This post is part of a 12-part series about weird holidays in youth ministry. See them all right here!

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 and February, so now let’s talk about MARCH.

CELEBRATE WITH YOUR VOLUNTEERS

Because your volunteers deserve to be celebrated.

DAY OF UNPLUGGING

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Friday, March 4 is the Day of Unplugging. And it’s a Friday! So here’s something you might want to try. On Thursday night or Friday morning, send a text to all of your volunteers and say something like this:

Hey best-ever volunteers! Happy Day of Unplugging. Look, I know you work hard (like, really hard). With all the time you spend on your families, your friends, your real jobs, and serving with us, you deserve some time to relax and recharge. So do it! Today! On Unplugging Day! Turn off your phone for a few hours and maybe go outside. Do a puzzle. Take a bubble bath. Bake a cake. Read a book. Take a nap. Play a board game. Run around. Do a cartwheel. Hang out with a friend. Those emails and Facebook notifications can wait. Take some time for you today. You deserve it. Thanks for all you do! We love you!

AWKWARD MOMENTS DAY

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Youth ministry is basically one long string of awkward moments. Like when a water balloon explodes on your lap right before you have to teach. Or when you try a trust fall to teach your students about faith, but they drop you and you get a concussion. Or when you ask a kid how their hamster’s doing and they tell you they accidentally dropped a textbook on top of it and now it’s dead and they are crying.

So on Awkward Moments Day, turn all of that awkwardness into a fun contest for your volunteers. The week of March 18, announce The Awkward Moments Day Contest to your volunteers. All week long, ask them to submit their funniest and most awkward youth ministry stories. Then, at the end of the week, choose a winner and give the winner a sweet (or maybe awkward?) prize. Here, I made you an image you can use for it. Stick your logo on it, add your contest details, whatever you want.

awkward

CAFFEINE AWARENESS MONTH

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If there’s anyone who needs a good dose of caffeine this month, it’s your volunteers. Whether they’re manning the front doors, chasing teenage couples out of darkened corners, teaching, leading worship, or leading small groups, your volunteers work really hard… which means they could probably use a little pick-me-up from time to time.

So in the month of March, celebrate Caffeine Awareness Month by hooking your volunteers up with some special caffeinated treats.

  1. Get a bunch of delicious caffeinated drinks. Coffee, iced coffee, tea, iced tea, all the pop you can find, energy drinks…go really crazy here. Stock up.
  2. Set them up where only your volunteers can access them. And make your set-up really dramatic, if you can. PILES of drinks. A ton of variety. Ice. Cool cups. Celebrating your volunteers is a good reason to splurge.
  3. Add some finishing touches, like a sign that says “Happy Caffeine Awareness Month!” or balloons or little notes about how awesome they are.

CELEBRATE WITH YOUR STUDENTS

Because having fun together will help you connect.

WORLD WATER DAY

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Okay, this holiday isn’t actually “weird.” It’s really important, actually. March 22, World Water Day, is dedicated to raising awareness for the people on this planet who are suffering because of a lack of clean drinking water. So this World Water Day, help your students begin to think about what they can do alongside your ministry to alleviate some of that suffering in the world.

Do a big fundraiser campaign, like a Walk For Water, or a small group fundraising contest, or a big crazy water-themed event where all the proceeds go somewhere important. Create a giant slip-and-slide. Play a ton of water-themed games. Get a dunk tank. Charge a few bucks for students to get in, then take all of those proceeds and give them to an organization like Let Them LOL, a nonprofit dedicated to clean water solutions and other projects in Sierra Leone, Africa.

Plus, check out what my buddy Brooklyn Lindsey is doing with The Justice Movement and their campaign, Just Water.

NATIONAL FROZEN FOOD MONTH

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What? You didn’t know Frozen Food had its own celebratory month? Well, now you do. And it’s the month of March. Celebrate this little-known and very awesome holiday with your students this month by playing a crazy game involving (you guessed it) frozen foods.

Kenny (my husband and favorite game-inventor) actually came up with a pretty epic frozen-food-related game, which you can find in our Absurd Holiday Game Pack (Volume 2). Basically, it involves recreating the magical experience of working at a grocery story. You know, the #1 thing to which all of your students probably aspire. It also involves some rapidly-moving bags of frozen peas and things.

And hey! Bonus! If there are any incidents of poor sportsmanship during this game, resulting in black eyes, you’ll already have those handy bags of frozen peas on hand.

MAKE UP YOUR OWN HOLIDAY DAY

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If you hate all of my suggestions this month, you’re in luck.

March 26 is Make Up Your Own Holiday Day!

So here’s an idea. You can use it with your students either in real-life (maybe during your regularly scheduled game time) or on social media. Have a contest where your students get to declare a new weird holiday that you’re going to celebrate together in March. Here’s how it could work.

  1. Announce the contest! (Duh.)
  2. Gather their entries. Maybe they submit their weird holiday ideas by commenting on an Instagram post, or by writing their ideas on index cards and dropping them into a box.
  3. Choose a few semi-finalists. I’d suggest choosing 3-5 total.
  4. Let your students vote for the winner. 
  5. Announce and celebrate your new holiday!

And there you have it for March! 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 April holidays, too!

 

So how about you? Got any good ideas for celebrating these weird holidays? Know of any good March 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!
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