What would the world even be like without friends? Whether it's with people you've known forever or with those you've met only recently, friendship is a source of happiness, laughter, and amazing memories. While it's important to make time for your friends all year-round, it's especially nice if you can plan something special for National Friendship Day, which happens on the first Sunday in August every year.

Origins of Friendship Day

National Friendship Day officially started in 1935 because American lawmakers wanted to recognize the important role friends play in each other's lives. Five years before, Hallmark Cards commercialized the concept to encourage people to buy greeting cards for their friends. The rest of the world caught on, with other countries introducing similar holidays. In 1958, the World Friendship Crusade selected July 30 as the date for World Friendship Day, a celebration of culture and peace. The United Nations' International Day of Friendship was unveiled in 2011 on the same date.

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Say thank you

One of the easiest ways to honor your friends on National Friendship Day is to thank them for their never-ending love and support. It only takes a minute to say thank you, and that small, thoughtful gesture can make their day. Think about the friends who have always been there for you and offered you a shoulder to lean on. Remind them how incredibly thankful you are to have their presence in your life and express your gratitude for their positivity and encouragement.

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Social media shout outs

Speaking of saying thank you, you can do it over text message or social media. This is especially good if your best friends are active on your favorite platforms. Just post a pic of a beloved memory and offer some of the reasons why you can't imagine life without your friends. This public display of appreciation for those closest to you will make them feel special and reinforce your strong friendship.

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Catch up for coffee

If you want to do something in-person on National Friendship Day, ask your friends to grab a cup of coffee and catch up. Head to your favorite local café, or pick up their go-to order and bring it to their door. Either way, your friends will appreciate the thought and enjoy the opportunity to chit chat about the things that are important to you.

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Watch a movie

If you and your friends love hanging out and watching movies, then National Friendship Day is the perfect reason to schedule a movie night. Keep it low-key by streaming a movie at home while snacking on popcorn, or head out to the cinemas and make a date of it. Comedy, action flicks, and dramas are good ideas, but no matter what movie you decide to watch, you and your friends will enjoy spending time together in front of the big screen.

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Listen to live music

Many friendships form because of things you have in common, such as the same taste in movies or music. If that's the case, try checking out a local cover band or a cool concert for National Friendship Day. You can rock out alongside your best bud and take in the sights and sounds of your city's music scene. Grab some yummy snacks and delicious drinks to make a night of it.

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Hit the trails

Friends can encourage you to live your best life and stick to a healthy routine that makes you happy. Physical activity is a big part of that, so grab your closest confidantes and head to the park for a lovely walk on National Friendship Day. You can go for a big hike or just take a few laps around your favorite spot for a fantastic combination of friendship, laughter, and fitness.

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Enjoy dinner

National Friendship Day is a good reason to treat you and your friends to dinner and drinks. Pick a restaurant you both enjoy and dig into a fabulous meal with equally wonderful company. If you'd rather get creative in the kitchen, invite your friends over for dinner and whip up a hearty homemade meal. You can always order in or have everyone help out to bring your dinner together. Pizza, burgers, steak, and ramen are a few hot choices for social dinners, but feel free to check out your favorite foods or try something new.

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Work on crafts

Arts and crafts can be relaxing and rewarding, particularly if you work on a project alongside your friends. Schedule a crafting session for National Friendship Day and focus on drawing, painting, sculpting, knitting, or DIY home projects. You may even be able to make something nice for your friends to take home, like a little piece of jewelry or a pretty picture.

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Give a gift

Even if you can't see your friends in person on National Friendship Day, send them a gift that says you're thinking of them. Find something that has a special meaning, such as a favorite color, design, or place, and give them a gift that reflects their interests and passions. Stuffed animals, t-shirts, and homemade signs are a few fabulous ideas, but use your imagination and pick out something you know they will cherish. A gift with a personal touch will put a smile on their face and remind your friends just how much they mean to you, today and every day.

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