If you're lucky enough to have a cool aunt in your family, then you know just how much fun and joy these women can bring to a kid's life. Now there's even a special day set aside in their honor. Knowing when to celebrate National Auntie's Day this year will give you the chance to show these aunts some love. Whether your aunt is a blood relative or a friend who's close enough to be considered family, these women are the best, and they deserve a day of celebration, too.
The tenth annual National Auntie's Day will fall on Sunday, July 22, 2018, according to Melanie Notkin's website. Notkin, the bestselling author of Savvy Auntie: The Ultimate Guide for Cool Aunts, Great-Aunts, Godmothers and All Women Who Love Kids, has championed the cool aunts of the world for many years now. "It’s time that all women in the American Family Village are honored for their love and generosity for the children in their lives,” said Notkin. “Many aunts provide ‘QualAuntie Time’ and fun ‘Auntventures,’ for their nieces and nephews, not to mention gifts and necessities. Many non-moms also give tirelessly to children all over the world. These BenevolAunts are due their day to be honored.” The National Auntie's Day gives families everywhere the opportunity to recognize and honor these incredible women.
Please note that there is also a National Aunt and Uncle's Day that is celebrated on July 26, according to the National Day Calendar. This is a separate holiday. But you can always celebrate both days, because aunts (and uncles too) are pretty great and deserve some love.
As far as celebrating National Auntie's Day is concerned, there really aren't any rules. Friends and family might consider holding a backyard BBQ or giving gifts from the nieces and nephews, as noted on the Savvy Auntie website. The Auntie herself might enjoy a day out with her nieces and nephews, or simply a quick text or Skype conversation. Really, just touching base with the kids will probably be enough of a thanks for most aunts.
This fun holiday opens the door to more serious considerations about the American family and the role of childfree women in childcare. Notkins has long championed the undervalued role of the aunt in a family. "In a 2012 study I partnered on with the communications firm Weber Shandwick, we found 23-million PANKs, or Professional Aunts No Kids, the term I coined to describe child loving, childless women. That’s one-in-five North American women. These generous aunts contribute to the development of our nieces and nephews by relation, our friends’ children, and children around the world," said Notkin in a Quilette article published earlier this year. These women also deserve recognition for their contribution to kids and families everywhere. Basically, PANKs help make families stronger.
As Notkin's work shows, these beloved Aunties are dedicated to their friends' and siblings' kids. It's a pleasant pushback against the us-versus-them rhetoric sometimes used to separate women who don't have kids from women who do have kids. A significant part of the PANK demographic is their love for those nieces and nephews, biological or otherwise. In fact, about 70 percent of PANKs act as a role model for the children in their lives, and they often provide financial and emotional support to these children, as noted by the Digital Women Influences Study on The Power of the PANK. Whether she helps teach you about the ways of the world, takes you out to the movies, or helps pay for your college tuition, these beloved aunties are also important and crucial figures in a kid's life.