Independence Day feels like a distant memory and the cooler temperatures and fall leaves that usher in Thanksgiving still seem a long way away. Add to this the downer of going back to school after months of unstructured fun, and you have a family in desperate need of a ”Just Because Day”. Break up the routine, make new traditions and have fun together just because. You can personalize your family’s day, but here are a few ideas to get you started.
Shop For Small Treats and Presents
Everyone loves gifts, and giving each other special presents will make your ”Just Because Day” particularly memorable. You don’t have to spend a lot of money; give each one of your children $5 or $10 and go to a discount store, then let them pick up a little gift for everyone in the family. When your special day arrives, you can give all of your gifts over breakfast, or spread them out during the day. One North Carolina family buys solid-colored gift bags for each family member. Everyone decorates his or her bag and puts it on the kitchen table, and as the day goes on each person slides their gifts into the bags one by one, spreading the surprises out from morning to evening.
Plan a Memorable Outing
As school-year schedules crank up and homework loads grow, family members often find themselves running in different directions with little time for family field trips. Mark your Just Because Day with something unusual and fun. Plan a scavenger hunt around town and challenge your kids to complete it, visit a water park or a spray pad or find a nearby letterboxing site and introduce your kids to that growing trend. You might even take everyone to a movie, complete with popcorn, if that is a rare treat for your family.
Make Your Meals and Snacks Special
Food can be a celebration in itself, so make sure that your family’s special day includes some delicious and unique meals and treats. One option is to give each child a meal, and allow him or her to plan the menu and help you prepare that meal. You can also buy special candy, unique fruit or other small offerings and slip them into your children’s gift bags during the day.
Create a Piece of Art
Sit down with the family and create a work of art. Let the kids go wild with it.There are so many fun and relatively cheap ways to do this. Create a collage or an encouragement board from magazine scraps and newspaper clippings. Have some paper and markers on hand so if anyone feels inspired, they can add their own note or quote to it! Do you have a scrap pile at home? Take turns adding ‘scraps’ to a base and see what you come up with. It may be abstract, but it’s fun to display in the yard and gives everyone in the family a sense of accomplishment! This gives you an awesome stepping stone for next year’s Just Because Day! You can build on to year after year and watch as it evolves.
End With The Unexpected
Whatever you do to conclude your Just Because Day, make it a surprise and unveil it as the sun goes down. Organize a ”Just Dance” tournament on the Wii, buy sparklers and light them in the backyard, bring in a special movie and watch it with sleeping bags and pillows with several flavors of popcorn, even have a glow stick scavenger hunt outside.
Grab your calendars and carve out your family’s Just Because Day now. The possibilities are endless, and when you create a holiday you can imprint your family’s unique personality on the schedule and culture of the day. Enjoy the time with the people you love most just because.