Celebrate the love you hold for your aunts and uncles on July 26 on National Aunt and Uncle Day. Be sure to celebrate the honor of being an aunt or uncle with your own nieces and nephews, too. There’s just something special about the relationship with your parents’ brothers and sisters. You can talk to them like a friend and share secrets, they love you fiercely but sometimes are a bit more fun because they are not your parents.
Aunts and Uncles Stand Strong During Tough Times – A Mom’s Perspective
I realized how much my aunts and uncles loved me when I was pregnant with my son. I was 27 years old. I had been married five years. It took a year and a half to get pregnant and then only with fertility drugs. When I was two months pregnant, my husband of five years, left me for another woman.
My aunts and uncles made sure I did not hit rock bottom. I bounced between their homes during my pregnancy after my husband left me. They let me cry. They held my hand, and they held me up. They made me laugh. They encouraged me and showed me I would and could survive divorce. My uncle, who I barely knew at the time, who lived five states away in Colorado sent me an encouraging note and an Enya CD. I listened to that CD over and over again and again. I did not even know who Enya was at the time, but that CD showed me that my far-away uncle cared about me.
Of course, my aunts and uncles were at my high school graduation and my wedding, as well as Thanksgiving celebrations and family parties throughout my life. But until I hit tough times, I did not realize how much my aunts and uncles loved me. They rallied around me. They built me up. They helped me transform in two years into a new independent single Mom.
When my son was born, my aunts threw me a wonderful baby shower. I don’t think I had to buy my son any clothes until he was 2-years-old. More importantly, my aunts babysat their great-nephew when I went to work. They loved on me and supported me as I found my footing as a single Mom. (Of course, my parents, my grandmothers, my siblings, and a small handful of friends were a huge part of my support system, too; but this article is about aunts and uncles.)
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When I think back to that time in my life when my world turned upside down, I don’t linger on my ex-husband at all. I remember the dinners, the talks, and the notes in the mail. More than 20 years later, my relationship with my aunts and uncles is stronger than I think it would have been if I had not been abandoned by my husband when pregnant. As I leaned on my aunts, they shared stories of their lives and confided in me as we grew closer. They supported me during my tough days.
So, How Do You Celebrate National Aunt and Uncle Day?
You probably are like me and did not know that National Aunt and Uncle Day was even a thing. But now that you know, take a moment to thank your aunts for taking you on your first roller coaster, giving you your first margarita, taking you to Mexico, and taking you to your first “adult toy party.” (Yes, my aunts did all of those things! They also read books to me, played board games, took me to museums in the city, and took trips with me.)
Thank your aunts and uncles for the birthday presents, for being “present” at life’s milestones, for cheering you on at sporting events, and for teaching you to cook. Thank them for playing catch, swimming, piggyback rides, and taking you fishing, too. You can celebrate your aunts and uncles with a card or note in the mail, a phone call, or a text. Or, make National Aunt and Uncle Day an excuse to re-live the memories while creating new ones with a margarita, a trip to a theme park, or a lake to fish.
History of National Aunt and Uncle Day
According to National Today, it is uncertain when National Aunt and Uncle Day started but it is a great reason to plan a family reunion with your aunts and uncles in July. If that’s not possible, send them flowers or a gift basket with a note. Look at photo albums or pull up photos on your phone to relive good times with your aunts and uncles. Be sure to teach your children about the role your aunts and uncles have played in your life while growing up.
Celebrate with Your Nieces and Nephews
Becoming an aunt brings you almost as much joy as becoming Mom. There’s something special about spoiling your brother and sister’s children and then sending them home. Of course, I love my NOW husband’s nieces with my whole heart, too (Note: My first husband did not have any nieces or nephews when we were married, otherwise, you know I would have loved them, too). It makes it double the fun to bring the nieces or nephews on adventures to the park, the zoo, or vacation with my own children. Sometimes taking the nieces and nephews somewhere is an excuse to plan an outing or a party.
My eight nieces and nephews range in age from 10 months to 32. I will become a Great Aunt for the first time in October. It’s so exciting to shower all the nieces and nephews with noisy gifts. You know the ones your siblings happily gave to your children. It’s fun to celebrate all the birthdays and holidays, graduations and weddings. I treasure the adventures to the park, as well as road trip vacations we share across the country. I try diligently, like my aunts and uncles were there for me in my time of need, to make the extra effort to be there for my adult nieces as they have experienced hardships and tragedy the past few years.
Celebrate Non-Biological Aunts and Uncles, Too
Sometimes, aunts and uncles come in the form of your parents’ best friends. “Framily” – the family we choose. These “aunts” and “uncles” should be celebrated on National Aunt and Uncle Day, too. For many, non-biological aunts and uncles fill the shoes of traditional aunts and uncles because of location or complicated family dynamics. There is no such thing as too many aunts and uncles.
Simply put, aunts and uncles are special. They are the ones who can keep secrets and give tough love when needed. They can be a friend and a support system. They are fun. They are love. They are family.
Thank you to my aunts and uncles for everything – the holiday celebrations, the gifts, the games, the trips, the laughs, the support, the hand up, and the shoulder to cry on. Each of you made me a stronger, more loving person. I am forever grateful to be blessed with you.
Sources: National Today
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