Labor Day is often celebrated with BBQs, potlucks, picnics and other food-centric activities. Much like its other summer holiday cousins, Memorial Day and Independence Day, Labor Day often sparks memories and feelings that revolve around food, family and friends.
When we celebrate, we often surround ourselves with the most important things in our lives. Family, friends and for some odd reason, food gets lumped in there. Memories are made with people, not by chewing.
Let’s dive into a few ways to celebrate the amazing contributions of prosperity and growth of the workers of today and those that have gone before us, with things other than food.
Some of this may take a bit of brain power but you can use the time you’d spend creating a menu and grocery shopping to do it, so it’s totally worth it.
1. Find a parade, either locally or in a neighboring town, and plan to go with your friends and family.
Take the kiddos. Cheer on the fire fighters, the police, watch the shined-up classic cars and enjoy the energy of a group event.
2. Find a festival. Yes, Spokane hosts a huge food fest during Labor Day weekend, steer clear of that and head to a neighboring small town to experience the awesomeness that is, perhaps, a logging festival, a county fair, an art walk. Of course, these places have food vendors but it’s not about that. It’s about getting out, moving and creating new memories with family and friends. The fresh air is also amazing combined with the energy of all the happy people.
3. Go into the Wilderness.
Take the day to get outdoors. Yes, you’ll have to eat. It just doesn’t have to mean anything. Make a few salads, and precook and chop up veggies or other things you may want, and put them in the cooler. When you are hungry, grab a container, sit in nature and eat with intention. When you’re finished, get up and explore the incredible experience that is being out in the wilderness and free.
4. Make up something.
Get together with your family and brainstorm. Would you like to include anything else in the holiday? Would you like to create a ceremony to wave farewell to summer vacation? Is there anything important to your family about celebrating labor, or ancestors you could celebrate? Then, create a ritual and build memories with it. You can visit all the gorgeous bridges in the area, built by our hard working men and women of the past. Visit a dam. Visit a farm and thank a farmer. Anything you think up can be built up now and in the future.
Spend the whole day relaxing, regrouping, getting clear on intentions. Encourage your friends and family to join you in a mind cleans. Get present to what it means to have and have not. Create a space of possibilities for tie future. Spend the day eating only when you’re hungry and with intention.
When you take the meaning away from food it’s a lot easier to celebrate any holiday freely and with full joy and intention. Food is not a friend or family. Friends and family can be the center of a holiday without the buffet table or BBQ.