YES Day – Our Second Favorite Holiday

What is there was a day when the answer to everything was YES?

That is premise of the book that we read over 9 years ago by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld. It was such a fun, whimsical idea that I couldn’t get out of my head. I am a huge sucker for holidays and holiday magic, I love how they break up the day-to-day and give us things to look forward to. My four boys at the time were ages 6-3 months old and we were just entering the school years. I dove in with both feet and in 2010 we had our first annual “Yes Day.”

For us, YES day is a way we end summer – one last hurrah before back to the rhythm and routine of the school year. Generally we do it a week or at least a few days before school starts, to give them time to normalize before school starts. I have had many other friends start this holiday. The best thing about a holiday you make up? YOU and your family get to decide the rules and they might change year to year as you adjust or your kids get older.

YES Day Rules

But, as everyone always asks, here are the basic rules of our YES day:

  1. YES Day has a set timeframe. For us now, that’s 6:30am (when my kids generally wake up) to 12midnight. When they were younger, it was more like 10pm – something that feels extra special and “late.” This timeframe was to prevent any child trying to get me out of my bed at 2am for YES day. Kinda like setting a time that your kids are allowed to open presents on Christmas kind of idea.
  2. YES Day has a budget. This is not a revolving door for my bank account. Decide a budget that works for your family size and communicate that to your kids ahead of time so they won’t get dreams of grandure. Ours has always been very modest, usually $50-100. Enough money to have some fun, but not a trip to Disneyland kids.
  3. YES Day budget can only be spent on experiences & food. I despise how much stuff my kids have and I wasn’t about to fund more of it. No, you can’t use the budget to buy new LEGOs – only experiences (going to the arcade, bounce place, trampoline place, local aquatic center, movies, etc.) or food.
  4. YES Day budget must be spent as a group – This is a great experience in communication and compromise and surprisingly has always worked out. I know, you might feel skeptical, but even with 5 opinions, my kids manage to figure out how they want to spend their budget in a way that everyone can get on board with. They usually decide this the week going into YES Day, not the day off.
  5. You still have to share on YES Day – If someone else wants to use the WiiU, you still have to take turns and share, as it is their YES Day too.
  6. You still have to ask mom for permission – Even though they know the answer will be YES, they still have to ask, because half the fun is me getting to say YES! I even do so in a silly voice that they all love and won’t let me stop, ha!

What YES Day looks like for us

What does YES Day end up looking like for us? It’s really all about the little things:

“YES you can skip your chores and music practice.”
“YES you can stay in your pjs all day”
“YES, you can have ice cream for breakfast”
“YES, you can do more than your 30 minutes of screen time.”
“YES, we can go the trampoline place.”
“YES, you can have chips.”
“YES, you can stay up past your bedtime.”
“YES, you can sleep out in the treehouse.”
“YES, we can ride our bikes to the park.”

You get the idea. My kids look forward to this holiday alllll year – it is their favorite only second to Christmas. I hope this will give you a foundation to start your own YES Day (and parents, I think we all need to plan a grown-up YES Day, ha!).