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Unique ways to celebrate Labor Day

Labor Day (or Labour Day in Canada) was created by the labor movement to shine light on the achievements and contributions of workers. Without hardworking men and women, the economy would not thrive and the prosperity of a nation would be unlikely.

Like many other holidays, Labor Day's message may play second fiddle to the more widespread celebrations that take place. It's easy to think that Labor Day commemorates the unofficial end of summer rather than the North American worker, but those who want to celebrate more mindfully can consider these ideas.

• While many people are off on Labor Day, essential workers may not be. Bring lunch to a police station or firehouse, or simply thank workers you come across, such as grocery store employees, for doing their jobs.

• Active military who are deployed may be missing home, especially during national holidays. Send a care package to them that they can enjoy overseas.

• Purchase items made domestically to support national industry.

• Bosses can reach out to employees with words of praise and encouragement. Too often employees are told what they need to improve rather than what they are doing right. A few words of gratitude can buoy spirits.

• Employers can start the three-day weekend early by enabling workers to leave a few hours early on the Friday preceding the holiday weekend.

Labor Day is often dominated by backyard barbecues and trips to the beach. Those who want to be more in touch with the meaning behind the holiday can look for additional ways to celebrate it.