Instead of buying things for Valentine’s Day, do things with the special people in your life. Shared experiences create memories and deepen relationships. Try volunteering with a nonprofit together, creating a memory book to collect mementoes of the times you’ve shared, or making time to engage in uninterrupted, one-on-one conversation. “Don’t fall victim to the prefabricated crutch of hackneyed floral arrangements and ill-advised, gigantic stuffed bears,” Frugalwoods says. “Instead, seek authentic intimacy with your partner, your family [and] your close friends.”
This weekend, the United States will celebrate its 99th Veterans Day. President Woodrow Wilson initiated the tradition on the first anniversary of the end of The Great War (as World War I was known at the time), naming Nov. 11 Armistice Day. It was marked by a feeling of “solemn pride” for the military’s heroism, according to Newsweek, and was to be celebrated with parades and two minutes of reflection. Armistice Day became a legal holiday in 1938, and was renamed Veterans Day in 1954 to recognize those who served in World War II and the Korean War.
Have you been invited to a Memorial Day cookout and need a dish to pass? Food & Wine has 10 suggestions for elevated, crowd-pleasing sides that travel well. Watermelon salad with mint and feta, green bean slaw and Thai cucumber salad offer refreshing light bites for the year’s first hot days, while apple pie bars and walnut brownies will round out the cookout. If you prefer to indulge with traditional comfort classics, make a potato salad or deviled eggs, but be safe — don’t leave those dishes to bake in the sun and risk a case of food poisoning.
Corned beef and cabbage is the traditional dish to serve on St. Patrick’s Day, although like many ethnicities’ signatures dishes, it probably developed among early immigrants who were making their way in the New World. Regardless, the simple, hearty meal is a great one to share among family and friends. If you don’t want your house to take on that distinctive odor, however, many veterans’ organizations serve corned beef and cabbage annually to support those who have served.