Graduations, Memorial Day & Some Well-Deserved R&R

And it’s arrived. That time of the year when graduation parties crop up, school begins to wind down, kids begin to wind up, and summer magically descends upon us from out of nowhere. Honestly, I don’t know where May went. Last I checked, the calendar page read “February.” As my mom likes to say, “How do I stick my foot out and slow this merry-go-round of life down a little bit?”

Nonetheless, here we are. Maggie and Jack are jazzed that there are only X number of days left of school (x = a daily verbal tally; they need no reminders).

Our calendar is fast filling up with high school graduation parties, and since my husband is a teacher and varsity coach, we have the unfortunate task of looking at scheduling problems and trying to compromise the best we can. The running to and fro is worth it, though, when we get to take in all the cool grad party ideas and décor. Kudos to the family that erected outdoor tents for food stations with such fun novelties as cotton candy and root beer floats. You don’t have to twist this gal’s arm to get her to a party serving up spun sugar and frosty mugs of ice cream and root beer!

While school or class colors used to be the decorating hues back in my day, I’ve noticed that teens are opting for bright, riotous color combinations instead. Balloon bouquets of tangerine, lime, fuchsia, and sunburst liven up any party, and throwing in a theme (beach bash, perhaps?) caters not only to young kids (say, for example, my kids trying out hula hoops and chasing beach balls on the lawn with other youngsters), but adults as well (who doesn’t feel a bit peppier with the Beach Boys playing in the background?). I’m digging these parties.

So far, we’ve seen décor and themes run the gamut: zebra stripes with robin’s egg blue; pink cheetah print with black; Mardi Gras-themed purple, green and gold; and a Dr. Seuss-inspired Oh, the Places You’ll Go party. True, school colors pop up, but teens and their parents seem to be churning out some more creativity as of late. I’m thinking Pinterest might deserve some thanks. The collections of ideas are endless!

Do you have a senior who excelled in theater and performing arts? A Vaudeville-themed party might be a fun way to include short performances with crowd-pleasers such as a magician and a ventriloquist. Is your graduate the sports-minded type? Set up a volleyball net or have some flag football gear at the ready.

I say have fun with it! Meat and cheese platters are all fine and well, but a livened-up table with a chocolate fountain or glass containers filled with retro candies ups the wow factor.

Luckily, we have no graduation parties to attend this coming weekend, Memorial Day weekend. It will mark the calm before the storm. The following weekend kicks off June and we are booked. My daughter’s birthday perpetually falls right around Memorial Day weekend. We always opt to celebrate with a party the next weekend, allowing our family the chance to spend the holiday weekend free of obligations. This means we’ll revel in some relaxation over the Memorial Day weekend. The agenda includes a bit of spring cleaning, some well-deserved picnicking (if the rain, rain can go away and come again another day), and a trip to the zoo for Miss Maggie’s big day.

I encourage all of you to stop and take a few moments to remember the significance of the holiday. America has been celebrating this holiday for more than 150 years, honoring all the brave service men and women who have died serving our country’s military. We have a long legacy of brave men and women serving our country. Offer up some thanks if you see a veteran this weekend.

Have a fun, relaxing, safe and fabulous Memorial Day weekend!

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