Humbug Day Date in the current year: December 21, 2024

Humbug Day Humbug Day is observed annually on December 21. Contrary to a popular misconception, it is not dedicated to hating Christmas; it is a day for you to embrace your inner Scrooge or Grinch and let out all your frustrations before the start of Christmas festivities.

In its original sense, the word humbug means someone or something who behaves in a dishonest or deceptive way. When referring to a person, a humbug usually means an impostor or fraud. The first recorded uses of the word dates back to the 1750s. Over time, however, it has come to be associated with the dislike for Christmas thanks to Charles Dickens’s novella A Christmas Carol, first published in 1843.

The novella recounts the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a stingy curmudgeonly old man who is visited by the ghost of his former business partner and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. This experience changes him into a nicer, kinder, and more generous person. Scrooge’s exclamation “Humbug” or “Bah! Humbug”, referring to Christmas as a fraud, appeared frequently in the book and has entered into popular use as a retort to anything overly festive or sentimental.

Humbug Day is one of many fun holidays created by American actor Thomas Roy and his wife Ruth, the founders of Wellcat Holidays. The idea behind the holiday is that it’s normal to get frustrated while preparing for Christmas because the end of the year is a hectic time for most people, and it’s okay to want to let it all out. Humbug Day is the day when you can let out your frustrations and unwind so that you don’t act like Scrooge or Grinch on Christmas Day, sucking the joy out of the holiday for everyone around you.

On Humbug Day, everyone is allowed to say exactly twelve humbugs to express their frustration with the pressures of the holiday season, such as gift shopping and wrapping, event planning, cookie baking, and other preparations, as well as with the general stress that comes with this time of the year. Venting of all that stress should help you enjoy the holidays to the fullest.

Another way to observe Humbug Day is to take a break from holiday preparations and re-read Dicken’s famous novella or watch one of its many adaptations. A Christmas Carol has been adapted for screen countless times since 1901, so we’ll limit our list to just a few of its adaptations and retellings:

  • Scrooge (1970): a British musical film starring Albert Finney as Ebenezer Scrooge.
  • A Christmas Carol (1984): a British-American made-for-television film starring George C. Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge.
  • Scrooged (1988): an American fantasy comedy film starring Bill Murray as Frank Cross, a modern-day version of Ebenezer Scrooge.
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992): an American musical film starring Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge and featuring the Muppets.
  • An All Dogs Christmas Carol (1998): an American animated musical television special, the final installment in the All Dogs Go to Heaven franchise.
  • A Christmas Carol (2004): an American musical television film starring Kelsey Grammer as Ebenezer Scrooge.
  • Disney’s A Christmas Carol (2009): an American animated film starring the voice of Jim Carrey as Ebenezer Scrooge.
  • A Christmas Carol (2019): a British dark fantasy miniseries starring Guy Pearce as Ebenezer Scrooge.
  • Scrooge: A Christmas Carol (2022): an American animated remake of the 1970 film Scrooge, starring the voice of Luke Evans as Ebenezer Scrooge.

And don’t forget to spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtag #HumbugDay.

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Unofficial Holidays



Humbug Day, unofficial holidays, fun holidays, observances in the US, A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge, Bah Humbug