Memorial Day might not be the official first day of summer, but it might as well be — it's the perfect time to pull out your sandals and sunscreen, head outside, and enjoy a celebration with friends and family. Most of the workforce gets to take a long weekend, but what if you are stuck in the office? I have been there before, and never fear, you can still celebrate with these seven Memorial Day office ideas that will help hold you over while you wait for the day to finish up so you can go outside and meet up with everybody who had the day off.
Although you probably think of Memorial Day as the day when pools open, grills return to the patio, and summer dresses come out of storage, the history of Memorial Day is kind of heavy. It was originally called Decoration Day, and it started after the Civil War when many people would decorate soldiers' graves with flowers and wreaths to honor those lives lost. It's a day of remembrance as much as a day of celebration. In that vein, here are seven ways that you can still celebrate this patriotic day, even if you didn't get to skip work.
1. Make a Display
Whether it's on your lunch hour or a planned activity that all your coworkers do together, make a photo collage or a display in the office to show your support for the troops. There are free Memorial Day printables all over Pinterest. Use red poppies if you can, which are the traditional flower of Memorial Day.
2. Listen to Veterans' Stories
If you have a particularly boring task like data entry, listen to a podcast or radio program about veterans while you work. NPR has a series called Back at Base with dozens of stories from military members. This StoryCorps episode about United States Armed Forces members that died in combat would be a good choice, too.
3. Dress in Red, White, and Blue
If there was ever a day to dress in patriotic colors, Memorial Day would be it. You know that American flag scarf that you only wear at country music concerts? Or that bright red skirt that doesn't normally feel office appropriate? Today is the day.
4. Grill Out at Lunch
Is your workplace near a park with community grills? Does someone have a small portable grill that they could bring to work? You might not be able to spend the whole day lounging outdoors, but you can get outside for lunch and enjoy juicy, grilled burgers and hot dogs, potato salad, and the whole range of traditional Memorial Day grub.
5. Decorate Mason Jars
Decorating patriotic American flag mason jars that you can take home with you and use as a center piece or accent in your living room sounds like an excellent way to spend an hour on Memorial Day. All you need is acrylic paint, tape, mason jars, paint brushes, and some newspaper to protect the table. For a quick and easy patriotic craft that you can finish in minutes, try this Memorial Day wreath.
6. Run a Book Drive
Tell all your coworkers to bring their spare books and donate to Operation Paperback, which ships books to deployed military members and their families.
7. Share on Social Media
Did a family member or friend serve in the military? Share their photo or story on social media with #MemorialDay. Here are some sweet Memorial Day Instagram photos that Americans have shared to inspire you.