Labor Day weekend marks the beginning of a new school year and welcomes the upcoming fall season. It’s time to celebrate.
Historically, this holiday is intended to honor the achievements of American workers and the strength of the nation. While you may get a 3-day weekend, you may not necessarily have the time or energy to plan a huge celebration. Here are some ways to throw a fun and festive last-minute Labor Day party with what is sitting around your home.
Look in Your Pantry
Plan the menu based on what you have at your fingertips. Most likely you have several options to pull together a few great dishes sitting on your shelves. Sausage Wraps, Tater Tot Casserole, Baked Beans and Pasta Salad require very few ingredients and you probably have all the ingredients already. Use the opportunity to use cans of beans and boxes of pasta which are nearing their expiration date. Look in your vegetable bin and grab peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli and anything else that can be tossed together. It feels good when you don’t have to throw out food you didn’t get to use. A box of cake or brownie mix will round the menu out.
Reuse Old Décor
Gather the remnants of your Memorial Day and Fourth of July decorations and repurpose them for your Labor Day event. Roll out butcher paper and use it as a tablecloth. Set out small tin buckets filled with crayons and let the kids doodle to their heart’s content. Pull out your red white and blue runners to you use at food stations. String up a few white Christmas lights you have stored in the garage. Reuse the mason jars from previous summer parties and fill them with water and lime.
Create a Labor Day Cocktail
Keep it easy and make one signature drink such as a rose sangria, summer shandy, or pitcher of margaritas. There is no need to have a wide selection of drink options. If your guests want something different, have them bring their favorite beer or spritz.
Guests Wear White
It’s an outdated rule that after Labor Day your white clothing must go to the back of the closet. As a fun spin off, ask your friends and family to wear something white from head to toe to celebrate the day. The gesture is a cheerful way to have a little fun with the rules.
Games Aren’t Just for Kids
Have some rope? Play tug of war. A few potato sacks lying around, or some pillow cases for the kids? Have a sack race. Jump in the pool and race your friends. Pull out the hula hoops and start swinging your hips. Set up an arts and crafts table for the kids and let them glue and glitter their way through the afternoon.
Sparkle and Dance
If you have any leftovers from the 4th of July, now is the time to light up the night with some magic. The younger kids will enjoy watching you get rid of the sparklers as they lick their fingers from the s’mores you have made for them on the grill. Put on some music and dance to a theme related playlist.
Clean Your Closet and Protect Your Skin
Gather the last remains of suntan lotion, sunscreen, lip balm and insect repellent. Now is the time to use up what you have so you are ready to replenish your supply next year. There is a shelf date on products and you may have been using yours a year or two, too long. Your crowded closets will get a refresh when the bits and pieces of goo and goop are put to good use.
For more of Diane’s etiquette tips, read her posts on Inc., subscribe to her articles on HuffPost, “like” The Protocol School of Texas on Facebook, and follow her on Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. Buy her new book, Modern Etiquette for a Better Life.