It's almost time for the last school bell to sound, waving goodbye to teachers and students and tests and classrooms for yet another year. That means May is here with flowers and fireflies, memorials and mothers, family vacations and fresh-picked vegetables.
Has your family been on a firefly chase yet? Have you planned a getaway that involves theme parks or crashing waves? Wherever your plans take you this month, make sure to pencil in much family activity on the busy calendar of May. Try some of the following zany holiday celebrations, or create unique family ones to enjoy, and make it a memorable May!
May Day - The first day of May is celebrated in many Northern Hemisphere countries as the beginning of a farmable season. In some countries, baskets of flowers are left on neighbors' doorsteps, and some festivities include the opportunity to dance around a maypole, winding and wrapping beautifully colored ribbons around the tall pole.
For a fun craft, make a maypole to decorate the table for the month. Use an empty paper-towel roll for the pole. Push one end into a small mound of clay or dough for a base. Glue construction-paper flower cutouts on the pole or use flower stickers. Then glue strips of ribbon or crepe paper to the inside top of the paper-towel roll, alternating colors as you glue. Use strips about 3 inches longer than the roll.
You can add to the table's centerpiece by placing Lego characters or small, plastic toy children around the pole, as if they are holding onto the ribbons. Maypole dance videos abound on YouTube; watch one together as a family to welcome the month.
Limerick Day - Tap into your creative muses and try your hand at limerick-writing. Limericks are five-lined poems with a very distinct pattern. Lines 1, 2 and 5 have the same rhyming end sound; lines 3 and 4 end with a rhyming word. Lines 1, 2 and 5 contain eight syllables, and lines 3 and 4 contain five. Each limerick has a sing-song kind of rhythm. Oh, and they're usually ridiculously silly.
Here's an example:
"I once knew a cat named Jesse.
She kept herself clean with no fleas.
She liked to chase mice
And catch them, how nice,
Until she brought one to give me."
Go ahead - try it! See if you can create a limerick for everyone in the family.
National Hoagie Day - Shop together and purchase hoagie buns, deli meat and sliced cheese, sandwich veggies and your favorite condiments and dressings. Then prepare a sandwich bar at home for lunch - and be sure to serve with pickles, because National Pickle Week is also celebrated in May.
Asparagus Day - When shopping for sandwich day, stroll slowly through the produce aisle and admire the fresh selections. One day this month, have a veggie challenge. Have each person jot down a vegetable that begins with each letter of the alphabet, from asparagus to zucchini. Who can think of the most? Try a new asparagus recipe to continue the celebration, and see how many veggies from the lists you can add to the menu this month.
Orange Juice Day - Wake up early enough one morning to watch the sun rise. Pour a tall glass of orange juice first, then sit on the porch or a blanket in the grass and watch the beautiful display of colors on the sky's canvas.
To continue the celebration, make a pitcher of OJ Punch. Mostly thaw a 2-quart can of frozen orange juice, leaving some frozen to add to the prepared punch. Stir together the thawed portion of orange juice and 1 quart of pineapple juice. Just before serving, add 1 quart of ginger ale and the remaining bits of frozen orange juice. Toast to the month of May and family, and enjoy a day with time spent together.
Make May a month of fun with those you love. Celebrate the end of another school year with parties and ice cream. Create long-lasting memories with silly celebrations and festivities. Honor moms and the military, thank teachers and administrators, look for springtime flowers bursting forth in beauty, watch sunrises and sunsets, plan pool parties and beach trips, and go for long walks in the early evening. Don't miss a single minute of merriment.
Statesboro native Julie Bland Lavender is married to David Lavender and enjoys celebrating with children Jeremy, Jenifer, Jeb Daniel and Jessica.