In the United States, many marriages end up in a divorce. Adults who want to share their lives with others start new relationships, and many remarry. When divorced parents find new partners, stepfamilies are created. There is a special holiday that celebrates these family units: National Stepfamily Day.
History of the National Stepfamily Day
National Stepfamily Day falls on September 16th of every year. The celebratory day was founded by Christy Borgeld in 1997. The holiday was created in order to give stepfamilies a day to celebrate a strong family structure, give recognition to individual family members and instill a sense of responsibility in all extended family members.
Stepfamily Day Celebration Ideas
When September 16th rolls around, make sure to put some thought into your celebration plans, honoring your beautiful and unique blended family.
Take the day and get outdoors. Choose an activity that everyone enjoys and plan a day around it.
- Go rafting, kayaking, or canoeing with your family.
- Hold a family scavenger hunt. Create clues that take your families to places that are special to everyone.
- Head to the beach and enjoy some sun and surf.
- Plan a family camp out in the backyard. Set up tents, cook a meal over an open flame, sing songs, tell stories and play flashlight tag.
- Plant a tree in your yard. Tell your family that the tree symbolizes your family. While the members, signified by the branches, grow in varying directions, the roots will always be there, grounding everyone and holding them together.
Do a Craft
Block out a time during National Stepfamily Day to engage in a family craft. Choose something that all of you can partake in making and enjoy for years afterward.
- Write letters or poems to one another about what you love about each family member and what makes the person special. Save these in a book and add to the book each year.
- Create a blended sand bottle that represents your family. Give each family member a package of colored sand (or make your own with sand and food coloring). Take turns pouring the sand into a tall glass bottle. The end result symbolizes how you are all individuals that create one beautiful, united family.
- Hold a professional photography session. Choose outfits and thoughtful locations and hire someone to snap some pictures of the beautiful family that you have built together.
- Make stepping stones. Stepping stones signify the steps that you have taken to get to this place of family. Each person can create one or the family can work together to make a group stone.
Say It With Food
They say that food is the way to a person's heart, so consider tailoring National Step Family Day around cuisine ideas.
- Set the dining room table with your finest linens and china. Serve each family member's favorite food for the meal. It doesn't matter if all the items go together or not!
- Start a family cookbook by compiling everyone's favorite foods, along with funny or nostalgic anecdotes about memories with the items.
- Head out to the local farmer's market together and pick up fresh produce. When you get home, use what you bought to make an eclectic meal for everyone to enjoy.
- Have a picnic. Pack up some yummy treats and head to your favorite local park. Laze around on the grass and spend the day eating and chatting.
Home Is Where the Heart Is
You don't have to get wild and crazy with your National Stepfamily Day ideas. If your family believes that home is where the heart is, hunker down and bring the celebration inside.
- Hold family game night. Choose a few favorite family games and spend the day playing them.
- Do a family renovation project. Use this day to get your hands dirty. Gather everyone and paint a room, re-tile a bathroom, make a mess and create something new in your space.
Go get a professional family portrait taken.
- Make a movie night. Whip up some popcorn and your family's favorite finger foods. Sit around on the couches and watch a new release of a classic family favorite.
- Have a family slumber party. Set out sleeping bags in the living room and spend the evening doing something different from your usual bedtime routine.
You don't have to jump out of an airplane to tell your family that you love them, but you can stretch your thinking and get a bit adventurous around National Family Day.
- Plan a vacation. Head off to a favorite family place for a few days or pick a new spot to vacation at every year over National Stepfamily Day.
- Seek out a local festival. In most parts of the country, September is still warm and sunny and there is plenty going on over the weekends. Find something to do near your hometown over the weekend of September 16th.
- Host a family party. Invite important people from both sides of your families and host a bbq or backyard party to commemorate the joining of so many wonderful people.
Your family is as unique as they come, so honor your loved ones by tailoring the day to them. Celebrate your love for each other and the special qualities that make you such a strong family with any of the above ideas.