Yesterday was my family’s favorite holiday. Some families treasure Christmas around the decorated tree. Others look forward to a big family gathering to celebrate Independence Day. Not my family. This houseful of jokesters look forward all year long to April Fool’s Day.

jello This morning, I found my car keys in the the fridge stuck in the center of a congealed bowl of Jello. Since there was a heart pointing me to the “surprise,” I couldn’t helping but laugh as i dug my keys from the goo.  : )

Last year on the morning of April 1, there were 250 empty pop cans outside our bedroom door – the remnants of one of the practical jokes my college-age son played on his dad. And don’t even get me started on the mustard filled donuts my daughter served for breakfast. Or the gift cards my husband gave the kids with only a penny on them. There’s only one word for the look on my son’s face when he tried to convince the cashier at Best Buy that there must be some mistake. Priceless.

Yes, my husband and children definitely adore April Fool’s Day. And each year, much to my chagrin, celebration of this holiday seems to stretch longer and longer. For a week, I never know if the clock has been set back, sugar has been put in the salt shaker or if something is going to pop out of my purse when I open it. As if life as a mom with teenagers doesn’t have enough surprises!

To be honest, I can’t really complain. After all, laughter is a great stress reliever. Researchers even tell us a good belly laugh boosts the immune system, lowers blood pressure, releases natural pain killers and increases muscle flexibility. One study even says laughing 100 times provides as much aerobic benefit as 15 minutes on an exercise bike. And did you know that laughing is the only way to exercise your liver?

Here are a few suggestions to put some more humor into your life and the life of your family…

  • · Buy a book of jokes that you can share with your kids.
  • · Subscribe to an Internet site that provides a joke a week such as
  • · Share a joke or funny experience at the dinner table.
  • · Tape a comic strip family members might enjoy to the bathroom mirror to give them a belly laugh first thing in the morning.

The book of Proverbs says, “A cheerful disposition is good for your health; but gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.”

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