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Explaining US National Holidays to Your Children

American culture glosses over or offers superficial overlays on many holidays.  Easter features the Easter bunny.  Memorial and Labor Days are all about parades and days off school and work.  Christmas features Santa Claus and a bunch of reindeer.  But are these surface-deep manifestations really what these holidays are about?  In this blog, we will address how to explain US national holidays to your children.

Each US national holiday listed below can be celebrated by means of the culturally proscribed overlays:  heck, who doesn’t love a parade?  But do not miss the concurrent opportunity to educate your children about their history, their heritage as Americans. 

Once you have taught your children some of the basic information about US national holidays, you can involve your family in activities that parallel these lessons.  Throw a birthday party for President Washington and/or President Lincoln:  wear period attire and eat foods in period as well.   Attend a Civil War reenactment.  Visit Washington, D.C. and tour the sites that mark our history as a nation.  Visit a Veterans’ Home, listen to the stories told by the former soldiers, and thank them for their sacrifices for your freedom.  Attend a labor rally or program to mark the evolution of the American workforce throughout the centuries.  Dress as pilgrims or American Indians while enjoying your family’s Thanksgiving dinner; discuss the race relations that existed at the time of the original Thanksgiving and how and why they have changed since that time.

By taking the steps noted above, you can enrich your children’s lives by giving them a deeper understanding of their history, their culture, their birthright as Americans.

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