and text may the fourth be with you eps10


Now that we have a better idea about what we’re missing out on if we haven’t yet tapped the market for holidays and special days, let’s talk about why your content calendar and stock image portfolio are probably missing out and how we can fix that.

1. Start New Traditions

Having two new kids of my own and watching things shift in my grandparents’ generation as they sell their home (which used to be the communal vacation home), I’ve been thinking a lot about how vacation holiday traditions will change, and how they get started in the first place. Every holiday tradition needs a beginning, and every beginning needs a decisive stock image creator to create its story.


Dare to create new traditions like Corona. Now a famous TV commercial, used over and over again, the Corona Extra palm tree Christmas TV spot with a palm tree lighting up was an example of taking a risk to explore a new tradition. While people who just visit the tropics for a Christmas vacation don’t necessarily have the time to hang lights on palm trees, the advertisement makes you feel at home anyway.

At some point, Coca-cola and Cadbury went out on a limb and ended up taking a chunk out of Christmas and Easter respectively. How could you do the same? Is there a way to frame a shot of going to the beach in one way so it looks nostalgic and so that the viewer assumes that the family depicted goes there every year? Could you also frame a shot or scene so that checking out a new condo or time-share seems not only fresh and inviting, but a new tradition? Ugly sweater Christmas parties are an old tradition that has been adopted by a younger crowd and is now catching on again.

2. Explore Iconography

When it comes to ruling holiday stock image libraries, even Santa ain't got nothin' on icons—they rule. Icons and related graphic designs or illustrations are so important when it comes to the holidays because holidays are already so steeped in symbolism, and because of the rise of lists, user interfaces, and navigation icons on the web.

But is it too saturated to stand out? While I can understand this objection, there are still ways to compete. Achieving a more useful mixture of icons in a set is vitally important to getting downloaded and can be a key point of differentiating your portfolio. Photos can in a sense be used for iconography, too. SEO and proper tagging is always important. And finally, there is still a lot of opportunity to not only improve upon what’s out there, but also to be first in a category. I can still guarantee that there are several symbols or entire icon sets for holidays that haven’t been covered yet, especially for obscure holidays. Virtually all the obscure ones could use a makeover, and even several of the sports championships (although they are likely to have their own official logos and icons). Start out with trying the examples below.


- Dress Up Your Pet Day

- April Fool's Day

- May the Fourth Be With You

- Pi Day

- Tau Day

- International Talk Like A Pirate Day

- Be An Angel Day

3. Celebrate Diversity, As Well As The Similarity Amongst Differences

The saying goes, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” This statement can be applied to holidays and your portfolio to go with it. I don’t mean that anyone should stay stagnant and not develop new images, though. Instead, use two simple strategies to get creative:

a) Brainstorm different versions of the same symbol or scene.

This is the “Bubba talking about how many ways to cook shrimp” exercise.


How many different looking Christmas trees can you come up with? Some have branches drooping down, others perking up, others straight triangles. There are ones with ornaments and sashes, others with just a star on top. Some with candles or snow on the branches, some with gifts under them. Some huge and touching the ceiling, some tiny with just one ornament. Of course, there’s also the lit up palm tree that we mentioned.

You can apply the same concept to whole icon sets, skinned with different colors or black and white, matte, shiny, or gradient.

b) Use similar styles or models for different holidays or special events.

Stylizing a variety of different icons in the same way is a highly marketable skill. The cohesion can make a website or campaign seem more integrated. Purely aesthetically, it also enhances the appeal to designers interested in cohesively styled, comprehensive icon sets.


In similar fashion, shooting the same models for a St. Patrick’s Day party and a Halloween party could lend narrative from page to page on a bar’s website.

I’ve interpreted this diversity/similarity concept in two figurative ways. But you can also benefit by leveraging the principles of comparison and contrast to convey more impactful meaning in a multitude of other ways when it comes to this kind or any kind of imagery, and likely add more value to your work.

4. Craft Nostalgia &Traditions, Adapted & Adopted

Holidays, even obscure ones, are weird units of measurement but nevertheless part of how we evaluate our lives and reflect on our year. It makes sense for time-based cycles to foster thoughts of looking back and looking ahead, and for promotions to reflect that time and those memories caught in time capsules.

By combining tactics #1 and #3, you can create imagery for newer traditions and diversify or stylize a photo or icon set by studying one of your winners (or an image lacking in downloads, for that matter) and asking yourself, “How can I modernize or retrogize this?”

