The cultural celebration of Kwanzaa began in 1966, but how much do you really know about the holiday? Test your knowledge of the seven pillars of the holiday with this free printable Kwanzaa quiz we created just for you!
November 11th is Veterans Day, a day set aside to honor all who have served in the U.S. Military. We, of course, are the most familiar with saying thank you to the veterans in our lives with cards and ecards, but this year we wanted to share a great list of other thoughtful ways to thank a veteran.
In honor of those who have served (including many of our very own American Greetings associates!), we’d like to offer a few suggestions on ways to thank a veteran:
1. At home:
Sending care packages overseas to those actively serving is a well known way to thank a veteran, but what about sending a little bit of the fall season to a service member on active duty? We loved the suggestions that Veterans United put together on the spouse section of their website. It’s easy to pick up extra items during your regular shopping trip and package them at home in your spare time. Additionally, you can order free shipping boxes for military addresses from the US Post Office.
2. At work:
Did you know that the Office of Veteran’s Affairs has created a poster every year since 1978 to recognize Veterans Day? Show your pride and gratitude in the office by printing out copies and hanging them around your workplace in honor of those who served. Download the 2014 poster and (view the full archives!) here.
3. With the kids or grandkids:
Honoring veterans can be a family affair–and these bracelets from No Time For Flashcards are a great way to get kids involved! Besides making one to thank a veteran, they can also make one to wear themselves, serving as a daily reminder of the sacrifices made by those who serve in our armed forces.
4. Out in the community:
Your local Veterans Affairs office regularly needs volunteers, drivers, and donations. Visit their website to find a location near you and download a list of what they need the most.
5. Exercise your right to vote:
Veterans Day comes just after November elections, but use the holiday as a reminder to always do your civic duty and vote. Our service men and women have volunteered for service to protect our freedom–this small act means so much!
What great ways have you found to thank a veteran?
We get this question year after year–did American Greetings invent the holiday? The simple answer is no–we had nothing to do with it!
Sweetest Day was actually founded by a candy company (coincidentally also headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio) in the spirit of philanthropy during the Great Depression. Herbert Birch Kingston, often referred to as the founder of Sweetest Day, based the holiday on the premise that no matter how hectic life gets, it’s important to stop and spread cheer to not only the ill and disadvantaged, but also to friends, family, and loved ones who bring joy to daily life.
This occasion has traditionally been viewed as a Midwestern holiday, but as residents move outside of the area or send greetings to non-resident friends and family, they spread this sentimental tradition. While Ohio, Michigan and Illinois remain the top states for Sweetest Day sales, Texas, California and Florida are now listed among the top ten states celebrating the holiday.
Read the original article from The Cleveland Plain Dealer below:
Do you celebrate Sweetest Day? What sweet treats will you be sharing this year?
Inter-generational relationships are one of the most beautiful gifts in the world. The relationship between grandparent and grandchild is precious in so many different ways. Yet, how well do we really know them? As we celebrate Grandparents Day today, we felt the timing was perfect to put together a great list of questions to ask your grandparents to help us all learn more about these amazing persons who hold the key to our family history.
What greater Grandparents Day gift could there be than to spend some quality time with grandma or grandpa and talk to them about some of the most important moments and memories in their life? It’s vital that you seize this opportunity before it’s too late.
While one’s life history certainly can never fit into a single afternoon discussion, the following list of questions may very well spark some conversation-starters to get your grandparents talking about one special era of their life, whether it be childhood dreams, school experiences, or becoming parents and grandparents. (Be sure to take good notes or better yet, record their answers!)
Feel free to print this list of questions to ask your grandparents, or improvise according to your own family situation:
Childhood and School
- Where were you born? What was your house like?
- What is your earliest memory? Why do you think you remember this particular instance?
- Did you have a nickname?
- What kinds of games did you play growing up? Did you have a favorite toy?
- What was your favorite family meal?
- Who was your first best friend, and how did you meet? Do you still keep in touch?
- What did you want to be when you grew up?
- What was your favorite subject in school and who was your favorite teacher?
Marriage and Children
- When and how did you meet your spouse? What did you do on dates? When did you know you were going to marry him/her?
- What memory stands out the most from your wedding day?
- What do you believe is the key to a successful marriage?
- What made you decide to become a parent?
- Why did you choose your children’s names?
- What was your proudest moment as a parent?
