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Why I created a holiday: Celebrating Brother’s Day

I cherish having two older sisters for our many connections that go far beyond each of us having dark hair, great senses of humor, and a love for tuna sandwiches. It’s shared memories reaching back to childhood that formed the strong bonds we have today as adults. I feel fortunate to have sisters: people who love me unconditionally. This is why I am rattled to my core when my boys scream “I hate you!” to one another. And that’s why I invented Brother’s Day.

I cherish having two older sisters for our many connections that go far beyond each of us having dark hair, great senses of humor, and a love for tuna sandwiches. It’s shared memories reaching back to childhood that formed the strong bonds we have today as adults. I feel fortunate to have sisters: people who love me unconditionally. This is why I am rattled to my core when my boys scream “I hate you!” to one another. And that’s why I invented Brother’s Day.


In a maternal quest driven by the dream of having my boys love, respect and even like each other, I decided that just like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, Brother’s Day should follow suit and be held on the third Sunday of July. Celebrating Brother’s Day can be as simple as a group hug or special dessert or as elaborate as a family day trip or party. To kick-off the very first Brother’s Day, I wrote a poem which I attempt to read-through each year despite silly giggles from my boys and a lump in my throat. (Provided below are excerpts.)

Somehow it wasn’t until last year’s observance of Brother’s Day that my youngest realized that this holiday doesn’t appear printed on any calendar, just written by hand in Sharpie on our own. In disbelief he uttered, “You can’t make-up your own holiday!” Yes I can and you can, too even if you call it Sister’s Day, Sibling’s Day, Cousin’s Day, or Kid’s Day.

Ideas to Celebrate Brother’s Day

  • Make cards
  • Engage in tried-and-true activities that your children enjoy such as watching a favorite movie or playing a favorite game
  • Do something brand-new together as a family like visiting a new-to-you attraction
  • Get silly together with a family dance party or a game of charades
  • Enjoy a special treat like cupcakes or make-your-own ice cream sundaes
  • Watch family movies (chances are you recorded them but haven’t watched them either)

Excerpts from the poem Brother’s Day by Elyse Major

You splash in the tub
And play at the beach
Where ever we are
Your brother’s in reach

From the time you wake up
‘Til the end of the day
There’s always a pal
With whom you can play

Please always remember
And try to see
How having a lifelong friend like a brother
Is a true gift indeed

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11 comments
  • OH MY GOODNESS. This is the most bizarre coincidence, but my oldest boy just ‘invented’ brothers day as well–to be held tomorrow, the fourth Sunday in July. We’re making decorations and little gifts today. I am so inspired and grateful to have found your sentiments!

  • We’re celebrating our 3rd Brothers’Day on July 24 this year. I decided to have a week after my birthday so they will always remember either my birthday or their brothers day. Hopefully they will remember both! We have 4 boys. They pick a brother’s name from a hat. They then shop at the dollar store for a gift and they make a homemade card. Great Tradition!

  • If I remember correctly, last year’s brother’s day celebration was a day at the beach. Didn’t know about the poem, though. That takes it to a whole different level. It’s great that the meaning of the day is captured in a little poetic ‘mission statement.’

  • My brother and I used to fight all the time. Maybe if we had Brother’s Day there would have been some peace — at least once a year! (As adults, we couldn’t be closer.)

  • Two years ago after celebrating Mother’s Day and Father’s Day my then 5 year old boy wondered why there wasn’t a “Son Day”. I told him we could make a “Son Day” and he picked July 21st since Mother’s Day was in May and Father’s Day was in June. I love that he looks forward to being “celebrated”. This year he thought that a “Daughter Day” should be added (even though he has no siblings) and in keeping with the flow of things decided August would be best. Hallmark better not catch on to us!

  • Well said Johanna about Elyse being a “maverick” and setting an example for our kids “that we are only limited by our own creativity!” And having two boys, I plan to adopt the holiday myself.

  • I love the idea- AND I love the example you’ve set by being a “maverick” and creating your own holiday- what a great way to show your boys that we are only limited by our own creativity! This is a wonderful article!