A great but not always easy way to convey the strong feeling of nostalgia is to show the passage of time. This can be caught in one image or sometimes before and after. (Depending on the image library guidelines, you may be able to do a before-and-after comparison in one side-by-side image.)


For instance, around Christmas and other holidays, it’s becoming more and more popular to take the same posed family photo over many years. But I don’t think I’ve seen this done in any stock image portfolio before, except for happenstance (only because the same models have just been photographed together for a long time, and other than dated haircuts and clothes, the models don’t look too different before and after).

- Take the same idea as the family growing up idea above but make it more subtle by using props instead of people. Perhaps shoes by the door? Or stockings and picture frames to show a growing, changing family hearth?

- Still life shots in general can lend themselves to easily capture nostalgia—or a more modern holiday feeling, too—and can be compared the same way. (If you don’t want to try to experiment with a side-by-side shot, at least make it incredibly easy for downloaders in your portfolio to understand and snap to their lightboxes.)

5. Think Big, Think Small

Sports holidays are bigger when there is a potential Triple Crown or Grand Slam winner, or when it’s your home team versus your archrivals in the championships. And the grand complexity that is Christmas seems smaller when you see a small child extend a tiny hand for a single snowflake. Can you raise the stakes of the holiday you’re creating imagery for? Or can you simplify it in a delicate, innocent, or purist way?


Think Big Imagery Concepts:

- birthdays with round numbers, bands, ponies, and surprises

- the Christmas or New Year’s Eve or Valentine’s Day or vacation when he proposes

- capturing four generations in one picture, several baby cousins, or family reunion shots

- going all out with Halloween block parties or pub crawls

Think Small Imagery Concepts:

- the kids’ first experiences of some special tradition

- little nuances and details that show narrative or backstory, treating your holiday models as full-blown, well-rounded characters

6. Source Authenticity

Every child knows that if they tug on Santa’s beard and it comes off, then he’s not the real Santa Claus. Infuse your images with authenticity. In a way, authenticity can be as essential an element as classic iconography. Adding authenticity can boost your downloads sometimes marginally, sometimes by leaps and bounds. In any case, incorporating it into your photo, illo, or video can be more challenging than it sounds.

One important thing to keep in mind is just what percentage of the photo is “authentic.” If the key element in question is barely noticeable, easily cropped out, or easily substituted, then weigh it against the challenge of getting the shot.


For instance, suppose you’re choosing a bar for St. Patrick’s Day photos. Authenticity would suggest using an Irish pub. Would designers notice if the beers on tap were that of an English pub (Newcastle, Strongbow, etc.) instead of an Irish pub (Guinness, Smithwick’s, Harp, and company)? Probably. But if these are downplayed or even out of focus, then those elements might not matter as much as other elements lending their authenticity, like snugs, glass, wood on the walls, etc. Then again, if you’re just focusing on the models, any dive bar or sports bar might do the trick. You might lose authenticity though, if you use a basement bar of someone’s home.

Another example that should come to everyone’s mind almost immediately is the authenticity or sheer tackiness of Halloween costumes. If the client is selling Halloween costumes, they may actually want photos that look a little tacky since they are obviously costumes. But if the client is a bar promoting a happy hour event or a cosplay site, then the costumes need to look legit.

7. Update Imagery Technology

I was recently looking for 3D printing icons and a little disappointed by the scarcity of selections. What does this have to do with holidays? Nothing really. Except you never know when technology will impact a holiday tradition. Maybe one day we’ll all 3d print our Christmas presents, play video games of the teams in the Super Bowl beforehand or during, and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in live 360 degree virtual or augmented reality. We can already email St. Nick and “track” his sleigh via different websites.


When it comes to the more obscure holidays, imagery showing technology may come in handy. It’s also a proving grounds to test if technological symbols can be applied to other major holidays.

- Try incorporating mobile application elements and iconography for people following or live-tweeting major sporting events and championships.

- TV and Hollywood have carved out a place in Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, just for starters. Play around with illustrations and icons that convey the most classic staples to watch for each season.

Some holidays lend themselves more than others to needing technological imagery upgrades:

- Extraterrestrial Abductions Day, World UFO Day, Star Wars Day (spaceships etc.)

- World Storytelling Day (could that book be a tablet e-reader?)

- World Teacher’s Day (could that blackboard be a whiteboard?)

- Earth Day (may promote electric vehicles)

- Video Games Day (is that a Sega Genesis icon?)

- Back To School Shopping Sales (pencils or laptops?)

