- Mother's Day. Mother's Day is celebrated in the United States on the second Sunday in May. Other countries also celebrate Mother's Day, but some may celebrate it on a different day. Tell your child about your mom. Do you see her often? What do you like to do together? If your mom has passed away, what are some fond memories you have of her? Do you have a mother-in-law, or a stepmother? Share about them, too! And don't forget the aunts and grandmothers! When I send out a first Mother's Day-themed letter to a new sponsor child, I always tell them that it is a day we celebrate and show our gratitude and love toward our moms, or other important women in our lives. That way, if your child's mother is not around for whatever reason, you aren't necessarily waving a flag in their face that says "I have a mom and you don't." What will your family do for Mother's Day? I tell my kids that I will spend time with my mom and with Brandon's mom, and I will try to see or call my grandmothers, too. Tell your child to give his or her mom a hug on your behalf! Said wrote to me so often about his mom, how happy she was that I wrote to him, and other things going on in her life, that I finally just started ending most of my letters to him with "give your mom a hug for me!" How much do you know about your sponsor child's mother, anyway? Now would be a great time to learn more! And if you really want to make the letter exciting, see about digging up a picture of you and your mom when you were younger. My kids love getting stuff like that! You can simply attach the image to your letter using the online letter-writing tool.
- Birthdays. My birthday is in May, so I will probably be writing at least part of a letter about that. I usually tell my kids something like this: "My birthday is on May 11. I will be 25 years old. I am looking forward to spending time with my family and friends for my birthday. Brandon and I are going to the zoo on that day. Later in the week, my friends Kelli, Sarah, and Lauren will come over, and we will share a meal together. I am so glad I get to spend time with them!" Short, simple, and sweet. There's no bragging about presents or potentially awkward talk about going out to eat, birthday cake, or other topics that may highlight economic differences between you and your child.
- Local Celebrations- US. What is going on in your area this time of year? The beginning of May is a very important time in my city. I live in Louisville, Kentucky, the home of the Kentucky Derby. The Derby takes place on the first Saturday in May every year. Even though I have never gone to the Derby, I always write to my kids about the things that go on in my city around this time. Starting in April, we have the Derby Festival. There are concerts, parades, and other fun activities- activities that kids around the world can relate to. One of the biggest attractions is a huge fireworks show called Thunder Over Louisville. I tell my kids that the show takes place in the city, by the river. I tell them that many people attend the fireworks show- last year there were about 400,000 people there! I tell them how some people spend the day by the river, having picnics and setting up tents, so they can have a good view of the show. At the end of the show, they shoot off fireworks from a bridge, so that it looks like the bridge exploded! Even though I do not go to the show because I don't like the noise or the crowds, when it's over, if I'm very quiet, I can hear the sound travel over the city, like thunder. I like to send postcards to my kids featuring race horses, Churchill Downs, or even just horses in a field (they are everywhere, it seems.) I tell them that I have not been to the race, but every year movie stars and famous singers come to my city from around the world to watch these horses run around in a circle! Even if you don't live in Louisville, surely there is something unique about your town (or your state) that you could take the time to write about. Do you have any special festivals or events? Do you have any parades? Even if you think your hometown is boring, what are some of the geographic features of where you live? Do you live near the beach, or is your state landlocked? Does your state have mountains, or deserts- or both? Are you near a big river or lake? Try Googling a map of your state and attach it to your letter, so your child will have a better idea about where you live. See if you can find some postcards featuring local attractions or scenery, too. One of the best places to find these postcards is the airport! Every time I go to the airport (once or twice a year, and always to pick someone else up), I stock up on postcards for sponsor kids. Popular Kentucky postcards include the downtown skyline, riverboats, bunches and bunches of horses, pretty winter scenes, the cardinal (our state bird), and special buildings like the Louisville Slugger Museum, which features a 120-foot baseball bat, leaning on the building! I guarantee you that your child will be happy to learn more about where you live, and they will be proud to share special occasions from their homeland, too.
- Libraries. National Library Week is in May. The end of May is also when a lot of public library systems start their summer reading programs for kids. Do you visit your local library? What kinds of books do you like to read? What is your library like? Do they do anything special for children in the summertime? Since I work at the public library, I have written to my kids about libraries several times. Ask your child if he has a library in his town, and if he has ever been there. Ask your child what books she likes to read. Even if you are not a big fan of reading for pleasure, take the time to encourage your sponsor child about the importance of reading! There are library- and book-themed coloring pages you could printout. Many libraries offer free stickers or fun bookmarks to the public, especially in the summer time. Snag one to send to your child! I like to tell my kids about the summer reading program at our library- when kids read 10 books and write them down, they get a prize. Chances are, your public library has something similar. Ask your child how fast he thinks he could read 10 books (or however many are required for your local summer reading program.)
- Summer break. Most students in the United States end the school year around the end of May or the beginning of June. Ask your child if he gets a break from school this time of year. This would be a great time to learn more about school in your child's country. You can find out when terms end and when exams are held. Tell your child you are praying for her and her schoolwork, no matter if she gets a break this time of year. Tell your child how you liked to spend your summer breaks when you were their age. If you have kids, share some fun activities your children will be doing this summer. It's ok to tell our sponsor kids if we plan on taking a trip- you can say "we are going to visit the beach for a few days" or "we are traveling to another state to visit our relatives." Talk about summer fun, like going to the swimming pool, playing outside, drawing on the pavement with chalk. Your sponsor child wants to know what you do for fun, and you might be surprised to learn that you share interests and how you spend your free time!
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
May Letter Writing Topics
I can't believe it's already May! I've got tons of ideas for letter topics this month. Please remember that it's beyond important to write to your sponsor child, even if you only write to them with the online letter-writing tool!