- What did you enjoy doing together as a family?
- How was having grandchildren different from having children? What do you enjoy most about being a grandparent?
- What is your favorite song?
- What is the best advice you were ever given, and did you follow it?
- If there was one moment in your life you could relive, what would it be and why?
- What was your profession and how did you choose it? What was your first job?
- If you could have had any other profession, what would it have been? Why wasn’t it your first choice?
- Of all the things you learned from your parents, what do you think was the most important?
- What is the one thing you most want people to remember about you?
- Tell me one thing you’ve never told anyone else before.
Interviewing a grandparent can be not only a lot of fun, but informative and eye-opening as well. This may even become a fun annual Grandparents Day tradition. By focusing on a new topic or area of life each year, you will be able to get a more in-depth perspective while strengthening your relationship with each other. And your grandparents will love this trip down memory lane.
And if your grandparents are no longer with you, now is a great time to sit down and write what you do remember about them to make sure those memories are captured for generations that follow you.
What’s the greatest lesson you learned from your grandparents?
Looking for an easy, fun way to make your Memorial Day party really stand out? We spent some time perusing some fantastic blogs and came across some great Memorial Day party ideas to make any patriotic soirre sparkle!
1. Patriotic Parfaits by Delish.com
2. American flag Mason jars by Maison dePax
3. Spray painted lawn stars by Sunset.com
4. Memorial Day cookie platter by The Bearfoot Baker
5. Fruit ice drink by Mom.me
6. Firework balloon chandelier by Colorado Balloons
7. Patriotic bandana tablecloth by My Insanity
8. Homemade pallet flag by A Lovely Place to Land
We also thought that all of these ideas would be great to reuse for the 4th of July or Labor Day! If you make one great new item for each occasion, you’ll have a fun, patriotic collection of party goods in no time!
We hope that you and your family and friends have a wonderful Memorial Day holiday!
- Turn that smile upside-down and sign all your emails with an unhappy face.
- Turn your phone volume up all the way; when you get a call, let it ring ‘til it goes to voicemail.
- Don’t clean out the microwave after you use it; better yet—burn some popcorn.
- Affix a Post-It on stray items reading, “This is in the way,” or place cleaning products on a communal lunch table with the tag, “Someone…Please clean up this messy lunch table!”
- Play Bobby McFerrin’s hit song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” over and over and over again!
All kidding aside, our vote is to always kill ‘em with kindness—if you’re up to it, try some reverse psychology and do something nice. Buy some coffee or chocolate and give them to your curmudgeonly coworker. It’s sure to put a smile on their face—even if just for a day.
Good luck out there!
Gather ‘round, fellow work week warriors–National Boss’s Day is Wednesday, October 16th! We know this day is tough for a lot of office workers who struggle to figure out a good gift for their boss. And since this day tends to creep up on many a worker, we decided to put together some tips to make your last-minute Boss’s Day gift look not so last minute:
- Naturally, we’re going to suggest sending a Boss’s Day ecard, paper card or printable card. You can attach a gift card for a quick, easy way to add a little extra thought into your selection. You’re welcome.
- Take a spin past the water cooler to see if anyone has any brilliant ideas or wants to go in on a gift together. It’ll ease up the budget restraints and maybe someone else has heard them mention something they need. You can even run out at lunch together to power shop.
- Cake. Everyone loves cake, right? Cake, cupcakes, cake pops… You can’t go wrong (as long as there are no dietary restrictions) with a stylish confectionary treat. Create a pretty display (i.e. take them out of the plastic packaging and arrange them on a cute footed platter with a cute ‘Happy Boss’s Day’ sign) and then share with the team!
- Spruce up their space! Office decor items such as picture frames, trendy office supplies, or a lovely plant may be a little on the traditional side, but they help create a more relaxing environment.
- Feed the soul! Find a great local restaurant and take THEM out to lunch! Having facetime with your superiors can not only help grow your professional relationship, but also allow for a more personal connection between the two of you.
- Whatever you select, gift presentation counts! Pretty wrapping paper, ribbon, and a nice card with a personalized message go a long way in making any gift stand out.
- Still stumped? Then forget the boss—buy for their pet! You’ll get kudos for thoughtfulness and thinking outside the box when you show their furbaby some love.
The main thing is, your boss will simply appreciate your recognition that they’re doing a good job, so any nice gesture you offer is sure to be a win-win.