March 31st

Keep it simple and sincere. This tradition is meant to be from the heart, not the pocket. Here are a few ideas:

  • Spend a minute (or more) thinking about your brothers or sisters.
  • Get together with them.
  • Call or send an e-card, email, or letter.
  • Do something special or helpful for them.

Relationships can be complex. Can this work for all brothers and sisters?

And what about people without siblings?

The idea is to celebrate good relationships, heal wounded ones, and strengthen bonds. For example:

  • Whatever your relationship, you can send a message that says you care.
  • If you don't have a biological brother or sister, but there's someone you consider that close to your heart, tell them, "I think of you as my (sister or brother)."
  • You can tell step-sisters and -brothers and half-sisters and -brothers, who sometimes feel like second-class siblings, how important they've been to you.
  • You can say, "Something I admire about you is ..."
  • You can thank a brother or sister; perhaps for the laughter you shared as children, or for helping you along the way, or perhaps for shouldering the uneven burden of caring for an aging parent.
  • If you are close, you can express in some uniquely personal way-a poem, a piece of art-how much you cherish your brother or sister.
  • You can resurrect and share a favorite memory, or dig out and send an old photo.
  • You can get together for a cup of coffee, a meal, or a family reunion.
  • If you have neglected a brother or sister, you can use the day as an excuse to say so and add, "You really do mean a lot to me."
  • If you have done something hurtful, you can apologize. And if you have been hurt, you can open your heart to reconciliation.
  • You can even use the day to reach beyond your immediate family or close circle of friends to tell someone of another culture, "I consider you my brother." Or, "Differences aside, we are sisters."