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Whether they exhibit symptoms of being a grumbler, complainer, fault-finder or nitpicker (or all of the above), a curmudgeon is known to be deeply grumpy and always in a sour mood. No matter how well things are going at the moment, this type of person has the amazing ability to find anything to complain about. 

And this day, Curmudgeons Day, is all about celebrating and paying heed to these crusty and cantankerous old guys!

Curmudgeons Day is one of those days that many people find hard to believe is real. And, of course, it’s not exactly declared as a national holiday by any governments, but that doesn’t make it any less meaningful. Because almost everyone has had a curmudgeon in their life at one point or another.

There are many schools of thought regarding Curmudgeons Day. Some say it’s a holiday where people are supposed to stay home all day and do nothing. Others, though, see it as the one day in the year when anyone and everyone is permitted to be as miserable and grouchy as they like. In fact, many people consider this to be a day when grumpiness should be celebrated!

History of Curmudgeons Day

As it turns out, Curmudgeons Day can be traced back to American entertainer, W.C. Fields, as it is celebrated on the anniversary of his birth, which was January 29, 1880. Born William Claude Dukenfield, his stage name of W.C. Fields is well known for his comic acts where he portrayed antisocial, bad-tempered characters. In addition, Fields was also world-famous for his uncanny ability to juggle, even performing for Queen Victoria of England!

While Curmudgeons Day doesn’t date back quite that far, it still offers an opportunity to give a nod to those disagreeable, ill-humored old men that pretty much everyone knows has a soft heart buried underneath somewhere!

How to Celebrate Curmudgeons Day

There’s no need to worry, because it isn’t completely necessary to be grumpy to celebrate this day because it is usually celebrated tongue-in-cheek. Even those who aren’t feeling too ill-tempered can consider some of these ideas and plans for observing Curmudgeons Day without necessarily being grumpy themselves:

Cheer Up a Curmudgeon

Spread the cheer by finding a curmudgeon and making it a goal to make them laugh. Be prepared with silly jokes and puns. Make some strange faces. Do a little dance or find some other ways that it would be possible for a grumpy sourpuss to chuckle or, at the very least, crack a smile.

Of course, for those who are self-proclaimed curmudgeons, perhaps it’s time to show a little gratefulness and try to enjoy life a little more. Look in the mirror and take a few moments to appreciate life and think about why it isn’t necessarily better to be grumpy. After all, there’s almost always something good that can be found for those who try hard enough!

Watch a Film Featuring a Curmudgeon 

Curmudgeons in real life aren’t necessarily everyone’s favorite person to deal with, especially when they live next door and measure the length of your grass! However, in the movies or on television they tend to make interesting characters that are written into stories quite a bit. 

In celebration of Curmudgeons Day, check out some of the fussbudget-y characters in these shows:

  • Grumpy Old Men (1993). This American comedy features actors Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau as two curmudgeon-y next door neighbors who can’t seem to get along with each other.
  • A Man Called Otto (2022): Tom Hanks and his son, Truman Hanks, both star as Otto (with Truman as a younger version) in this movie that tells the story of a widower who has given up on life.
  • Dennis the Menace (1993). Also starring Walter Matthau (who seems to make a quintessential curmudgeon) as grumpy Mr. Wilson, this one is a take on the comic strip dating back to the 1950s.
  • Up (2009). Sure, this one is an animated character, but Carl Frederickson (voiced by Ed Asner) still embodies the important characteristics of a stubborn curmudgeon who is also lovable and makes viewers root for him throughout the film.

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