- Be An Angel Day (apply it to venture capitalist angel investors)

- Internet Day (there is more than the blue network ball and the RSS / Wifi symbol to be had)

- Back to the Future Day (self-explanatory)

8. Remember, Anything Cyclical Can Be Special

Why not give other special days the holiday treatment? Consumers are still spending, and clients are still advertising for consumers to buy.


- Birthdays: While there is a lot of competition, 3 ideas immediately come to mind:

a) Shoot a series of birthday parties with groups of kids or adults at different age groups.

b) Illustrate a comprehensive birthday icon set for each of those different age groups.

c) Write copy and create word art for a bunch of often-used lines in a birthday card. People can just download this and one of your illustrations and be done with card shopping for life. That’s about $3-6 savings on cards per birthday!

- Parties and other reasons to get together and celebrate: Photograph the same groups of people at a bar, outside a house on a deck or by a pool, on the couch, at the dinner table, exchanging gifts, at church, at a birthday, in a stadium or in bleachers. Each of these events could be holiday-like traditions. Tip: Validate the group with one or two shoots and test against a different group. Then see how the downloads do before you commit to shooting all of the scenes with one group or the other.

- Obscure Holidays and Special Days: Promote the lesser known holidays shown in the calendar section below by including elements of notable historical figures, nature, food, math, and “awareness” in your works. People might love wearing their Pi Day tee shirt every March 14th or drive around with an Earth Day bumper sticker all year long.

9. Study Business Promotions & Sales Cycles

If enough businesses would run a promotion for it, you could create stock imagery for it. Is the end of the month sales quota a holiday? No, but you never know when someone will establish “Buy a New Car Day” as the Tuesday after Cyber Monday. (I would probably let them invent it first, but you get the idea.) Businesses basically have the following tactics at their disposal when it comes to crafting marketing strategy around special days or holidays, and studying them could give you a viral stock image idea:

a) Strategize Against the Competition. Businesses check the competition’s calendar before marketing product launches and movie releases and decide, like Hamlet, “To compete on that day, or not compete?” Conventions and awards events, especially for the same industry, are similar in this regard. One example of this tactic would be if Walmart started doing a sale on the same day as Amazon’s Prime Day, or if they did a similar sale on a different date, like when Daylight Savings Time ends and we all fall back. They could call that “Rollback Day” since we roll back the clocks. Could Pi Day compete with Pie Day, or Tau Day? Could a semi-annual sale get a similar or opposite look in December vs. July?

b) Invent Their Own Holiday. Amazon unfurled Prime Day last year. Wellcat has created many copyrighted holidays. Inventing a holiday and creating awareness of it are tough to tackle. Given that image creators have no way to plan for this, there is little to be said for this tactic other than to be aware of new and obscure holidays, and create as they come.

c) Piggyback, Co-Op, or Snowball. If a relevant holiday already exists, chances are there are similar companies joining in on the concept (piggybacking) or complementary companies working in cooperation with the more relevant companies in charge (think: bar hosting events with beer brand sponsors for drinking holidays). Certain holidays have reached such a saturation point that the days of promotions spillover into adjacent days. This is what I’ve dubbed the snowball effect, in part because it has clumped all the holidays from Thanksgiving (including Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday) until the religious December holidays into one massive winter holiday season. It’s also been applied to Halloween (Devil’s Night, All Saints, and All Souls, along with Samhain) and Valentine’s Day (see Part 1).

Anticipating co-op partners or expanding on the core concepts of a holiday may help prep your portfolio. Consider the following holidays and how their existing or potential sponsors shape the meaning of the holiday:

- Prime Day: Invented (and probably copyrighted) by Amazon, other sponsors could in theory be math nerds, Hasbro with Optimus Prime from its Transformers property, or even gyms, who encourage people to be in “prime” condition.

- International Talk Like a Pirate Day: Just imagine Captain Morgan and Cap’n Crunch on the same product label—with your stock image.

- Be An Angel Day: I can see this holiday really taking off in the next couple of years. Philanthropic causes, angel investors for startups, Victoria's Secret angels, angel-related TV show marathons, and websites or brands promoting random acts of kindness could all benefit from promoting on this day.

10. Create With Originality

It may be tough, but it is still possible to take the road less traveled by instead of the hard-beaten highways. Originality is not dead, despite popular sentiment, even though stealing and or combining ideas can be a big part of being original. At least some sheer originality should be a part of everyone’s portfolio, when you think about the following situation that occurs with time-based promotions:

Designer scours the stock image site searching for the perfect, classic, epitome item for the holiday promotion. They add that perfect thing, along with many runners up, to their lightbox. The next year, their boss comes and says, “Let’s do something totally different for the same holiday.”

