It’s hard to believe we’re more than a month into the year 2013. (And it’s even more incredulous what beautiful spring-like weather we’ve had while approaching the half-way point of winter in early February!)
After ripping off the first page on the calendar, how are your New Year’s goals holding up? If you’re staying with the statistics, you’ve probably tossed the diet resolution already and are not doing so well with the reduction of Diet Cokes. But I hope the resolution to spend quality family time each day is still holding strong! Have you played board games and read lots of books together? Are you going for walks and admiring the non-winter-like beauty that surrounds you? Have you worked together in the kitchen to try a new recipe or roasted marshmallows over a bonfire?
Each time you flip over a page in the calendar this year, make a mental note to treasure the gift of family and find ways each day to create warm memories with those you love. Try some of the following celebrations, or make up some unique family ones.
Black History Month: Honor and celebrate the many contributions of African Americans in our country’s history. The Statesboro Library has a wealth of biographies and picture books to use throughout the month. Check out books on famous black musicians, writers, poets, inventors, businessmen and women, politicians and athletes. Look for books on Martin Luther King, and don’t forget to read a book about Rosa Parks on her birthday, Feb. 4, and one about Barack Obama for President’s Day, Feb. 18.
Wiffle Ball Day: Celebrate the anniversary of this invention with a fun game of wiffle ball in the back yard. When everyone is exhausted, share with the kids that the wiffle ball was invented in Connecticut in 1953 when an unemployed dad watched his 12-year-old son and friends attempt to pitch curve balls consistently. After inventing the ball and selling it from the back of his pick-up truck, family members continue to run the company today.
National Inventors Day is also celebrated in February. Ask your kids what they want to invent. Who knows? Someone in your family could hold the next great patent in U.S. history!
Valentine’s Day: Remind family members today how much you care for them. Hide candy or a small treat for each person in the family, then write clues for a scavenger hunt to find the treat. Include love notes on each clue, or drop hearts cut from colored paper along the path leading to the treat. Celebrate with dinner by candlelight and a heart-shaped treat for dessert.
Sweet Potato Month: Celebrate this holiday with a sweet potato bar. Prepare and bake large, whole sweet potatoes. While the potatoes are cooking, create a toppings bar with goodies like melted butter, raisins, cinnamon and sugar, cooked black beans, sour cream, guacamole, bits of ham and various cheeses. Let each person top their cooked sweet potato with a favorite topping or two, and enjoy.
Pockets Day: Read the old favorite “A Pocket for Corduroy,” then celebrate this purposeful invention. No one person is recognized as the inventor of pockets, but wearing them became popular in the late 1700s, sometimes detached on a belt, and then more often, sewn into pants or dresses. Find a pattern online for a pocket and make one for each family member. Then, embellish or use fabric paint to decorate your pocket. Sew each person’s pocket onto an inexpensive T-shirt and wear it in celebration of the day.
Use the month of February to celebrate inventors and inventions, history makers and sweet potatoes, hugs and kisses, family and friends. What a beautiful, wonderful month it’s going to be!
Statesboro native Julie Bland Lavender is married to David Lavender and enjoys celebrating with children Jeremy, Jenifer, Jeb Daniel and Jessica.