Originally the idea for a day to celebrate friendship came from Hallmark cards back in the 1930’s. It was met with a fair amount of cynicism as the day was created as a way for Hallmark to make money on their friendship cards and so didn’t take long to phase out without gaining popularity.
However the day was loosely celebrated by people around the world, particularly in Asia but it wasn’t until many years later, in 2011, the 30th July was officially declared as the International Day of Friendship by the General Assembly of United Nations to foster a culture of peace and friendship. Since then, it’s seen a resurgence around the world particularly with the advent of social media.
History lesson over, we thought we’d pull out some of our best ideas for how you might like to celebrate your friends and world friendship day!
1. Spend time, plan a special outing or stay in with your friend
Catching up with your friend might seem like the most obvious thing to do but it can sometimes be a little harder than it sounds. With busy schedules and timetables that don’t match it can be hard to find time that works for both of you, but that’s ok! You can be proactive, plan ahead and put it on your calendar. Maybe you’d like to visit an old haunt where you used to spend a lot of time together that has memories for you both. Maybe you both enjoy cooking, why not plan to try a new meal together or contact their partner to arrange baby sitting and take your friend out for a movie or coffee. Whatever tickles their fancy as long as it’s fun for the both of you!
2. If you can’t ‘make time’ try ‘making space’
If you really can’t ‘make time’ in your busy schedule why not try ‘making space’ instead! If your friend can only do a Tuesday afternoon and little Susie has ballet on, make the space available for them to come too! So you have errands to run, knock the mess off the passengers side of your car and invite them to come along so you can chat while you get stuff done. Some of the best conversations are had and memories made just chatting in the car.
3. Write your friend a letter
Did you ever write secret notes and letters to your friends when you were a kid? You would be surprised how exciting it is to receive mail that isn’t a bill or junk mail even now as an adult. Not only is a letter exciting to receive, you can take your time to write it and think about and share why you appreciate your friend and share a funny story or two. You can make it as heartfelt or breezy as you want but the very fact you have gone to the effort and thought about them will say a lot to your friend particularly if your friend is a ‘words’ person. You could even print an old photo of the two of you adding to the tangible experience your friend will have when they open your letter. If you don’t have a printer or photo paper, duck by a local store that prints photos on your way to the post office to post the letter.
4. A friendship bracelet
A friendship bracelet, might seem out of date and a flash back to the early 90’s but they are making a bit of a comeback with celebrities sporting designer friendship bracelets as well. You could make one if you are creatively minded, with a leather string and beads, or with embroidery floss in a range of colours. And there are ways to make these appeal to guys as well. Let’s be honest, this is probably not every guy’s cup of tea but you know your friend, if it’s something he would enjoy, try ditching the beads on the leather band and just knot the leather instead to make something more masculine. Alternatively if your friend has a charm bracelet you could add a special charm to it as a thoughtful way to remind them that they are important to you.
5. Clean up your Facebook and social media accounts
This one is a little unconventional but perhaps important for you to feel more connected to the people that are actually your real friends. If you have a large amount of friends on Facebook why not cull those faces you don’t remember, have lost contact with, or ask the question ‘If we were in the same room at a party, would I cross over the room and talk to them?’ Are there toxic friends who make your online social interactions unhealthy? Maybe it’s time to unfriend or if you can’t bring yourself to do that at least unfollow them on your news feed so that when you jump online your Facebook and social media news feeds are filled with news and comments from those people that really matter to you.
These are just a few ideas of what you could do to celebrate world friendship day! I’m sure you could think of many others but you really can’t go wrong as long as you keep the heart of world friendship day front and centre. That is, the special love and bond you have with your friends. That is well worth celebrating!