American Family Day
This day has its beginnings in a one-year proclamation, which was signed by then-Governor of Arizona Raúl Héctor Castro. This proclamation declared August 7 as American Family Day. Many sources credit Arizona resident John Makkai as the force behind this legislation, although not much more is known about how this happened. The year after the proclamation, the new Governor Bruce Babbitt signed this day into law as an official Arizona holiday. This makes American Family Day the 14th state-recognized holiday in Arizona. Burgeoning interest spread this holiday to North Carolina, then Georgia, and, now, all of America celebrates this day each year.
I like this one. A lot. Why? Because I really love my family and I don’t think there is ever a bad time or a day we shouldn’t be celebrating the people we call ‘ours’. But since there’s a special day for it, I want to take a few minutes to give you some ideas on how you can make this year’s American Family Day a little more special.
Families who are near
If you are fortunate enough to have your kids and grandkids in close proximity, don’t take this blessing for granted. Enjoy it. Take advantage of it (in a good way). Don’t ignore the fact that you have the opportunity to make memories on a regular basis. And just so you know, making memories on a regular basis is not a bad thing and it doesn’t diminish from their specialness.
- If you don’t already, use this year’s family day to establish a monthly time to share a meal together, visit, play games, or do something special together.
- Take the grandkids shopping for a special back-to-school outfit or two, and/or some school supplies.
- Gather your family together for a summer fun time of family olympics.
- Invite all the girls in the family over for a cooking lesson on how to prepare your family’s traditional recipes.
- Guys, take a overnight camping, fishing, and/or canoe trip.
- Host an old-fashioned box supper and family talent show. Make it the first annual event.
Families who are far away
I have family members who are far away, too, so I know the challenges that come with staying connected. But I also know those challenges can be kicked to the curb when you take the time and make the effort to do so.
- Staring this month, write a letter or note to each grandchild and send it in the actual mail. Kids LOVE getting mail. And be sure to encourage them to write back.
- Make weekly or monthly phone calls and video chats to stay connected. This is important for grandparents with toddlers and small children. Seeing your face and talking to you on a regular basis makes actual visits easier and more comfortable. They already know you and trust you, so every day together can be spent making memories instead of learning to know and trust you.
- Send school supplies or a new outfit in the mail.
- Share pictures back and forth. Include them in your life and they will be more inclined to include you in theirs.
- Write down stories about your children when they were young. Send them to your grandkids or put them in a notebook give to them later.
- Read stories online (zoom or make a youtube video) so your grandkids can enjoy a bedtime story with you.
- If you don’t already have them, buy a child’s favorite boardgames and send them one, too. Set up a time to video chat and play the game together—you on your board and them on theirs.
America Family Day is as good a time as any to take the initiative to let your people know how much you love and care about them, and that age is only a number—that you don’t have to be the same age when it comes to sharing life and interests.
Guest post By Darla Noble
The views expressed by the author may not reflect the views of Age Safe America, LLC. The content here should not be taken as medical, legal or financial advice. The content here is for informational purposes only, and because each person is so unique, please consult your own healthcare, legal or financial professional with any questions