Celebrating While Keeping the 4th Commandment

By Ty Salvant

The fourth commandment instructs us to “honor your father and your mother.” As an adult, that command takes on a different directive, although it is usually easier to follow.

This year, my mom celebrated a milestone birthday. When my brother, sister and I were discussing options to honor her, we envisioned a big party with friends and family showering her with love and affection.

Filled with anticipation, I casually asked my mom how she’d like to celebrate this year. Much to my dismay, my mom nixed our idea. On more than one occasion, she clearly stated a big party was not how she wanted to observe her birthday.

There were several conversations with my siblings about whether we would plan a surprise party or honor her wishes. Ultimately, we realized it was more important to please my mom by yielding to her request than to continue with our initial plans. So, we opted for an intimate family dinner.

Still, I wanted to do something more to memorialize this year. Finally, I remembered a wonderful alternative.

A couple of years ago, a friend gave her mother a very special gift. Sarah invited friends and family to celebrate her mom all year long. Fifty-two of us were asked to select a day over the next year to celebrate her mom, essentially creating a year of weekly dates. We could personalize the day any way we desired. Typical outings varied from dinner, lunch, movies, drinks, shopping and road trips to gift cards for out-of-town guests. Thanks, Sarah!

I decided to replicate that gift for my mom. Her friends and family are excited to have an opportunity to keep the party going on for the entire year to honor her in a significant way while honoring her request of an intimate birthday dinner.

How do you honor your parents?

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