When I was young my mother always caught us out on April Fool’s Day with “Look kids, there’s a deer on the lawn.” Fooled us every time. We felt silly but it wasn’t a big deal. But years later when my mother lived with my husband and me, my hubby carved a deer out of wood and put it on the front lawn. Then we called her to come and see the deer on the lawn on April Fool’s morning. It gave her such pleasure to see this deer. There was a joke but with a kind end. April Fool’s Day pranks and jokes can go either way – bring laughter and spread happiness or make others feel bad.
April Fool’s Day didn’t start with kind endings. The history goes from Wiki that in 16th century France April 1st and January 1st were both celebrated as the New Year. When the new Gregorian Calendar came out showing January 1st as the only New Year’s Day, many people didn’t get the news for a long time, (no internet, remember) and they still thought the new year was also April 1st. This gave the others an opportunity to play tricks on them about April 1st. Can you imagine encouraging people to hold an April 1st New Year’s party for 100 guests and then nobody shows up?
From Frown to Smiles
Many of us have been caught off-guard in an April 1st prank – whether it’s physical: “Look out you’re going to step in the dog poo.” Or it could be mental: “You’re getting a raise today,” only to hear at the end of the day “April Fool’s Day.
Even though April Fool’s Day has traditionally been used to make someone feel silly, some pranks are just hurtful. Some have gone so far as to traumatize. And while a joke is fun for everyone, it shouldn’t make a child cry or an adult suffer.
Here’s an example of how a prank can change for the good. Dad comes home on April 1st with a brochure for a vacation in the sun. Everybody is thrilled. Then he leads them outside to a windy, snow-filled backyard and shows them a new plastic kiddy pool. Dad thinks this is very funny. Mom and the kids, not so much. They are let down and think Dad is mean. It’s a sad outcome.
Pranks that will spread happiness
Dad comes home on April 1st with a note from his boss that says that he doesn’t get any holidays this summer. Everybody in the family is sad because this means they can’t go to the cottage. Then Dad shouts “April Fool’s Day” and shows them the new foam noodles that he bought for the cottage. It’s a happy outcome.
Happiness is contagious – it spreads and happy people are more kind, compassionate and giving.
If you want o spread more kindness in the world we have ideas to last you 365 days of the year. Check out these other posts that will inspire you to give every day of the year or join us for #Do1Give Day 2023!