National Men Make Dinner Day

National Men Make Dinner Day isn’t for the average man who makes dinner for his family on a regular or semi-regular basis. Instead, it’s a holiday designed to encourage men who have never stepped foot in the kitchen to roll up their sleeves and cook for their families.

That doesn’t mean he should fire up the BBQ—because that’s definitely against the rules. And yes, there are a bunch of rules for this holiday, and men should take note of these rules when they observe this day on the first Thursday in November.

The History of National Men Make Dinner Day

This holiday was created by Sandy Sharkey in 2001 and was announced on her website On her website, she lists several rules and no-nos that give men a roadmap as to how they should observe the day.

The “Rules” of National Men Make Dinner Day

Although most holidays have recommendations for observing them, few holidays actually have a list of rules that participants are supposed to follow. This one does, however. This holiday has twelve rules that men are supposed to follow to properly observe this holiday, as well as a list of the things that the men are supposed to avoid serving on this holiday.

The Rules:

  • This holiday is celebrated on the first Thursday of every November.
  • Men must agree to participate in the day without coercion or the promise of a reward.
  • The man must choose a published recipe by himself, and it can’t be from his partner’s cookbooks.
  • The main meal must be composed of at least four ingredients and require more than just a fork to cook.
  • The man has to shop for all the ingredients needed.
  • The man must organize all the ingredients on the counter without his partner’s help.
  • The man can listen to music while cooking but must be at least 30 feet away from the TV remote.
  • The man must follow the recipe carefully.
  • The man must clean as he cooks.
  • The man has to set the table, serve the beverages, and light the candles.
  • The man has to serve their spouse and other family members.
  • The man has to clean up after dinner and return to the table to receive feedback on his cooking performance. At this point, the TV remote is returned to him.

The No-Nos

There are a few things that the man shouldn’t do while he is observing this holiday. Below are some of the things that shouldn’t be a part of any National Men Make Dinner Day—at least according to Sandy Sharkey.

Celebrating National Men Make Dinner Day

Celebrating National Men Make Dinner Day is an easy day to celebrate. It only requires men to make dinner for the day (and follow the prescribed rules), while their spouse enjoys their meal. Of course, participants can also post the results of the holiday by taking pictures of the prepared meal and posting them on social media sites with the hashtag #NationalMenMakeDinnerDay.

When is it?
This year (2024)
November 7 Thursday
Next year (2025)
November 6 Thursday
Last year (2023)
November 2 Thursday
Activity & Action, Food & Drinks