What happens to all those runners up that had bet on doing the same popular thing as the image that won? Number 2 doesn’t get picked! Because it’s back to the drawing board for the designer who is now searching for that totally different, fresh, and original concept.


If you’re having trouble training your creative sense of originality, review the ideas above and then try these example exercises:

- Study what the most popular 5-10 images for a keyword search are missing. Emphasize that, or try applying that missing element to your work.

- Try doodling or “right braining” incomplete doodles and recombining them as described in this brainstorming video.

- Ask around. Collaboration is a great source of insight, observation, and inspiration.

- Experience the event or holiday and consider what symbols seemed powerful but overlooked. Everything is clearer in hindsight.

The Best Time Is Now…

…to get started creating holiday, special day, and seasonal promotion-based stock imagery. Apply these 10 concepts to your portfolio and take a look at the Sports Championships and Obscure Holiday calendars below for even more ideas.

Calendar appointment


Family and friends come over. Nothing else gets done. Lots of food and drink. Nearly religious ties to teams and players. I’m not sure what makes sports championship dates any different from holidays.


College Football Bowls

Dates vary a little. Typically these games are played over the New Year’s holiday, between 12/28 and 01/02.

Orange Bowl

Fiesta Bowl

Peach Bowl

Rose Bowl

Sugar Bowl

Cotton Bowl

Professional (NFL) Football Bowls

Pro Bowl 01/29

Super Bowl 02/05


March Madness (College Basketball - The 2017 Men's NCAA March Madness Tournament Bracket matchups will be announced on Sunday, 03/12)

NBA Finals – 06/01-18


Men’s Major Golf Championships “The Majors” (Grand Slam)

Masters Tournament 04/06-09

U.S. Open 06/15-18 (ends on Father’s Day)

The Open Championship “British Open” 07/16-23

PGA Championship 08/07-13

Ryder Cup - every 2 years (2018: 09/25-30)

Presidents Cup - every 2 years (2017: 09/26-10/01)

Horseback Racing

U.S. Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing:

Kentucky Derby 05/06

Preakness 05/20

Belmont Stakes 06/08-10

Automobile Racing

Triple Crown of Motorsport:

Formula 1 Cars: Monaco Grand Prix 05/25-28

Indy Cars: Indianapolis 500 05/28

Sports Cars: 24 Hours of Le Mans 06/17-18

Ice Hockey

Stanley Cup (NHL) (mid-June)


FIFA World Cup (06/14-07/15, 2018, in Russia)


MLB World Series 12/10-14.


Grand Slam Tournaments:

Australian Open (01/16-29)

French Open (05/22-06/11)

Wimbledon (07/03-16)

US Open (08/28-09/10)


In the context that all holidays are a little obscure, I have mixed in the really obscure holidays with the popular ones.

01/01 New Year’s Day

01/06 Feast of the Epiphany

01/14 Dress Up Your Pet Day

01/16 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

01/19 National Popcorn Day

01/20 National Cheese Lover Day

01/21 Squirrel Appreciation Day (ADHD Awareness is in October)

01/23 National Pie Day (not to be confused with Pi Day)

01/28 Chinese New Year (Date varies.) 2017 is the year of the Rooster

01/30 Croissant Day

02/01 Brigid’s Day; Imbolc; Work Naked Day

02/02 Groundhog Day

02/03 The Day The Music Died

02/04 Thank a Mailman Day

02/05 Super Bowl

02/08 Kite Flying Day

02/12 Grammys

02/12 Paul Bunyan Day

02/13-14 The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (on the second Monday)

02/14 Valentine’s Day

02/15 Singles Awareness Day

02/16 Do a Grouch a Favor Day

02/17 Random Acts of Kindness Day

02/20 President’s Day

02/26 Oscar Night: The Academy Awards

02/28 Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday; Carnival

02/29 Leap Year Day

03/01 Ash Wednesday

03/11 Daylight Savings - Spring Forward Night Technically 2:00 AM on Sunday, 03/12

03/14 Pi Day

03/15 Ides of March; Everything You Think is Wrong Day

03/16 Everything You Do Is Right Day

03/17 Saint Patrick’s Day

03/20 Extraterrestrial Abductions Day; World Storytelling Day (on the spring equinox)

03/20-04/16 National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC

04/01 April Fool’s Day

04/10 Siblings Day

04/16 Easter

04/18 Tax Day (USA)

04/20 Cannabis Day (Also Hitler’s birthday—why is that a thing?)

