The month of March means spring is just around the corner officially, but those of us in the Boro are blessed to have experienced spring-like weather already. In fact, a few days — dare we say — felt like early summer. Those warm days, though, brought forth red maple flowers, gorgeous yellow Jessamine vines creeping into the treetops, white flowers decorating plum and pear trees and purple splotches clinging to the limbs of redbud trees. Add to those magnificent colors the fresh shades and hues of green from new leafy growth and a stunning display of spring’s beauty graces the days of March. Stay on high alert for signs of spring throughout the month of March and rejoice in each sighting. Celebrate some of the holidays below this month with the ones you love or create unique family ones of your own.
➤ March Forth Day — Pick out some marching music and march around the front yard on a warm day. With adrenaline flowing and pulses racing with energy, march forth into a new project to celebrate the day that’s also called “Do Something Day.” That attic that you’ve put off straightening? Work on it today as a family. The desk that needs organizing? Accomplish the project today. The closets that need less clothes and more air to breathe? Purge them today as a family and mark that project off your list.
➤ Pencil Day — Share a new package of pencils, unsharpened ones, with the family and play some creative games with the new treats. Recycle used sheets of notebook paper, tearing each page into thirds and wadding each third into a ball of paper. Place sticky notes in various places on a large table or the floor. Label each sticky note with a number from one to 10 that represents points. Each person takes a turn with a pencil and a wad of paper. Place the pencil on the floor and hold one end with fingertips. Sling the pencil quickly 180 degrees, without letting go of the end, to bat the wad of paper across the table or floor. Tally the number of points on the piece of paper that the paper wad lands closest to. Add up the points after five rounds to see who received the most points.
For another game, place a laundry basket on the floor next to a table or counter, about 3 feet away. The first person places the pencil on the table or counter with half of the pencil over the edge. Standing to the side, the player uses an index finger to flip the pencil off the table, aiming for the basket.
After each round, slide the basket slighter farther away to see who can flip the pencil in the basket from the longest distance.
And for one last game, lay the pencils on the floor and take turns “shooting” the pencils from the eraser ends, using the thumb and middle finger as a “shooter.” The person to “shoot” a pencil the longest distance is the winner.
Read "The Pencil" by Allan Ahlberg to finish the day’s celebration.
➤ National Words Matter Week — Save newspapers and magazines in preparation for the holiday festivities. After talking about the importance of kind, positive words, spread out the newspapers and magazines and give each person a pair of scissors. The assignment: cut out words from the headlines or stories to put together in a sentence to compliment another family member.
➤ National Celery Month — Work together in the kitchen to make tasty appetizers. Wash, clean and prepare celery into long stalks. Drain on paper towels. Prepare a batch of pimento and cheese by combining in a mixer: 3 ounces of softened cream cheese, 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese, 1 cup of grated Monterey Jack cheese, 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder and 3 tablespoons of pimentos chopped finely. Spread pimento cheese in the celery pieces, heaping the cheese spread over the top. (You can also use these fillings for some of the celery pieces: peanut butter, chicken salad or tuna salad.)
Once you’ve filled the celery stalks, have an adult slice each one into bite-sized pieces for celery appetizer snacks.
➤ Mad for Plaid Month — Make a fun, plaid placemat craft with construction paper. To make one placemat, fold a 9X12-inch piece of construction paper in half, folding the long edges together. Use a ruler to draw lines along each of the 1-inch marks. In other words, you’ll have 11 lines drawn. Cut along those lines, starting at the fold, but do not cut all the way to the end. Stop with 1 inch left. Open the paper and press the fold gently so that the paper will lay flat. Cut various colors of 9X12-inch construction paper pieces into strips, 1 inch by 12 inches. Starting near one uncut end, weave one strip over and under each of the cuts on the large piece of construction paper. With the next strip, weave in the opposite pattern of over and under to form a plaid pattern. Continue with each strip until the large piece is filled in completely. Let each person complete a placemat and then cover each one with contact paper. Use the placemats for dinner this month to celebrate the plaid holiday.
Enjoy all that’s beautiful about this time of year with the ones you love: watch for new life and new flowers, look for four-leaf clovers and leprechauns, take in a baseball game or two, take long walks in the evenings when the time changes again, read chapter books together on the porch, drink green lemonade and make the most of every precious moment of March! May the luck of the Irish and the love of family follow you everywhere this month. Until next month!
Statesboro native Julie Bland Lavender is married to David Lavender and enjoys celebrating with children Jeremy, Jenifer, Jeb Daniel and Jessica.