Summer is at an end and we are all looking to Labor day as the last hurrah of summer festivities. Parents who have already sent their children off to school are bemoaning the speedy arrival of a four-day weekend, and many of us are scratching our heads in perplexity at what Labor day is even about.
The history of Labor day is a relatively short one in the scope of American history. New York was the first state to celebrate Labor day on Tuesday, September 5, 1882. Tuesday. See, parents? It could be worse. Arriving about ten years after the Industrial Revolution, Labor day answered the call for a “workingmen’s holiday.” By 1884, the idea of Labor day spread throughout the states. Congress sealed the deal by passing an act for the first Monday of every September to be a national holiday honoring the workers of America.
Ok, we have given you just enough history to take to your BBQ to impress your friends. Moving on.
So how do we celebrate Labor Day? Like most American holidays–with an abundance of delicious food, of course. Nonetheless, we have a few ideas beyond your menu to get you into the proper spirit of Labor Day.
How to Properly Celebrate Labor Day
To “labor” is to work at a difficult and/or exhausting task. The very name of this holiday we celebrate reminds us that people work long and hard to fuel our land and culture. Therefore, one of the most important tenets of this holiday is to take a step back from work and rest. Sleeping in, lounging by the pool, and binge-watching Netflix are all perfect options for honoring the “workingmen of America.” And yet, this very coin has two sides.
The reason most parents grumble about Labor day is because they are actively working (ha! laboring) to get their summer-sleepy children back into rigorous school schedules. Whatever progress they’re making, Labor day threatens to truncate. Use this four-day weekend to center your kids and family before plunging into what is sure to be a busy semester. Stay in pajamas all morning, watch a movie in the afternoon, and play with friends on one of the last long nights of summer.
And that brings us to the next item on the agenda, play.
Labor day is a day to get outdoors and be active. Remember, shorter days are on the horizon. Use up the sunshine and go play outside!
The summer of 2016 will go down in the books as the “Summer of Ridiculous Pool Floats.” Gone are the days of simple lounge floats or inter-tubes floating innocently in a pool. Those elementary floating devices are replaced by giant swans, donuts, and even pizza. Basically, if you can think it, you can make it into a pool float. If you don’t use Labor day as a last-ditch effort to capture the essence of Summer ’16…well, you will surely regret it.
If you have already checked Ridiculous Pool Float off of your bucket list, then you are safe to move on to football. For many Americans, Labor day signals the end of summer and the beginning of a sincerely-beloved season: football. Get into the spirit of football season by gathering your peeps into a fun game of flag-football.
Not athletically inclined? That’s ok–you’re in good company. 90% of Americans will spend their Labor day watching rather than playing football. This Labor day you can watch Florida State play Ole Miss in the Citrus Bowl
You rested, you played, and now you are ready to eat. A fitting farewell to summer requires that you bust out the grill and cook outside. You can keep it simple with hotdogs and sliced watermelon, or go out on a limb and use this menu we put together for you. Hint: we always prefer to go the extra mile in making the most out of every holiday.
Mexican Corn Dip
Every successful BBQ starts with chips and dip. Have you ever plunged into a dip so delicious that you forget all about the chips and just grab a spoon? Well, Mexican corn dip is one of those dangerously addictive dips that laughs in the face of moderation and control. So consider yourself warned.
BBQ Sriracha Ribs
After stuffing yourself with dip, you can dive into these fabulously spicy ribs. What better way to celebrate the “workingmen’s holiday” then to hunker down with a plate of juicy ribs? One thing is for sure: you should not wear anything white while eating these babies.
Chocolate Sheet Cake
You absolutely have to finish your meal with a luxurious dessert. A chocolate sheet cake fulfills the requirements of being: A.) Indulgent. B.) Easy. and 3.) American. Sheet cake is one of our nation’s greatest desserts besides Apple Pie. You have to finish off your meal with a nod towards patriotism.
We hope your Labor Day is a day of rest, relaxation, and enjoyment. Take a breather and remember all the hard work that goes into making this nation move.