How to Host a Memorable Memorial Day Celebration

Alicia Searl

Contributing Writer
Published May 24, 2022
How to Host a Memorable Memorial Day Celebration

First and foremost, we must recognize the meaning behind this holiday. We have several veterans in my own family, so making a point on Memorial Day to honor those men and women that sacrificed their lives in the line of duty is invaluable to them.

Memorial Day. A day when we remember and honor those that have so bravely fought for our country. Reflecting on those that sacrificed their lives for our freedom, causing many freedom-loving Americans to get together with family and friends with grateful hearts. It also marks the first taste of summer and a way to break out the sunscreen and fire up those grills. Let the BBQ masters cheer with glee!

So, as the day draws in, maybe you've got some family, friends, and neighbors ready to gather. Well, dust off your patriot swimsuit and break out the grilling tools because we're about to dig into some great ways to celebrate Memorial Day while making it meaningful and memorable, too.

Honor Those That Have Served

First and foremost, we must recognize the meaning behind this holiday. We have several veterans in my own family, so making a point on Memorial Day to honor those men and women that sacrificed their lives in the line of duty is invaluable to them. While children run around and hamburgers are being tossed on the grill, it can feel more like a party than an act of remembrance. So, below are some ways to keep this day in perspective and honor the loved ones that paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

  1. While you are blessing the meal, pray specifically for the men and women that serve our country.
  2. Honor the "National Moment of Remembrance Act." This was a law passed in December of 2000 that encouraged Americans to pause and observe a moment of silence in order to honor and remember those who have died in service to our nation.
  3. Write letters, make care packages, or donate items to our military. Operation Gratitude is a non-profit organization that allows you to do just that.
  4. Wear a remembrance poppy. Pinning this bright red flower on your shirt shows a sign of respect.
  5. Have children sing the National Anthem or other patriotic songs. There is just something about children singing that touches our hearts, right?

Keep it Patriotic

Americana is the theme. But as you search for ways to decorate your home for Memorial Day, maybe you are left feeling a little overwhelmed. There is no need to stress; keep it simple by adding little touches of red, white, and blue here and there. You can even spruce up your food items to go with the theme. Here's how:

  1. Toss red, white, and blue tablecloths on the table and place flags in mason jars as decoration. You can find mini flags and even red, white, and blue flowers at most craft stores.
  2. Have your children make patriotic signs. Break out the red, white, and blue paint and paper, then let them have at it. Once they are dry, hang them up for all to see.
  3. Make your food and desserts festive. There are countless ideas on ways to make food patriotic. Try using strawberries and blueberries as a side dish of fruit, or use them to decorate a cake. Sprinkle red, white, and blue sprinkles on top of vanilla ice cream or cupcakes. Also, try your hand at making a flag side dish. Use red tomatoes, white cauliflower, and blue chips. You can cut out cheese stars and add them on top of blue chips. Throw together a vegetable dip on the side. Easy, cute - Yum!
  4. Play patriotic music or put a patriotic movie on in the background. Hacksaw Ridge, War Horse, and Unbroken are some inspirational movies based on true events.
  5. If the festivities go into the evening hours, string up lights or light candles for a nice ambiance. If you are lucky, you will find red, white, and blue mason jars to put candles in, making a lovely glow.

Fire Up the Grill

What better way to entertain your guests than a cookout? If the weather is nice, take the party outside and fire up those grills. Instead of spending all your time preparing everything in the kitchen while everyone else is outside, step away from the typical cuisine and place your meal on the grill. From hamburgers and hotdogs to grilled veggies, it's a great way to spend time with family and friends and make meal prep a snap. If you are looking for something festive and fun, try some of the ideas below.

  1. For the love of chicken – try marinated grilled chicken, Bar-B-Que chicken, or chicken kabobs with vegetables.
  2. Smoke some sausages, boudain, or chorizo. They make great appetizers or can even be the main course with rice or beans and vegetables.
  3. Toss veggies such as squash, zucchini, mushrooms, asparagus, and onions together and drizzle with olive oil and seasoning; then wrap in foil and throw them on the grill.
  4. Roast corn by drizzling with butter and garlic and wrap individually in foil. A favorite summer side dish in our house. So easy and yummy!
  5. Smoke a brisket. This is a nice meat if you have a lot of guests as brisket (depending on the size) can generally feed about 10-20 people. Serve that up with baked beans and potato salad. This is a fallback Southern meal for many over the summer. And Texans do love their briskets dripping with BBQ sauce and smoked to perfection. Mmmm.

Play Games or Swim

If you want the kids (and adults) to really have fun, you need something for them to do. If everyone is already outside, then outdoor games and activities might be for the win? However, if some need a little AC or it's raining, maybe a few indoor games might be best. Not sure what kind of games to play? Not to worry. Check out some ideas below.

Outdoor Fun:

  1. Cornhole, horseshoe, ring toss, or giant Jenga are all fun ways to keep kids (and adults) all smiles. Some of these games you can make or purchase online.
  2. Everything is more fun with bubbles, right?
  3. Water balloons or water guns are always a fun outdoor activity. Just get ready to be entertained!
  4. Set up an obstacle course and see who's the most competitive.
  5. Sidewalk chalk is also a big hit with the little ones. You may want baby wipes handy to wipe them down before dinnertime, though.

Indoor Fun:

  1. Make patriot crafts. Pull out the construction paper, stickers, and paint. You may need those baby wipes here too.
  2. Play board games or Twister.
  3. Have an indoor parade. Let kids have musical instruments or use pots and pans with wooden spoons and let them cheer for America.
  4. Bake cookies and let the children decorate them with fun sprinkles.
  5. Read Patriot Stories or books. The Wall by Eve Bunting is a beautiful rhyming story for all to enjoy.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Ephesians 6:10

Various Scriptures relate our faith as believers to being like that of a soldier. In Ephesians 6:10-20, we are to put on our full armor of God to stand against this world's evil schemes. As we celebrate Memorial Day and remember those that fought so bravely for our freedom, we must also recognize the freedom and strength we have in Christ. Jesus gives us the freedom to choose to live boldly for Him! Here is how you can go into Memorial Day with that mindset.

  1. Fasten your belt by seeking Truth and standing firm in God's Word. Dig into His Word and etch it in your heart daily (Proverbs 3:3).
  2. Hold up your breastplate of righteousness and shield of faith. Seek to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly (Micah 6:8).
  3. Wear shoes that are ready to walk and share the gospel. Share your faith with others as the Holy Spirit leads (Mark 16:15-16).
  4. Take up your helmet of salvation and sword of Truth and use it to pray at all times. Be in constant communication with God throughout your day (1Thessalonians 5:16-18).
  5. Choose actions and words that show you are an ambassador for Christ. Let others see Him shining through you.

As you prepare and get ready to host a memorable Memorial Day take a moment to be still and thank God for those brave men and women that courageously place on their armor to keep us safe and free.

If you or a family member serve our country, on behalf of so many Americans - thank you! While I know those two words don't merely mean enough, the gratitude so many of us hold in our hearts for the sacrifice you make to keep our families and us safe means more than we can ever put into words.

Happy Memorial Day, friends!

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Halfpoint

Alicia SearlAlicia Searl is a devotional author, blogger, and speaker that is passionate about pouring out her heart and pointing ladies of all ages back to Jesus. She has an education background and master’s in literacy.  Her favorite people call her Mom, which is why much of her time is spent cheering them on at a softball game or dance class. She is married to her heartthrob (a tall, spiky-haired blond) who can whip up a mean latte. She sips that goodness while writing her heart on a page while her puppy licks her feet. Visit her website at and connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.