Today is National Popcorn Day

Today is National Popcorn Day

Obviously, the easiest way to celebrate National Popcorn Day would be to eat popcorn right out of the bag. But why settle for easy? Here are plenty of other ways to celebrate that involve either getting messy, creative, fed—or all three.

Experiment with flavors. Popcorn flavors are limitless these days. Why settle for plain old butter when you can have kettle corn, white cheddar, nacho cheese or parmesan? Other flavors you can purchase include barbecue, Cajun, chocolate marshmallow, ranch, and sour cream & onion.

Of course, you can also always create your own flavors; try sprinkling your popcorn with cinnamon and sugar, garlic powder, or your favorite herbs and spices. Add in some nuts or M&Ms, throw in some taco seasoning, or toss it with some salt and vinegar.

Make popcorn balls. Share with coworkers, family, neighbors or your child’s classmates. Or, you know, eat them.

Pop your own popcorn. Instead of getting the microwave variety, use some oil and pop your own. Your children could learn a lot from this—especially a bit of appreciation for how long it took to do years ago!

Add a bit of food coloring. We use green for St. Patrick’s Day; why not add some fall festivity with orange and red?

String some popcorn. Why wait for Christmas? It’s a great fine motor exercise and practice for Christmas decorating. You could even start now for a string large enough to wrap around the entire tree.

Sell popcorn for your school or charity event. It’s generally healthier than candy bars and makes a better Christmas gift than ties and angel candleholders, right?

Join a popcorn club. Companies like Amazing Clubs and Amish Mart offer a flavor of the month popcorn club. These are great gifts for holidays, or you could even have them sent to your own home for a monthly treat. Add in a movie and you’ve got a family date to look forward to with every delivery.

Use popcorn in candy-making, such as with apple popcorn brittle.

Use popcorn to start a diet. With only 50 to 100 calories (unbuttered), it’s a great filling snack that provides a bit of protein, iron, phosphorus and calcium. It has half the calories of half a grapefruit, so if you can’t stand the idea of sucking down the stinging fruit for weight loss, go with popcorn. And if you absolutely need your butter, go for one of the 100-calorie packs available that contain butter.