BlendedFAMILY's Feature Column:

Blended, Not Stirred


National Stepfamily Day
By Michaele Birney Arneson

National Stepfamily Day is September 16; Picnics Scheduled for September 13

With first-hand experience as a stepmother, Christy Borgeld understood the need for stepfamilies to receive support and recognition at a national level. In 1997, she began to lay the foundation for that recognition and, this year, states will celebrate the fifth National Stepfamily Day on September 16, with National Stepfamily Day picnics scheduled for Saturday, September 13.

In her first of advocating for national recognition, 25 states proclaimed September 16 as Stepfamily Day. And while she lobbied a resistant President Clinton for support, he did amend his 1998 Mother's Day message to read, "On Mother's Day, let us honor all mothers -- biological or adoptive, foster or stepmother -- whose unconditional love has strengthened us." Currently, 41 states support and recognize Stepfamily Day.

The National Stepfamily Day picnics are promoted to give families a day to celebrate their lifestyles and family members. In her 1999 dedication to stepfamilies, Borgeld stated, "It will hail the triumph of the stepfamily experience and the boundless love which is contained in the bond between a large diversity of parents and children."

For some fun, but inexpensive, ideas for summer picnic decorations, foods and activities, take a look at "Budget Savvy Tips for Throwing a Memorable Mid-Summer's Night Party," and enjoy your National Stepfamily Day picnic with all your blended family members.

Send your ideas, comments, and suggestions to me at If you are interested in contributing an article, essay, or other materials for the Blended Family section, see Blended Family Writing Guidelines for details.

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