It was three years ago, when my then seven year old daughter informed me she wanted to celebrate Yay Day. She had been watching one of her favorite TV programs.
Having no idea what she was talking about, I agreed to the celebration thinking it was something she was quickly going to forget.
However, a few days later, she brought me a colored poster she had designed that showed July 24th as Yay Day.
I looked at my husband and whispered, “Oh crap! She’s really expecting us to do something on July 24th!”
So, having absolutely no idea what Yay Day was, or what we were going to do, I started with at least requesting that day off from work.
When I asked her how we were suppose to celebrate it, she looked at me as if I was being ridiculous and should have already known, “With our friends!”
Oh great, I thought. Not only am I suppose to figure out how to celebrate Yay Day, I need to somehow convince our friends this is a good idea, and they should too.
So, this is how it started.
And this is what it has become.
Yay Day is an unadulterated holiday that celebrates people not things. There are no fancy gifts to buy or expensive decorations to put up. No retail promotions that quickly turn a nice gesture into a financial burden. Or high expectations to turn its value into hollow meaning.
It comes with hats made out of paper plates, a couple of boxes of cookies and a Yay Day picture frame we make out of foam board.
We then load up our suv with a slew full of kids, a list of friends names and we head out looking to spread cheer and love to our friends, family, and quite frankly, anyone who will let us.
This includes the ladies at Circle K, where we always stop first thing to pick up doughnuts and drinks for breakfast.
But if also includes the staff at whichever fast food joint we swing by for lunch.
Sometimes, we even reach out to total strangers. There have been a time or two, where we’ve run into someone down on their luck at intersections or street corners, where we’ve wanted to share what we have with them; a cookie, a hat and a little Yay! Ok, maybe not the hat, sometimes that gets weird.
But otherwise we hit up our friends, whether they be at home or at work. Work is always fun, because we get to celebrate with other people we weren’t expecting and we leave with them thinking their coworkers are a little bit weirder than they originally thought.
People often ask me why I do this? Quite simply, I want to share my daughter’s love for life. People are important to her. She could care less about things; she is more interested in relationships. We could lose everything we own, and I know she would be fine as long as we had people who love us.
She cares about feelings and attitudes. She cares about touching each other and sharing what we have. She cares. It’s plain and simple.
And it’s about fun. It’s about being silly. It’s about taking a break from this harsh world we live in and just loosen up. For us, it’s the whole day. For most is just 15 minutes.
Let us all stop for just 15 minutes a day to welcome a friendly face, share a cookie together, and take a picture in remembrance of this one moment in time where the world stopped turning, and love was waiting there.
Yay Day is a day of gratitude. It is a day we have set aside to show people we are happy they are in our lives and that their life is important.
They bring us joy and we hope that whatever they are going through in that moment, on that single day of July 24th, that they can pause for a moment with us and celebrate the Yay!
Do you know? Do you know? DO YOU KNOW what our friends do to this momma’s heart every time they invite us to celebrate with them? Whether it be an invite to their house, or work, or a picture of them celebrating Yay Day on their social media because they live in another state; my whole heart SWELLS!
Yay Day for me is the celebration of my daughter, and when I see people celebrating with her I just feel this explosion of love grow from her and I’m lucky because some of it splashes all over me.
I hope you will consider celebrating Yay Day with us by inviting us to your home, or sending us a picture of how you celebrate the Yay.
In light of everything that is going on in the world around us, I’d say, Yay Day is coming not a moment too soon.