Holidays – A Change of Holiday Pace
A Note From The Teacher
by Jennifer Cummings, M.Ed.
A Change of Holiday Pace
The arrival of January heralds the passing of one of the busiest holiday seasons of the year. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, people of all faiths, creeds, and colors are celebrating. But, even though most people have had their fill of roast turkey dinners and running out for last minute gifts, there is a way to continue to have fun with holidays all through the year.
Though most of us know the regular schedule of holidays, there are many special days that few people in the United States (if anywhere) know much about at all. It may be interesting for you and your family to take a look at some of the online sources to find out about some new and novel holidays.
Find one that looks interesting? There’s no reason why your family can’t make it a special celebration day and learn something new while having fun! Especially in the deepest winter, is can be lots of fun to plan a special or silly party for a unique event.
Not sure how to get started for 2009? Here is a list of some holidays from the U.S. and around the world that can get you started
January: Australia Day
Do you love kangaroos and want to learn to throw a boomerang? Plan a day of Aussie food and crafts to celebrate a special day the Australian way. Here’s a hint to help your plans: In Australia, it’s summer in January!
February: Chinese New Year
The Chinese culture is thousands of years old, and they have some interesting ideas on how to start the new year off right. Traditional Chinese decorations can be lots of fun to make with kids, and there are tons of recipes for traditional Chinese food. The Chinese zodiac is interesting, too. What animal are you?
March: International Earth Day
With the focus on “being green” getting sharper every day, celebrating the Earth is a fun and important thing to do. Celebrate your connection to the Earth with a special Earth Day picnic. (Too cold in your location? Try an indoor picnic- just as much fun and without the ants.) Make an effort to find all of the ways you family can conserve energy, recycle, and do your part to make the Earth a better place to live. Like arts and crafts? Recycle paper into paper mache to create globes to paint. Have fun!
April: Take Your Daughter to Work Day
Celebrations don’t have to stay at home to involve your family. Consider taking your daughter to your work for a day, so she can see what it is you really do when you’re away from home. Not able to bring your child to work? Consider letting an aunt, uncle, grandparent, or cousin show your daughter around at their jobs.
May: Armed Forces Day
The freedoms we enjoy in the United States are protected by the thousands of men and women who serve bravely in all branches of the military. As a family, think about making “thank you” cards for veterans’ hospitals in your area, make donations for troops overseas, or have a special ceremony that you design at your house to remember all of the people who have helped to keep the country safe.
June: Summer Solstice
The longest daylight day of the year happens in June! What a reason to celebrate! Traditionally seen as the beginning of summer, that day lends itself to lots of family celebrations! Barbecues, family gatherings, tropical theme parties, and stay-up-late celebrations are just a few ideas that your family can enjoy.
July: Hammock Day
Is there anything so great as spending some time in a hammock? What a great way for parents and kids to reconnect for some down time- by swinging in the summer breeze. Read together, watch cloud shapes go by, or just take a nap. There’s no bad way to celebrate Hammock Day.
August: National Marshmallow Toasting Day
With a name like that, we don’t even need to give you ideas for family fun on this day!
September: Constitution Day
Each September the U.S. celebrates Constitution Day to remember one of its most important documents. Few people really know much about this historic piece of writing, though it impacts all of our lives. Take a museum trip, visit the library, or do a patriotic art project. Adults and kids alike can always learn something they did not know before on Constitution Day.
October: United Nations Day
Celebrate countries around the world by learning new recipes to try or learning new words in different languages. Our world truly is becoming more and more connected, and by learning more about different places around the world we can make a difference to all of the people we live with. Try visiting an art museum with art from around the world, or go to a local zoo and see different animals that come from countries far-distant to our own. However you family celebrates, use United Nations Day to expand your awareness of the value of countries around the world.
November: Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)
In Mexico, the Day of the Dead celebrations traditionally honor those relatives and loved ones that have passed away. It is a time to remember them and honor them with special food, decorations, and celebrations. Marigold flowers, decorated sugar skulls, and other items have special significance on that day. Take some time as a family to create your own way to remember loved ones in a happy, joyful way.
December: National Fruitcake Day
Make them, eat them, give them as gifts- is there anything you can’t do with a holiday fruitcake? Find some recipes and try to make your own- see if you can make one that tastes great! If nothing else, you’ll have gifts ready to go for everyone you know!
Yes, there are literally hundreds of different holidays that your family can choose to celebrate in your own special way. Use the Internet, your local library, or any resources you can think of to find new things to try.
Any time you spend time together as a family helps to open your child’s mind to new experiences and gives them a new appreciation for novel ideas. You may find that having unique celebrations is just as fun as the traditional kind! We hope you have fun celebrating and learning about new ideas!
Best wishes for a wonderful year! Happy New Year!
"I believe that families' involvement in their child's education is one of the key ingredients to creating a successful school experience for children. Keeping parents informed about school-related issues helps parents and teachers work together for the best possible outcomes for their children. Learning together makes learning fun - for everyone!" - Jennifer Cummings.
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