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10 reasons to love January

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Each year, we are given the wonderful gift of a new year presented as a blank slate. All of the previous year's mistakes, heartaches and challenges are left behind as we move forward into January, the first month of the year.

The web is filled with resources for finding red letter dates and special events. You can find information about holidays from every country on TimeAndDate.com.

Visit History.com to find historic events from this day in history each day. You can find lots of special days and holidays each month on Apples4TheTeacher.com.

Here are 10 great reasons for kids of all ages to love the month of January. Whether you're a teen, parent or grandparent, there's something here for you.

January starts off with a bang on New Year's Day. People gather in Times Square on New Year's Eve to ring in the New Year. In Philadelphia, the New Year begins with the Mummers Parade, the oldest folk festival in the United States. Many people watch college football games on New Year's Day including the Rose Bowl. There's also the Rose Bowl Parade, which celebrated 125 years on Jan. 1 this year.

January is the month we make New Year's resolutions. Nearly half of all Americans make resolutions each year, but many of us don't follow through. If you haven't made your New Year's resolutions yet, you still have time. New Year's Resolutions Week is celebrated from Jan. 1-7.

January is Get Organized Month. There are sales on plastic totes in all of the big box stores. Spend some time sorting through your stuff this month. Some people use the four boxes or bags system in each room. Sort items into things you use every day, things to pack away and save, things to donate or sell, and things to throw away.

When the weather is cold, nothing is better than a hot bowl of soup. January is National Soup Month. Choose your favorite soup recipe and make a pot of soup today.

If you like cold weather and snow, January is the month for you. Skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing are great activities for a cold January day. Find your nearest snow resort and plan a day trip or build a snowman in your own yard. For the younger set, there are lots of great snow crafts. Check Pinterest to find crafts for all ages.

Many Christians celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany on Jan. 6. The day is also known as Three Kings Day and Dia de los Reyes. This is the day we celebrate the three wise men finding the infant Jesus. In some families, this day is marked with gifts.

The week of Jan. 8-14 is Universal Letter Writing Week. If you haven't written your holiday thank you notes, this is a good week to get it done. A letter in the mail from a friend or relative is a special treat any day.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday is celebrated this year on Jan. 20 although King's actual birthday is Jan. 15. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the most well-known leaders of the civil rights movement.

Catholic Schools Week will be celebrated this year from Jan. 26 to Feb. 1. This week of celebration always begins on the last Sunday in January. As a child who attended Catholic schools, this week is near and dear to my heart.

The month of January goes out with a bang on Jan. 31 as the Chinese New Year is celebrated in many cities across the country. 2014 is the year of the horse so watch for wooden horses in the parades.

January is also filled with many special dates too numerous to include in this list. Stay tuned to Examiner for more information about these days as the month continues.

Celebrate the month of January in your own special way. From New Year's Day to the end of the month, there's something for everyone to love.

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