Yesterday was National Picnic Day! But it’s ok that we missed it because you can celebrate this one anytime you want.
Picnic comes from the French for pique-nique, which means “a meal eaten outdoors”. It hearkens back to mid-18th-century al fresco French dining when all you needed was a bottle of wine, a loaf of bread, some cheese and fruit and you could have a party under the sky.
Even though you may not be able to have a gathering, there’s still no reason you can’t enjoy a spontaneous moment of pinic-y bliss. You can pack up your lunch and take it outside to your yard or garden or patio or balcony. If going outside isn’t an option due to rain or say, a global pandemic, just grab a blanket and some pillows and make a spot on the floor for you to lounge and enjoy yourself for a bit.
Your picnic can be as simple as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fruit, and a bottle of water on your living room floor, or as sophisticated as a bottle of vintage wine with a charcuterie board under the stars. You can make it as small or as elaborate as you want. Use what you have on hand. If you can’t get outside, open your windows to let the fresh air in. Turn on your favorite mellow music.
Get your kids involved. Put them in charge of making the sandwiches. Give them a cookie cutter to cut them into fun shapes. Let them go outside and fly kites. Catch fireflies. Dance in their bathing suits in the rain.
Invite neighbors — at a reasonable social distance, of course. Take a basket for a porch drop off to friends and family who might be vulnerable at this time. Put a special, encouraging note in their surprise picnic basket.
We all need a reason to look forward to each day, especially in the times we find ourselves living. Having a national holiday devoted to picnics is good enough reason for us!