By TMoM Team Member Suzy Fielders

When discussing this upcoming Labor Day weekend, my 16-year-old daughter said, ‘didn’t we already celebrate that?’. To which I responded that no that was Memorial Day weekend. She then said they don’t seem that different because, along with Independence Day, kind of all felt the same.

My first thought – as a homeschool parent – I might be failing on some educational aspects! But my second thought was considering all heavily-focus on cookouts, family times, and various outdoor or summer-related activities, it’s easy to see why she would think that.

However, each has its own very distinct meaning and reason. While I know a lot of the backgrounds on Memorial Day and Independence Day, it seems my knowledge of Labor Day is more limited. I’m guessing a lot of people are probably like me in that sense. So, going to share a little bit of this day’s background and some ideas to truly celebrate it – that don’t involve hot dogs!

Labor Day Fun Facts

Did you know….

  • New York was the first state to pass a bill about Labor Day?
  • The first Labor Day was recognized on February 21, 1887 in Oregon?
  • Later in 1887 the states of Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York recognized Labor Day?
  • Congress passed an act on June 28, 1894 that made the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday?
  • It is actually unclear who started Labor Day, but Peter J. McGuire and Matthew Maguire are two potential founders?
  • The first official (after it was made a federal holiday) Labor Day was celebrated with a parade on Tuesday, September 5, 1882 in NYC?

Click here for some more information and fun facts on Labor Day!

But, what’s the real point of this day?

Celebrating Labor Day

It is unclear how this day began in the 1800’s as a day to recognize the workforce into something that basically always feels only like a reason to cookout. As Americans we all work hard – I mean whether you are an entrepreneur, skilled trades worker, or corporate executive – so it’s certainly fitting we all enjoy a day off to celebrate that work!

While I’m all for family time and a great barbeque, I think this day really calls for something a little more focused too.

Here are some ways to celebrate Labor Day to recognize your hard work:
  • Utilize some self-care – it can be as simple as taking a walk or as big as giving yourself a spa day
  • Reflect on your career – really take a look at where you started and how far you’ve come
  • Do some personal development – do you feel stuck in your job or career? Are you looking to get into another field? Now is a great day to start asking those questions and determining next steps to get where you want to be.
  • Thank other workers for their service – many workers do not get this day off… so if you see or know a police officers, nurses, restaurant waiter, etc. be sure to tell them thank you for their service to you.
  • Teach your kids about Labor Day – share with your kids some of these fun facts about this day and what it means not just to the country but to you personally.

Now that you’ve learned a little about this last day of summer off (as most people seem to know it for), it’s time to get in all the R&R you can soak up today! Hopefully it’s a happy not-laboring day for you!

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