Many folks are approaching the holidays this year with a certain amount of trepidation. The next few months could be a bit odd — Thanksgiving for two, anyone? — but perhaps the best thing to do is to simply embrace the weirdness. While we may forego some beloved traditions, we can find joy in other, far stranger observances.
To help you in this quest, The Columbian has assembled the following holidays you’ve probably never heard of, plus ways to celebrate each of them in Clark County fashion. This list highlights only holidays occurring in the next nine weeks, but there are many more unusual days worth celebrating (see accompanying list).
Black cats are a common Halloween motif, but did you know that Oct. 27 is Black Cat Day? Look for black cat holiday decor at The Humane Society for Southwest Washington’s Retails Thrift Store at 5000 E. Fourth Plain Blvd. — or go a step further and adopt a black cat from local animal rescue organizations Furry Friends, West Columbia Gorge Humane Society or Second Chance Companions.
All Hallows Eve isn’t the only holiday celebrated on Oct. 31. It’s also Increase Your Psychic Powers Day. If you have psychic powers, you already know what to do to increase them. If you’re starting from scratch, try a deck of tarot cards from Love Potion Magickal Perfumerie. Visit the crystal-bedecked store at 1104 Main St., Suite 100, in downtown Vancouver, or order online at lovepotionstore.indiemade.com; click on the “Divination Tools” tab and you’ll be treated to an array of decks. (If, after reading the cards, you get bad news about the future, remember that Nov. 2 is Plan Your Epitaph Day.)
If you’re not into the supernatural but you’re definitely into the natural, Oct. 31 is also Carve a Pumpkin Day. Clark County has plenty of pumpkins to choose from, and there are local pumpkin patches — Waltons Farms in Fern Prairie, Bi-Zi Farms in Brush Prairie, Joe’s Place Farms in Cascade Park, Vancouver Pumpkin Patch in Proebstel and Pomeroy Farms in Yacolt — that are open through the end of October.
Nov. 17 is Take a Hike Day. The fall might seem like a terrible season for hiking, but many of Clark County’s trails are at their best now. The foliage is vibrant and where trees have already dropped their leaves, you’ll be treated to vistas that are otherwise obscured. Moulton Falls Regional Park at 2771 N.E. Lucia Falls Road, Yacolt, boasts beautiful views of the East Fork Lewis River with two waterfalls and an Instagram-worthy three-story-tall arched bridge. If you’re into steep, strenuous hikes, try the 2-mile trail up to the top of Bell’s Mountain, with a breathtaking panoramic view at the top (if the clouds part long enough for you to see it).
Nov. 19 is Have a Bad Day Day. Stub your toe, stain your shirt, get stuck in traffic and lose your favorite pen. Mess up, make mistakes and cry about it if you want to. Then, to cheer yourself up, get some small-batch ice cream and a slice of pie from Ice Cream Renaissance, 1925 Main St. Vancouver, or place a to-go order at 360-694-3892. If you need something more powerful than ice cream, order a cocktail to go from Amaro’s Table, with locations in downtown Vancouver and Hazel Dell. (You can also save your fancy cocktails for Tie One On Day, Nov. 25.)
Dec. 5 is Bathtub Party Day. Get clean the old-fashioned way: by immersing yourself in warm, bubbly, fragrant water. Lather up with locally made soap from The Soap Chest, 521 N.E. Everett St., Camas. Get Ohm Ghome All Natural Bubble Bath delivered to your door from Gnome Naturals in Salmon Creek. Splash out with Battle Ground-based MoonWinx Bath & Body, offering bath bombs and bath powders featuring a hint of relaxing hemp-extracted CBD oil.
Dec. 6 is Put on Your Own Shoes Day. Don’t let anyone else put on your shoes today, unless you’re 2 years old and don’t understand how shoes work. To celebrate this day with a new pair of shoes to put on, check out Arktana with stores at 415 N.E. Fourth Ave. in Camas and 10706 N.W. Lakeshore Ave., Suite 108, in Felida. Also try b.Divine consignment store, located below Divine Consign at 904 Main St., Vancouver. For vintage shoes, try Most Everything Vintage, 815 Washington St., Vancouver. New items are posted almost daily on the shop’s Facebook and Instagram pages, where if you see something you like, you can order by phone at 360-449-2130.
Dec. 19 is Look for An Evergreen Day. In Clark County, celebrate this day simply by walking outside. You can also plan now to buy your Christmas tree at one of these Clark County locations: Nobles Only U-Cut Christmas Tree Farm, Washougal River Christmas Trees, Thornton’s Treeland, The Tree Wisemans, Farrell Farms, Fischer’s U-Cut Christmas Trees, Glenwood Tree Farms, Hilltop Trees and La Center Farms. Take social distancing to the extreme and venture into the deep woods to cut your own tree; Gifford Pinchot National Forest tree permits are $5.
Dec. 21 is Look on the Bright Side Day. If you need help finding it, Dec. 21 is also Flashlight Day. Clark County boasts several locally owned hardware stores where experts are on hand to help you see the bright side, or at least help you find your way down the basement stairs with a reliable flashlight. If you live in Washougal, try Washougal Hardware, 1822 Main St. If you live in Camas, visit Lutz Hardware, 505 N.E. Fourth Ave. If you’re in Amboy, stop by Amboy Hardware & General Store at 40600 N.E. 221st Ave. Ridgefield Hardware, featuring hardware and gifts, is right downtown at 104 N. Main Ave.