Let’s Make It “Family Day”!

by Martine Bacci Siegel

It’s May and that’s the month for Mother’s Day!

Mothers are supposed to be treated with breakfast in bed, a bouquet of roses, time for bubble bath and pampering, right? But often the day doesn’t live up to the advertisements.

So . . . let’s redefine the day.

Let’s make it “Family Day” – a day to celebrate our families and the love and sense of home they provide for us. After all, Mother’s Day can’t exist without our children (and their fathers too). Ask the family to set aside some time and day this month to celebrate your family-ness.

Here are some helpful ideas to get you started:

  • Declare a moratorium on electronics for at least a few hours. Plan on going for a walk or playing a game. Togetherness happens at times like these.
  • Pull out the picture albums or call up photos on your computer. Find the baby pictures and talk to the kids about the day each was born and how cute they were when they were little. Emphasize the positive. A little nostalgia is good for everyone.
  • Do you have a hundred pictures in a box somewhere? Sort through them together and remind each other of what was going on when the picture was taken. Put them in an album or make a family collage by mounting special pictures on a piece of cardboard.
  • Make a meal together. Keep it simple. Stick to family favorites. This isn’t the time to try out a gourmet recipe unless that’s always part of your family thing. This is a time to celebrate the familiar.
  • Make at least part of the evening special. Make popcorn and watch a movie that everyone enjoys.
  • If the kids can’t be with you, you can still be with them. Don’t wait for a phone call, if not getting one will break your heart. There are too many ways to communicate these days not to be in touch. Tell each of the kids what makes him or her special to you.

Mother’s Day founder Anna Jarvis was eventually appalled at the commercialism that erupted around her holiday. Later in life, she advocated removing Mother’s Day from the yearly calendar altogether. I think she’d approve of renaming and reframing a day this month to a time dedicated to family togetherness and love.


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