When is National Fruitcake Day?
Did you make, or receive a fruitcake for Christmas? Just 2 short days after Christmas it’s time to celebrate National Fruitcake Day! This is a holiday that can bring out some pretty strong reactions in people. Fruitcake tends to be a love it or toss it type of treat! If you believe former Tonight Show host Johnny Carson, there is only one fruitcake in the world, and people just keep gifting and re-gifting it to one another! National Fruitcake day is celebrated on December 27th, followed by National Toss Your Fruitcake Day, January 3rd.
History of Fruitcake
Fruitcakes sometimes have a bad reputation. They are re-gifted 30% of the time. However, if you lived in Ancient Egypt, chances are you would be buried with a fruit cake. It was believed a fruitcake was essential for the voyage to the afterlife.
The Ancient Romans were believed to be the first to bake this fruit and seed-laden loaf. Today, if you bake your own, you can make it more enjoyable by using fruits and nuts everyone will enjoy. There is no need to use the artificially colored candied fruit if you don’t want to!
Find out who eats fruitcake with a survey!
Perhaps people actually do eat fruitcake, but just are private about telling others. No one wants to be ridiculed for their choice of holiday treats. See if you can find out how many of your family and friends actually indulge in a bit of fruitcake from time to time by conducting a survey. This is the perfect activity for National Fruitcake Day and only takes a phone call, text, or email! It is fun to see who eats fruitcake! You can also ask if they received fruitcake for Christmas! Having multiple survey questions makes participating in the survey more interesting.
Fruitcake is just as its name implies
Fruitcake is really just like any other quick bread or loaf cake, only with a lot more fruit and nuts added. You make a simple cake batter, stir in the fruits and nuts, and bake until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
The resulting cake is dense and looks like a beautiful mosaic when sliced, with fruits and nuts in every bite. (Tip: Toss the fruits and nuts in flour before mixing them into the batter. This will help keep them evenly distributed throughout the cake during baking.)
Celebrating National Fruitcake Day by MAKING a simple Fruitcake together is our preferred activity! Baking together is always memorable family time. If full-blown fruitcake is not your thing, try the cookie recipe included in the FRUITCAKE FUN Activity pack by Homeschool Holiday. This way you could hole a fruitcake TASTING activity as well!
Some Fruitcake Fun Facts
- Fruitcake is often found in fundraising catalogs
- Most fruitcake you buy is alcohol-free
- Fruitcake is often the topic of quotes, and jokes
- The fruitcake capital of the world is Claxton, Georgia
- Fruitcake has traveled to space and is now on display in the Smithsonian
- Fruitcake Toss Day, January 3rd gives us a way to use up unwanted fruitcake!
January 3rd is Fruitcake Toss Day
Perhaps the “holiday” aspect of Fruitcake Toss Day was invented because so many people do not like fruitcake. The whole point behind Fruitcake Toss Day is to throw your fruitcake.
One of the largest fruitcake tossing events is held each year in Manitou Springs Colorado. If you can’t attend their celebration or one in your area, why not host one of your own with your family, class, or co-op?
There are some great activities you can do to make your toss an exciting event.
I would suggest that if holding an event, you Set up several “stations”
- Tasting Station
- Catapult Station
- Tossing Station
Set up a Fruitcake Tasting Station
The Tasting Station is the perfect companion to a Fruitcake Toss Day event. It’s fun to see people react to their first taste of fruit cake. You may want to have some milk on hand to wash down the fruitcake taste.
The Bugs trying Fruitcake 2010
Catapult Building Station
You can also have a catapult building station. Participants load a bit of fruitcake in their homemade catapult and see who can launch it farthest. Be sure to use equal size pieces (if you want to be very scientific, use a food scale).
Build the world’s easiest catapult with 2 plastic spoons held together back to back by rubber bands. It’s a good idea to have an extra rubber band in case one breaks. (NOTE: this catapult tends to launch things up vs out…but it’s fun!)
You can even use a slingshot if you have one or want to make one of those.
The goal is to launch the fruitcake at a TARGET. Glue the FREE target printable I created for you to a box and place it on a table for the competition. To avoid the target getting ruined quickly you can place it in a page protector. Otherwise, just print several copies to have on hand.
Visit the Homeschool Holiday Shop for the FREE Target.
The Fruitcake Distance Throw
Another great activity is the “traditional” distance throw. Simply cut a chunk of fruitcake, and see how far it goes. You want each participant to have the same size piece (or as close as possible).
Our family did the distance throw. We laid out a measuring tape along the front lawn as a reference for each toss. The “Bugs” had to see where their piece landed and record the results on their data collection sheet.
Lauren launches her fruitcake first. I used the computer to circle it on the picture so it can be seen “flying” through the air.
Megan, ever observant, used what she saw happen with Lauren’s fruitcake to her advantage and tossed next.
Douglas may be small, but his toss was mighty!
There is plenty of math in this holiday!
After you throw your piece:
- Convert the number of feet into inches (1 foot = 12 inches).
- Graph the distance the fruitcake is tossed for each family member. The Homeschool Holiday Fruitcake Fun Bundle includes a graph you can use.
- Throw the pieces several times and calculate the average distance.
(Math refresher if you need it: the average is found by adding up the numbers from each toss and dividing by the number of times you tossed. For example, Toss 1 = 24 inches , Toss 2 = 55 inches , Toss 3 = 17 inches , Toss 4 = 87 inches and Toss 5 = 10 inches . Now find the sum of the numbers: 24 + 55 + 17 + 87 + 10 = 193. The fruitcake was thrown 5 times, so divide by 5 and the average is 38.6 inches. )
Who threw the farthest?
Who threw without breaking their piece?
Best 2 out of 3?
Let younger learners use a calculator – that is a very important skill and not at all cheating!
Whatever you decide, don’t forget to recognize your participants. The Fruitcake Fun Packet includes a set of 5 awards for you to use. The awards included are:
Fruitcake Tossing Champ, Best Average Distance, Throwing Fruitcake the Farthest, Hitting Fruitcake Target, and a blank for your creative idea.
If you are interested in The Fruitcake Fun Activity Pack to help you celebrate National Fruitcake Day- It is available in the Homeschool Holiday Shop
Thank You for Celebrating National Fruitcake Day & Fruitcake Toss Day with Us!
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