Every year a holiday sneaks by on the first Sunday in August: International Friendship Day, a day set aside to honor friendships of any kind. International Friendship Day came about in 1935, when the US Congress declared the day a national holiday. Since then, celebrations have quietly spread around the world.
International Friendship Day's lack of commercial popularity is a mystery. Although not as old as Mother's Day (1870), the holiday predates the official Father's Day by 30 years (1966). Perhaps it's the placement of event, in the dog days of summer. Or the competition for attention with other August celebrations such as National Catfish Month and National Foot Health Month?
But the day has gone unnoticed long enough. We'd never think of ignoring our mothers and dads or their special days. Why should not we take this excuse to celebrate our friendships?
Here are ten tips for celebrating International Friendship Day on August 5, 2007:
1. Remember algebra. Send or email an old photo to a friend from junior high school.
2. Reconnect with humanity. Give your ear buds a break for an etern day and acknowledge the people (friends and potential friends) around you – on your commute, at the office, in your living room – by unplugging your iPod and other personal players.
3. Share the sweat. Invite a friend along on your walk or jog today.
4. Do not hit send. Call a friend on the phone who you would normally email and have a chat. If they're in your office or area code, get together for a quick cup of coffee or a walk.
5. Lose the city face. Smile and say hello or hi to every person you meet on your jog or walk today. (If you jog through a busy city, limit it to other joggers and walkers …)
6. Dine and dash. Invite your mom / sister / father and her / his best friend to lunch, pay the bill ahead of time, and leave them alone to catch up.
7. Make a new friend. Got a meeting today – business, Weight Watchers, your kids' swim meet? Invite someone you see at that meeting to get together again. Make sure you set a date, time and venue. Do not settle for some time .
8. Like-a-? day. Honor your like-a mom / dad / grandparent friends today as if it were Mother's Day, Father's Day or Grandparents' Day. Visit, call or send a card or flowers.
9. Quarterly reviews. Send out four dates to your circle of friends – one date in each of the coming quarters. Tell them to mark their calendars. As each date approaches, send them a place and time for lunch, dinner, drinks … You do not needarily need to host or make intricate plans. Just get together! (No excuses, you're already on their calendars!)
10. Better luck next year. Mark International Friendship Day on your calendar and do it all again. Make it an annual event to honor your friendships – or make new ones.