‘There aint no doubt I love this land. God bless the USA!” Lee Greenwood, you said it well. Memorial Day is the perfect time to honor those who proved their love of our free nation by paying the ultimate sacrifice. If you’re planning on throwing a Memorial Day barbecue, don’t leave out the most important part … the salute to those who died to make and keep us free. But … does having a Memorial Day picnic that remembers our soldiers have to be somber? No way! It is a time for celebration, indeed! So break out the food, the furnishings, and the fun, and salute our soldiers by celebrating freedom!! Here are some original ideas for throwing a Memorial Day barbecue that won’t be the same old picnic everyone else is throwing:
Theme and activities:
In my humble opinion, this is the most important part of this barbecue. Memorial Day is the perfect time to teach your kids about what the U.S. stands for … freedom! A lot of people recruit their kids to do skits on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Why not Memorial Day, too? You could get your kids to write a skit that they’ll perform for guests on the big day. They could write poems ahead of time about what America means to them and recite them when the festivities begin. Another great idea is to create some games for the kids beforehand that incorporate trivia about the U.S. and the Founding Fathers with outdoor activities. Buy little flags and other small patriotic toys at a dollar store for prizes. Go to a craft store and buy sand in patriotic colors, and then set up an area for the kids to do sand art. You could even get your kids to make some decorations for the barbecue. Purchase some red, white, and blue crepe paper, construction paper, paints, and some Popsicle sticks to make flags, stars, and streamers. They will love being included in preparing for the celebration, and they’ll learn a little about freedom and sacrifice at the same time.
This year, in fitting in with the patriotic theme, try something a little different. Make a spread that includes favorite foods of some of the Founding Fathers and other icons of American history who fought for our freedom, such as Presidents Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower. Then decorate the table by incorporating a little information, maybe buy some parchment paper for this, or even make a guessing game and set these things next to each revolutionary’s fave. Thomas Jefferson’s favorite food reportedly was macaroni and cheese, Teddy Roosevelt’s was southern chicken, and George Washington’s was ice cream. These are all great picnic foods you would more than likely purchase anyway, and your guests will appreciate the added enjoyment they get from the games and information that salute our soldiers.
These are just a few fresh ideas to help you do what Americans are supposed to do on Memorial Day … commemorate and celebrate!