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As you may have heard me say recentlyI am always looking for an excuse to have a party. It’s something I assume everyone in youth ministry has in common.

Of course, we all know about the important holidays. (Like, I don’t know, the ones that celebrate Jesus, perhaps?) But listen. There are also other holidays out there. More holidays than you could possibly imagine. 

So this year on my blog, I’ve decided to introduce you to some of these hidden holiday gems. Every month, I’m highlighting a handful of lesser-known, possibly weird, and definitely wonderful, holidays – and how we might want to celebrate them in our youth ministries. We’ve already done January, February, and March, so now let’s talk about APRIL.

CELEBRATE WITH YOUR VOLUNTEERS

Because your volunteers deserve to be celebrated.

BARBERSHOP QUARTET DAY

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Yup. Barbershop Quartet Day is a real holiday and it is celebrated every April 11th. And, as you may have guessed, I think it’s got some potential as a holiday we might be able to celebrate in youth ministry. How? Well, here’s an idea.

This year, Barbershop Quartet Day falls on a Monday. A week or so in advance, hop onto Fiverr and do a quick search for sellers who will record a song for you in the style of barbershop quartet. The beauty of Fiverr is that that you can find people willing to do some pretty ridiculous and amazing stuff, usually for just a few bucks. Once you’ve found your quartet creator, you’ve got to decide what you want them to record for you. My suggestion? Either an original song about how awesome your volunteers are, or a parody of a pop song they might know, but with the words changed to be something about how they’re the best volunteers ever.

When you’ve got your recording back from your quartet guy, send the video to your volunteers on April 11th as a little reminder of how wonderful you think they are.

HAIKU POETRY DAY

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Okay, if barbershop quartets aren’t your thing, it’s okay, because Haiku Poetry Day is April 17 every year. You know what a haiku is, right? A poem? 3 lines? 17 syllables? 5, then 7, then 5 again? You might remember them from elementary school, which is when most people learn to write them and why I know you’re capable of writing one today, as a grown adult.

And why am I telling you to write a haiku poem, you ask? Well, because I think Haiku Poetry Day is the perfect day to write a little poem of appreciation for your volunteers. A little something that tells them how awesome they are, and how much you’re thankful for them, and how everything would fall apart without them.

Once you’ve got it, send it to your volunteers, maybe in a text or in your weekly volunteer emails. Wish them a happy Haiku Day, then present them with their haiku. (And if you want to get really fancy, you could even invite them to write their own and send it back to you. Best youth-ministry-related-haiku-writer gets a prize!)

PRETZEL DAY

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Okay, okay, enough with the mushy songs and poems of appreciation and gratitude and stuff. Let’s talk about the thing that’s always a quick way to the hearts of your volunteers: food.

Each year, on April 26, planet earth celebrates Pretzel Day. This year, get in on the action by setting up, perhaps, a hot pretzel bar for your volunteers when they show up to serve this week. You don’t have to get fancy with the actual pretzel part. You can find them in the freezer aisle and keep them warm in an oven or something. But spend some quality time thinking about the pretzel toppings. Because yum.

Nacho cheese. Fancy mustard. Honey mustard. Chocolate sauce. Peanut butter. Cinnamon and sugar. Caramel. Oh my goodness.

Do this. And try not to eat it all before your volunteers show up.

CELEBRATE WITH YOUR STUDENTS

Because having fun together will help you connect.

PILLOW FIGHT DAY

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A couple of years ago, I wrote a post about an idea we tried in our youth ministry that went over perfectly. It’s called Spontaneous Pillow Fights and it’s so easy to pull off. This year, Pillow Fight Day happens on April 2, so here’s the idea. Grab a volunteer. Give them two pillows. Have them wander around looking for potential opponents. When they locate one, they’ll approach them, tap them on the shoulder, toss them a pillow and immediately start beating them with their own pillow.

Maybe this sounds silly, but I’m telling you, when we tried this, it actually did wonders for helping us help kids open up and smile before our program started.

HAIRBALL AWARENESS DAY

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Yes, Hairball Awareness Day is actually a real holiday and, every year, it’s always celebrated on April 25.

So go ahead and take advantage of this monumental day by doing something fun and hairball-related with them. Okay, maybe you can’t picture what that might look like, so here’s something to get you started. During your program, play a weird game or two with your students… you know, something involving hairballs. Kenny (my husband and favorite game-inventor) actually came up with a pretty funny one, which you can find in our Absurd Holiday Game Pack (Volume 2). You’ll love it. As much as you can love a game involving hairballs, that is.

POETRY MONTH

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Since you’re already in the poetry spirit thanks to those haiku poems, here’s a really fun and simple way to celebrate Poetry Month (which is every April) with your students, too. An On-The-Spot Poetry Slam. What the heck is that, you ask?

On-The-Spot Showdowns are something we made up for our middle schoolers and a poetry slam edition would be perfect for this holiday. Here’s the premise. At the beginning of your program, announce you’re doing a showdown and you need two contestants who think they’re great at writing poems. Give them each a pad of paper and pen, send them away for fifteen minutes, and bring them back to perform their poems live. Grab the complete (FREE!) instructions for our Showdowns from FunNinja.org to help you get started!

And there you have it for April! Hope some of these ideas have inspired you celebrate more often with your volunteers and students. Because, hey, there’s a whole lot of stuff to celebrate, you know? Oh and don’t forget to check back in a few weeks for a list of weird May holidays, too!

So how about you? Got any good ideas for celebrating these weird holidays? Know of any good April holidays I didn’t mention?

 

THIS POST IS PART OF A 12-PART SERIES ABOUT WEIRD HOLIDAYS IN YOUTH MINISTRY. SEE THEM ALL RIGHT HERE!