ladies and gents, its been four weeks since the insane celebrating, crafting, eating, making and family tradition-ing of christmas and new years. if you are american, it started as early as halloween, i mean honestly, we call this one season of the year THE holidays. as if there aren’t any more reasons to celebrate throughout the rest of the year. and this got me thinking–as i was enjoying the crafting at the table with my kids and the cookie making etc–why in the world don’t i do more celebrating throughout the year?
there are so many mini-holidays, random holidays, and lets face it, excuses to have parties and make an occasion of things, so why do i let most of them pass by with barely a special meal, card or decoration?
maybe this is one of the cultural things i have picked up on living in the uk. it seems that the more halloween decorations, valentines candies and smaller holiday paraphernalia hit the shops here, the more people comment that its ‘the american influence’. it probably is. and whether that comment is meant in affection or cynicism, there is a culture value of celebration in the states that i think got lost along the way these 9 years abroad. or maybe it is simply my lack of organisation/planning ahead. most of these holidays creep up on me, i’ll be honest. and i frantically think, ‘my mom would have done easter baskets for us!’ but late saturday night what’s a momma to do but be thankful they are too young to remember and swear up and down to do better next year, eh?
whatever the reason i haven’t made the effort in the past, this year i thought it would be fun to celebrate more. make an occasion of things, even for little things, and learn the art of creating rituals that are unique to our little tribe.
more than just for fun, i think there is a deeper, cultural element to it that i want to build upon. as christians we value joy and often say we have so much to be thankful for and to celebrate. more traditional churches adhere to a church calendar of fasts and feast, times of taking stock and times of celebration. i cannot quite put my finger on why this is such an attractive cultural value to me–if i figure it out i will share i promise!–but for some reason, taking the time to celebrate or take stock based around meaningful events in our family, culture or spiritual life feels significant.
so this year, whether its a birthday, english holiday, american holiday, easter, anniversary or random day celebrating a part of our heritage, we are going to do something to make it a bit special. feel free to join us! i would love to hear about how and what you and/or your family celebrate throughout the year.
p.s. this little idea was also partly inspired by a book i bought this summer. if you haven’t heard of it, i highly recommend it! it has really helped us–slowly–build in some fun family rituals that have helped create a sense of belonging and uniqueness to our family and that our kids really enjoy.