With only a few more bouncy bus rides, puzzling vocabulary tests and profound lectures, children and teachers soon will take a much-needed break from academics and lesson plans. Celebrate the end of another school year with much pomp and circumstance and family fun. Pick a few of the following holidays to celebrate, or create your own family holidays to make it a memorable May with those you love.
Herb Week — Make a batch of this Parmesan garlic sauce to pass with fresh rolls for dinner to celebrate the delectable week of herbs. In a small pan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh, chopped garlic and sauté until garlic pieces are soft. Whisk in 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese and 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil. Blend well, then slowly add 3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream. Stir and cook until slightly thickened. Serve warm for dipping with a basket of warm rolls.
National Tennis Month — Grab racquets and tennis balls and play a family game of tennis; you’ll be guaranteed to have a score of love-love. Just for fun, find on a map the locations of four of the world’s most famous tennis tournaments: the Wimbledon Championships, the Australian Open, the French Open and the U.S. Open. Look for televised French Open games toward the end of May to watch as a family with popcorn and snacks.
Astronomy Week — Try this fun craft to celebrate the beauty of the nighttime sky. Have the kids draw simple shapes or designs on black construction paper with a pencil, like a cat’s face, flower or stick figure. Then, use the point of the pencil to push holes into the paper along the outline of the drawings. Make the holes about the size of the holes in notebook paper or slightly smaller. Then, tape a yellow piece of construction paper behind the black one, and the “stars” will twinkle through the holes in the paper.
To continue the celebration, choose a pleasant spring evening to stargaze. Gather the family and lie down on blankets spread in the grass, then try to locate as many constellations as possible. Watch for shooting stars, and be sure to make a wish if you spot one!
National Hoagie Day — Do you know the difference between a hoagie, submarine sandwich, hero, grinder and just a plain ole’ sandwich? Apparently, it often depends on the toppings on the sandwich or the condiments slathered on the bread. Though the terms often are used interchangeably, they are not always synonyms. Regardless of the definition, celebrate with a variety of sandwich types this month. Each time you have a sandwich night, challenge the family to a synonym contest. Give a word and see who can name the most synonyms for the word. Then, try naming antonyms of the same word. Give everyone a chance to choose a word for the game.
Love a Tree Day — Check out a book from the library on tree identification and then take a family walk to identify some of these beautiful creations. Look at the leaves and the bark to help you identify the type of tree you’ve encountered. Snap a picture with your cell phone camera and add the pictures to a rolling screen saver photo collection as a reminder of the beauty of spring.
Take time to make it an a-may-zing month of fun with family and create lasting memories to treasure throughout the summer. Honor moms and military, thank teachers and school personnel, go for walks and bike rides, plan a summer vacation, and spend countless minutes with those you love. Have a happy month of May!
Statesboro native Julie Bland Lavender is married to David Lavender and enjoys celebrating with children Jeremy, Jenifer, Jeb Daniel and Jessica.