Labor Day is fast-approaching, and while for many the first Monday in September will just be a day off to mark the end of the summer, it has so much more meaning than that. Created over a century ago, it is a way for Americans to acknowledge the contribution of workers across the country.
Like many important movements, Labor Day began as a grass roots effort with municipalities recognizing it in the mid-1880s. It made its way into state law in Oregon in 1887, and from there into Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. Congress recognized it as a Federal holiday in 1894, reserving a place for workers throughout America on the calendar every year.
How can we honor US workers while relaxing and enjoying the day? Consider these options.
Throw a party
Labor Day heralds the summer’s end, so now’s the time to put your back yard or local park to full use by throwing a party for friends and family. You can hold a potluck to spread the effort and ask for foods around a historical or US theme to give it a traditional Labor Day feel. You can also, honor the occasion with a red, white a blue piñata and perhaps a US trivia game. Try historical headbands, in which everyone writes the name of a US historical figure on a headband and puts it on the head of the person next to them. Then, each person tries to guess who they are while the rest of the crowd helps.
Go on a farm or factory tour
What better way to celebrate America’s labor than to learn about the work that goes into the production of our food and other products? Many farms and manufacturing facilities will host tours that help teach families about what it means to produce the things that we use everyday. For those with children, it’s a great way to combine something tactile with a discussion of why Labor Day is important. Consider doing this just before or after Labor Day, though, so that factory and farm workers can spend time with their own families on this important holiday.
Bake cookies for local workers
Every day, millions of civic employees work to keep us safe and healthy. How about creating a little something to say thank you? Baking cookies for local firefighters, police officers or health workers can be an excellent way to express gratitude. Getting young children to help can teach them the value of civic duty and help families bond.
By giving back to local communities, families can instill positive values in their children and teach them the importance of charitable work. Create the Good has a search tool that allows you to find family-friendly volunteer engagements in your community, and the Doing Good Together network also has plenty of family-focused opportunities.
These are just some ways to honor workers across America while bringing families together and maybe even creating new traditions. What ways can you think of to celebrate this important holiday?
About the Author
Danny Bradbury has been writing about technology and business since 1989. His clients have included the Financial Times, the Guardian, and Canada's National Post.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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