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February 17 is President’s Day this year (2020), and for many Americans, that means a 3-day weekend filled with sporting events, department store sales, and cookouts with friends and family. President’s Day is an American holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February each year. President’s Day started 1885 to recognize the life of President George Washington, and then it became President’s Day in 1971 under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.
Several states still have holidays honoring the individual birthdays of Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and other figures, but overall, President’s Day is now popularly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents, past and present. If your family is eager to switch things up this year, finding unique ways to celebrate an often overlooked holiday can inspire bursts of creativity and strengthen family bonds. Check out these fun ways your family can get creative this President’s Day!
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Send A President’s Day Letter To The White House
When is the last time you sat down, put pen to page, and wrote a letter? For many of us, electronic communication has taken control of our lives, and the art form of thoughtfully prepared written words has slowly but surely been cast aside. Taking the time to form your thoughts and words encourages respectful dialogue and creativity, not to mention building up fine motor skills.
Sit with your family, and ask them what they would tell the President, the First Lady, or the Vice President if they had the chance. Help them discover the things they do each day to support their community, and what they hope to do with their lives. By following the guidelines laid out by the White House, you can make sure your letter finds its way to the White House this President’s Day.
Hold A President’s Day Election…In Your Home
Have your children ever made their case for a later bedtime, more time to play their new video game, or even an extra helping of dessert? Sometimes, it can be frustrating for children to stay within their recommended boundaries, especially because it feels like they have no control. If they had their own way, what would that look like? Help your children understand the weight of decision-making and the responsibility to back up words with action. Hold an election in your home! Your children can use the week leading up to President’s Day to establish their campaigns, garner support, and even give speeches (with a little inspiration from Lincoln and Kennedy, of course).
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The end result is obviously up to the parent, whether they earned another 5 minutes on their gaming system or pushed back bedtime on election night, but the experience of working for something they believe in/want really badly can give them a taste of what it means to lead, and maybe inspire a new respect for the role of government this President’s Day!
Make A Cherry Pie In Honor Of George Washington’s Birthday
I cannot tell a lie… the tale of an honest 6-year-old George Washington damaging his father’s cherry tree with his birthday gift, a hatchet, is a tall tale. This hasn’t stopped Americans from celebrating George Washington with cherries, though! This fable has survived since the birth of our nation, and it isn’t going anywhere soon.
In the early 20th century, the people of the United States received a gift of over 3,000 cherry trees from the people of Japan. These cherry trees still bloom to this day and the story of how they arrived in our nation’s capital is quite the drama! Cherries play an interesting role in the culture of the United States, and since President’s Day started as a way to celebrate President George Washington, it is only fitting that they are incorporated into our family celebrations as well.
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While President’s Day gives the gift of a 3-day-weekend and family togetherness, it is also an opportunity to teach our children about the legacies that created the country whose freedoms we enjoy daily. It is important for children to know about standing up for what is right, reaching for the stars, and doing the work required to get there. The history of the United States is long and filled with mistakes, lessons, and tenacity. It is a reflection of the way we live our lives. This President’s Day, don’t miss this chance to teach your children something about their country. Besides, learning can be creative, messy, fun, and delicious! What better way to spend your long weekend?
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