04/22 Earth Day

04/23 Talk Like Shakespeare Day

04/25 Anzac Day

04/27 Take Your Daughters & Sons To Work Day

04/28 Arbor Day (last Friday of April)

05/01 May Day; Lei Day

05/04 Star Wars Day: “May the Fourth Be With You”

05/05 Cinco de Mayo; Star Wars follow up day: “Revenge of the Fifth.” (Cinco de Mayo is NOT the celebration of Mexican Independence which is celebrated on September 16th.)

05/14 Dance Like a Chicken Day

05/20 Armed Forces Day (3rd Saturday)

05/27-06-25 Ramadan (Dates vary.)

05/29 Memorial Day (last Monday in May)

06/02 National Donut Day

06/06 D-Day

06/14 Flag Day

06/16 Bloomsday

06/28 Tau Day (2 pi)

07/02 World UFO Day (date of Roswell incident in 1947)

07/04 Independence Day (USA)

07/08 Video Games Day

07/11 Seven Eleven Day (slurpees!)

07/12 Prime Day (first observed last year 2016, may move, may not)

07/14 International Nude Day; Bastille Day

07/17 National Ice Cream Day

08/?? Back To School Shopping Sales

08/14 VJ Day (Victory in Japan, end of WWII)

08/22 Be An Angel Day

08/29/1997 Judgment Day (from the Terminator 2 movie)

09/04 Labor Day (first Monday of September)

09/13 Fortune Cookie Day

09/19 International Talk Like a Pirate Day

09/20-22 Rosh Hashanah (Dates vary.)

09/21 World Gratitude Day; International Day of Peace

09/22 Hobbit Day Bilbo’s Birthday (LOTR/The Hobbit), Oceanic Flight 815 Crashes (Lost)

09/23 Oktoberfest begins in Germany (But it’s September!)

09/26 Johnny Appleseed Day

09/29 National Coffee Day

09/29-30 Yom Kippur (Dates vary.)

10/03 Mean Girls Day

10/05 World Teacher’s Day

10/06 Mad Hatter Day (the Mad Hatter had a card with “10/6” stuck in his hat, which equates to 1 & 2/3, in C.S. Lewis’ Alice in Wonderland)

10/07 World Smile Day

10/09 Leif Erikson Day (This year, it happens to coincide with Columbus Day, which is always the 2nd Monday in October. Weird, huh?)

10/21/2015 Back to the Future Day (This date celebrates BTTF 2’s “the then-future” 10/21/2015); Other BTTF date nods: 10/26/1985 BTTF “present.” The farthest the characters go into the “real future was in BTTF 3: 10/27/1985. BTTF 2 shows us 11/12/1955 “the past,” while BTTF 3 shows us the “wild west past” 09/02/1885.)

10/29 Internet Day

11/04 Daylight Savings - Fall Back Technically 2:00 AM on Sunday, 11/05

11/05 Guy Fawkes & the Gunpowder Plot Night (V for Vendetta, “Remember, remember the Fifth of November.”)

11/11 Veterans Day; Single’s Day (China)

11/23 Fibonacci Day; Thanksgiving (as the 4th Thursday in November), followed by Black Friday, Small Business Saturday (local stores), and Cyber Monday

12/05 Day of the Ninja

12/06 Feast of Saint Nicholas

12/12-20 Hanukkah (Dates vary.)

12/16 National Chocolate Covered Anything Day

12/19 Ugly Sweater Day (Yes, it’s a real holiday.)

12/23 Festivus (“for the rest of us”) Seinfeld fan holiday

12/25 Christmas Day

12/26 Boxing Day; St. Stephen’s Day

12/26-01/01 Kwanzaa


I hope that you will find the lessons and calendars in this post as helpful, handy resources. But I’m sure I’m not the only one with holiday or promotional advice. Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below. Thanks for reading, and happy Stock Image Creation Day! (I should copyright that...)

Photo credits: Flynt, Fotoschab, Martin951martin, Philcold.

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May 06, 2019


Wow, SO much to think about ... And how to move forward.

October 31, 2018


thank you ! very useful blog.

September 13, 2018


Good blog! Thank you!

March 07, 2017


Thank you!!!

March 07, 2017


Very useful and helpful. Thank you!

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