What actually is Labor Day?

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We celebrate it every year. The first Monday in September. It’s often synonymous with the last weekend of the summer. Our last hoorah in which we can wear white.  But y’all, I have a confession to make. Until recently, I didn’t really know what Labor Day really stood for. And neither did my kids. Once I did a little research about the day, I realized that it can be a day we spend relaxing, having fun with friends and family, and learning about its importance to our country.

Labor Day is a national holiday that celebrates the impact the American labor force has on the social and economic growth of our country. In simpler terms, it celebrates the fact that the work people to do everyday contribute to the fabric of our country.

The first Labor Day was held on September 5, 1882. While some cities and states celebrated the holidays, it became a national holiday in 1894. As you celebrate this holiday today, here are a few things you and your family can do to commemorate the occasion:

  1. Write your postman a thank you letter. Our family keeps our postman busy. Between our affection for Amazon and Ebay, my kids’ pen pals, and letters we receive from friends and family in faraway paces, he does a lot. Even though there is no postal service on Labor Day, a sweet note of thanks signed by all of us  will be just as appreciated tomorrow.
  2. Have a debate. There is a bit of a scandal surrounding the origin of Labor Day. According to the U.S. Department of Labor,  we aren’t really sure if cofounder of the American Federation of Labor Peter J. McGuire founded Labor Day or if a machinist named Matthew Maquire founded the holiday. Why not have the kids research each person on the internet and have a debate about who the real founder of Labor Day actually is.
  3. Hire some employees. Why not build the labor force in your household? I’m willing to pay extra dollars for the completion of chores beyond the usual chores of the day. It saves me from doing chores all day, and allows the kids the opportunity to earn extra cash.
  4. If you are in a position to tip — tip extra. You may not have to work today, but some people do. If you are in a position to tip, tip extra and let your kids know the importance of honoring our labor force today.

Do you have any special plans today? How are you honoring our nation’s labor force?


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