Lucy Riles: A three-day weekend, warm weather, a sign that summer is finally here and -- most importantly -- the day we honor all the men and women in the U.S. military ... what's not to love about Memorial Day?
Make your next party memorable with these Memorial Day ideas:
A Kid's Patriotic Parade: Gather all the children together with their bikes, wagons or scooters; moms, join in with your strollers. Decorate your ride with red, white and blue streamers, balloons and, of course, American flags. (Yellow ribbons would also be a nice touch.) Once the decorating is done, it's time for the Kid's Patriotic Parade! If you want the whole block to join in the fun, deliver flyers in advance to your neighbors (be sure to include the parade start time) and encourage them to set up chairs on their front lawns so they can enjoy the parade. No parade is complete without music, so place a stereo in one of the decorated wagons and play classic patriotic tunes while the children parade up and down the block, showing off their patriotic rides with pride!
An American BBQ Menu: Nothing is more American than a good old-fashioned BBQ. Everyone can contribute a dish, whether it's fried chicken, hot dogs, cheeseburgers, corn on the cob, mac and cheese or watermelon slices.
Red, White and Blue Decor: Place red and white flowers in blue vases as centerpieces; to add something extra, place a few mini American flags in the flower arrangements. Tie yellow ribbons around the trees and light posts to honor the fallen soldiers. Display framed pictures of family or friends who served or are currently serving in the military to add a personal touch. Last but certainly not least, be sure to hang your American flag, and if you have a flagpole, please make sure your flag is hung at half-mast until noon at least.
For the Soldiers Serving Overseas: Memorial Day is all about our military, so invite your guests to bring pairs of socks, books, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, magazines, phone cards or other items for soldiers' care packages. Decorate a big box with yellow ribbon and have your guests drop off their donated items. Create a craft station where all the children can color pictures and write letters to soldiers for inclusion in the care packages. Once the packages are ready to go, find a website that collects care packages for soldiers stationed overseas. Two sites to check out: anysoldier.com and operationwecare.com.
Attend a Memorial Service: Many cemeteries hold Memorial Day services to honor all of the fallen soldiers, so make a point to go and pay your respects. This is also a great way to teach your children, at any age, what Memorial Day is all about -- and what our unsung heroes sacrificed for this great nation.
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|Lucy Riles is a party planner and has been since she was a little girl. Being the youngest of 12 children, Lucy and her mom were always coming up with new, exciting ways to throw a great party on a budget. To this day, Lucy loves planning and hosting parties for others. She is also a newlywed and lives in L.A. with her husband, dog and baby.|
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