Just spring cleaning my blog and came across these words that I never got around to posting…
My mum is the queen of celebration. When I was growing up there was always a cake or a card or a dinner out to celebrate the small things as well as the big things. The woman never marked the calendar, she just marked life. Often I never realized there was cause to celebrate, never thought that would be something that should render any kind of attention, but she saw the potential for a party in everything.
I used to roll my eyes at it, but secretly I loved it. She made me feel special, time and again. She still does. I love my mum.
When I show up to visit her house with my boys, often there are little surprises waiting for them on the bunk beds she keeps in her spare room for us. She sends care packages in the mail now that I live a few hours drive away. She never forgets special days. Never.
Is celebration a spiritual gift? Probably not, but I’m sure she would have it if it was.
I’ve inherited some of her zest for a good party. The first time my husband and I celebrated a Christmas together (just a little over a month after our wedding), imagine his surprise when he came home from work to our newly rented townhouse and stepped into a winter wonderland. I had gone all out and there were decorations everywhere. I had a whole big tote full of things I’d been collecting over the years, mostly from the dollar store. Money was always tight, but the dollar store provided endless possibilities for broke students and young workers to celebrate just about anything!
Josh wasn’t used to celebrating. He usually chose to skip it all and hide out somewhere far from the party when it came to birthdays and Christmas. So when his birthday rolled around a few months after the winter wonderland scene, he came home to balloons and streamers and a scavenger hunt to get to his present, and a Dairy Queen cake with candles, and… it was all a little much for my Joshua.
I have learned to tone it down to what he can handle, and he has learned it is truly important to celebrate life however you can.
Often celebration means hard work. Like the potluck Thanksgiving dinners we host every year. Some of the minor holidays can get a little lonely because we live a few hours away from family. So a few years ago we decided to invite other lonely people out to celebrate with us. Every year we gather, we give thanks, and celebrate together. Some faces around the table are familiar, but usually the majority of faces are new. It’s always a good time. The preparations are always worth it in the end.
Preparation means discipline. Something I’m not always great at. But when I sit down to type out the invitations, I catch a vision of the people behind the invitations, and the faces that I am preparing to bless. Some faces are unknown to me at the time of preparation, and I know that soon they will be a part of the vision too, when it’s all over and the celebration is done.
Community is all around us, if we can have eyes to see it. We can find it in the small things as well as the big things. When we step out the door and greet our neighbours, we celebrate them in our lives. When we congratulate someone who has reached a milestone, we celebrate their accomplishments. When we host a party for friends or family, when we buy Christmas gifts, when we invite people over for any reason at all, when we send a card or an email in honour of a special day, when we bake turkeys for Thanksgiving and hams for Easter – this is all celebration.
There are times when I look up silly holidays that people have created, just so I can find a reason to celebrate on the days when it’s hard to see the good. How about celebrating Look for Circles Day or Eat a Cranberry Day? People are crying out for celebration.
I am proud to say I am one of them. It’s a choice we make every day, and it’s often hard work, but it’s always worth the effort.
Go on… find something to celebrate today.