Beyond all that the day represents, Memorial Day also usually serves as our national kick-off of summer. While summer is still coming this year, there is still uncertainty about many of the things we associate with summer and Memorial Day. Fireworks, parades, concerts, and other big events are likely on hold or cancelled in keeping with social distancing. These public celebrations are great ways to honor the day, but Memorial Day can be celebrated at home, too! From spending time with loved ones relaxing on the patio (perhaps on a set like the conversation set above) to delving deeper into the meaning of the holiday, there are plenty of ways to enjoy your own celebration and remembrance. For more ideas, try these simple ideas to honor Memorial Day at home with your family this year.
#1: Host a Backyard BBQ
As the weather gets warmer, it’s the perfect time for a backyard barbeque for you and your family while still practicing social distancing. Pull out the grill to cook up some burgers, hot dogs, veggie skewers, and other tasty treats. You can use sliced bananas, strawberries, and blueberries to mix up a red, white, and blue fruit salad. Or consider adding some to a bowl of punch or a vanilla cake with red and blue icing. And don’t forget the patriotically-themed disposable plates and silverware!
Kids can be happy at home with activities as simple as running through sprinklers, or playing outdoor games like tetherball, badminton, croquet, or even a sack race. The longer they play and wear themselves out, the more peaceful your family meal.
Once the food is done cooking, dig in at an outdoor bar dining set, like the one seen above, which you can decorate for the occasion with a patriotic tablecloth and centerpiece. Close the day by gathering around a fire pit, like the one shown below. A glowing fire is the perfect way to stay cozy on a cool spring evening while you relax, read aloud, and make s’mores. After the kids are in bed, you and your spouse can enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail as you savor quality time around the dancing flames.
#2: Watch the National Memorial Day Concert from PBS
You might not be able to travel this holiday weekend, but you can celebrate in the comfort of your living room. Watching the annual PBS National Memorial Day Concert is a simple yet exciting way to celebrate the holiday. It has been hosted annually in Washington, D.C. for over thirty years and televised live for viewers across the country. The event features music by top artists, readings from veterans and their families, poetry, and documentary footage. The concert serves as both an homage to sacrifice and a celebration of hard-earned freedom.
The best way to enjoy the concert is from the comfort of your family room. Set up the space with soft couches and armchairs. Add pillows and blankets for coziness! And don’t forget a TV stand like the Raven TV Stand (shown below). It offers plenty of space for your cable box, Blu-ray player, and gaming console, plus concealed storage to keep everything neat with a sleek mid-century modern design that’s sure to complement your home. Finally, get out the snacks and drinks to top off the evening with the flavors of the season.
To watch the event’s broadcast, turn your TV to the PBS channel on the Sunday evening before Memorial Day. The concert starts at 8:00 p.m. EST, but there’s a second showing immediately afterward. If you miss the live show, you can watch the rerun at 9:30 p.m. EST.
#3: Teach Kids the Meaning of the Holiday
Focusing on the meaning of Memorial Day is another great way to honor this occasion. The history and magnitude of the day are clear to most adults, but younger family members may not understand without guidance.
If you want to know more about the holiday, you can research its history as a family. For instance, did you know that Memorial Day started in 1866 as Decoration Day, which aimed to decorate and honor the graves of fallen soldiers after the Civil War? Now, the day honors everyone who died in the World Wars and any other war in service of the United States.
Reading “In Flanders Field,” a poem by soldier and surgeon John McCrae, is another great way to share the significance of Memorial Day with the whole family. Older kids can discuss the poem’s meaning and the feelings it inspires, while younger kids can craft poppies from tissue paper and pipe cleaners to resemble those often worn on Memorial Day in remembrance.
#4: Remember Family Members Who Served
Memorial Day is a holiday for celebration but also remembrance of those who have fallen to protect our nation. For many Americans, this includes beloved friends and family members.
If you have loved ones who have served in the armed forces, now is a great time to share memories and stories, honor their sacrifice, and make sure your kids understand the meaning and value of their service. You can even set up photos and mementos of lost loved ones in a decorative bookcase or shelf, maybe on a bookcase with floating shelves (like the one shown below).
Start Preparing for Memorial Day Today
Even in the age of social distancing, you and your loved ones can plan a celebration and remembrance of Memorial Day that will be relaxing and meaningful. For more ideas for holidays at home, subscribe to our email newsletter for updates, tips, and more. And remember, on this day honoring sacrifice and service, Twin Star Home salutes those families whose sacrifices have preserved freedom for us all. So, thank you, and Happy Memorial Day!