July 30th Father-In-Law Day

If you are married, you have, or have had, a father-in-law. For some unknown reason we tend to be scared of them but they normally are among some of the most friendly, helpful people you’ll ever know. In an odd case, my father-in-law is younger than I am! Figure that one out! But he is also one of the best people I have ever met and he is always there when needed. My neighbor’s sister-in-law’s father takes care of her yard just because he cares. Their efforts to make life better for all those around them is amazing and a day like today is a chance to say thank you, even though they do not expect it.

How to celebrate – Throw your father-in-law a party. Take your father-in-law to lunch. Just be thankful for all the people who are there for you.

July 24th Cousins Day

Today we celebrate our Aunt’s and Uncle’s children, our cousins. If you are lucky as a child, you may grow up with your cousins around and generally speaking, they are within a few years of our own age. I remember growing up with my Uncle being in the Marine Corp and nearly every summer our cousins came to stay with us on the family farm. It was always fun to have them to play with, even tough we did occasionally fight. Did you know that during World War 1 the Czar, Kaiser and royalty of England were all cousins of each other!?! Right before the war started they would attend each other’s parties and vacation at each other’s palaces. Talk about your love/hate relationships.

How to celebrate – If you haven’t talked to your cousins in a while, contact them. Make a family tree. Throw a family reunion.

July 24th National Cousins Day

Today is the day where you can celebrate a good friend and a relative at the same time! It’s National Cousins Day! I remember every summer my cousins coming to visit on our farm in Illinois. It was always the best time of year. Yes, I was the youngest and they did some awful things to me but I still had fun.

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They made me eat dog food, watch scary movies alone and then jump out at me and play hide and seeks where I was the only one they never tried to find… but still, I loved them and always had fun.

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And normally, at some point in the summer, we would have a family reunion where I would meet cousins I didn’t even know I had! There was always great food, company and fun to be had.

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But over the years, we lost contact with each other. It has been more than thirty years since I’ve seen them, twenty years since I’ve heard from them and probably ten years since I thought of them until today.

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Don’t let that happen to you. They are a part of your family and therefore, a part of your life. My Aunt and Uncle have long since past away but my cousins, so far as I know, are still alive. I miss them and I do not even know how to find them.

How to celebrate – Contact your cousins. Have a family reunion. Keep a family tree.

May 18th National Visit Your Relatives Day

Today is the day you have dreaded all year long. It’s the day you visit your relatives. You know, the ones you haven’t seen in like, ten years! Maybe longer! You know you need to. You know they have been waiting for you. And maybe you’ll even find out you have relatives you didn’t even know you had!

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Those who live close by you probably see often but that Uncle Fred or Aunt Wilma that live a thousand miles away on a farm in the middle of nowhere are the ones you have been worried about seeing for years. Maybe you won’t recognize them, maybe they won;t recognize you. Maybe you can pass like strangers in the night.

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But probably not. Someone will recognize someone and those agonizing hours of ‘catching up’ will begin. In most cases, they are stories you have already heard, maybe a hundred times before. But you’ll sit through them again and listen, as though you are hearing them for the first time.

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And remember, they are a part of your family. They are a part of you, like it or not. Somewhere in their genetic make-up are the same genes you carry. You, in some ways, have to be just like them. Whether you want to admit it or not.

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And then there is the positive side of it all. You might meet really interesting people, maybe some one famous, or rich, or all three! Probably not, but maybe!

How to celebrate – Visit your relatives. Plan a family reunion. Make a family tree.

May 18th National Visit Your Relatives Day

They say you can’t choose your relatives, which is very true. However, you have to remember they couldn’t choose you either! So you might as well make do with the best and at least say hello every once in a while, like today.

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If your family tree is anything like mine there will be a few surprises here and there. After all, my family tree indicates that I am a long lost relative to Robin Hood. The fact that Robin Hood is fictional does bother me a little, does this mean I was born into a family of cartoon? Could be, I have had many people tell me I was a joke.

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But good or bad, I’m not as unusual as my uncle. (No the photo above is not really of my uncle). In fact I was very afraid of my uncle. He was a nearly 7 foot tall, Blackfoot Native American, bald headed and a General in the Marine Corp. Though I was afraid of him, I did admire him as well. So see, there is something good in everybody… you just have to look for it sometimes.

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My Aunt Clover was another character I both admired and thought (To myself) gee, what an off person. (And no this isn’t her either although I wouldn’t put this sort of thing beyond her) The point is, they are probably just as embarrassed of us as we are of them. So embrace they oddities and remember they are family. Good, bad or indifferent we can’t do anything about that and they will be gone all too soon. Who knows, maybe they will leave you a million dollars if you just as so much say “hello”.

How to celebrate – Visit a relative today. If it is practical to go to them, write them a letter, give them a call or email them. Look for the best in all your relatives.

April 10th National Sibling Day

If you don’t have any brothers or sisters you can go on your merry way and forget about today… but for those of us who do have siblings it is a very important day indeed. There is someone out there that really does know what you’ve gone through, been there when you needed them, and are missed when they are a distance away from you.

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As children, siblings tend to fight a lot, each trying to get the advantage over the other. As we grow up, they often become your best friend and someone you know you can depend on. You may not always agree with them, there may even be times when you get mad at them, but in most cases, they are the first person you turn to in a time of need. Brothers and sisters are the most common siblings. They have different views on things, different likes and dislikes, but when it comes to loyalty, they are right there for you (I do realize this is not always the case but most brothers and sisters get along with each other).

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Sisters normally live in a world of their own making. They have each other to rely on and don’t need outside friends as much as the single child. Normally they are within a few years of each other so the eldest is able to hand down experience to the next oldest and so on.  The youngest often give the most energy back to their other sisters completing the circle.

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Brothers often band together for sports, business, or just plain old fun. When one gets an idea, the others seem to always play it out as best as they can. The Marx brothers all went into comedy, the Jackson brothers went into music, the Earp brothers went into law enforcement (Well, sort of anyway).

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And twins are very special. Often they are able to feel what each other feels, know what each other is thinking and normally, take the other’s identity at least sometime during their lives.

National Sibling’s Day was founded by Claudia A. Evart after the passing of her brother and sister. 22 states celebrate this day

How to celebrate – If you have a brother or a sister, or both enjoy them while you can. Find some way to express how important your siblings are to you. Call for a family reunion if you have been separated over the years.

March 10th Middle Name Pride Day

So most of us have a middle name. It’s normally something odd that we are not sure why, or where, it came from. More often than not it comes from some relative we have probably never known, some traditionally handed down name that meant something to someone somewhere along the line but has lost it’s appeal over the years.

 

Perhaps it came from Uncle Bill, who no one knew exactly who Uncle Bill was other than someone in the family. His name didn’t merit being handed down as your first name, but it couldn’t be ignored either.

 

Or maybe it came from Aunt Wilma, who was a body builder. No one is exactly sure whatever happened to her. There is a rumor that as she puffed up for one show she exploded but that’s a little hard to believe.

 

And maybe it came from someone known as Pat. You can never be sure if Pat was a man or a woman but it doesn’t really matter. You have been honored to bear their name.

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And on occasion you may even receive several middle names for perhaps a set of relatives that performed in a circus or just liked to dress funny. Whatever reason it doesn’t really matter because you got he name and now have to deal with it. You can take pride in it or try and hide it but it will always be there, unless of course you get a legal name change.

How to celebrate – Wear your middle name with pride! If you are a parent make sure you think through your child’s middle name before assigning it. Try using your middle name as your first name and see if people know who you are.