Memorial Day is a holiday with deep roots, roots that go all the way back to the Civil War. And while the holiday has changed over time, some things remain the same. This is a holiday marked by remembrance and gatherings with families and friends. And while some years, we might go all out with decorations and dishes galore. Other years, our best celebrations are the simple ones that leave plenty of room for laughter and togetherness. This year is one of those simple ones. At ASD, we’re celebrating Memorial Day with a little summer picnic on the patio. And you’re invited!
In the beginning, Memorial Day had a different name. Known as Decoration Day, soldiers of the Civil War were remembered as family members gathered to decorate their grave sites and honor their fallen family members.
And while Decoration Days as times of families getting together for reunions of sorts to clean up and put flowers on family plots are still prevalent in the South, Memorial Day as national holiday for remembering American soldiers who died serving our country did not become official until 1967 under the presidency of Lyndon B Johnson.
And even then, the settling on the third Monday in May as the official day of observance took a bit longer. It didn’t become law until 1971. Still some states lagged in recognizing the new organized holiday, simply observing in whatever ways they had in years before.
Needless to say, the “modern” Memorial Day has been a thing my entire life, observed with cookouts, backyard get-togethers and just a whole lot of fun from the vantage point of a lawn chair. And pulling double duty as the officially kickoff to the summer vacation season has always made it a favorite!
This year’s simple Memorial Day picnic was inspired by these red, white, and blue melamine picnic dishes. Red bandana napkins finish off the look with a festive, but casual flare. And at 50 cents each? Bandanas are a fun and oh, so perfect napkin choice for picnics and outdoor parties!
The fare for our simple picnic this year will be easy with hot dogs and hamburgers straight from the grill. And of course, the potato salad will be there keeping its spot secure as the favorite side dish. But true red, white, and blue status will have to go the desserts. We’ll save plenty of room for blueberry pies and fresh strawberries with a dollop of whipped cream or scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Not every get-together has to be a huge affair. Sometimes simple is where it’s at! And this year that is our strategy all the way. Keeping things simple and focused this year will be our key to letting really good food do all the showing off while remembering what this holiday is all about.
***Pin this Memorial Day Summer Picnic here!***