When I began this blog three years ago, my goal was to celebrate life. Good things, questionable things. Best of times, worst of times. Take a deeper look at what's going on in life, ordinary everyday life, and see what we might learn from it.
Here's what I wrote in the first post:
There's so much to celebrate in life! Always something
to discover, to explore; something new to learn or teach;
new books, new activities, new ideas. New friends, new
neighbors to serve. New Day equals New Adventure.
I still believe that.
The month of November is officially half over, and we are on the slippery slope toward Christmas, New Year's, and then a whole new calendar for 2017.
In November we've celebrated a variety of events: Daylight Savings Time ended; Election Day came and went; we honored our military personnel on Veteran's Day; and next week we'll gather as families or friends to observe Thanksgiving Day. In my family, we also have two birthdays--a granddaughter-in-law and a great-grandson.
Here's a partial list of what happens in our country during a calendar year:
- honoring veterans
- giving thanks
- welcoming the Christ Child
- welcoming a new year
- saying "I Love You"
- observing Easter
- honoring the dead
- remembering our country's birth as a nation
- honoring workers
- remembering a birthday
- saying "I'm thinking of you"
Greeting card companies certainly encourage us to celebrate. So do all commercial enterprises that sell foods, household goods, toys, etc., not to mention decorations. (Halloween has become big in our area--orange lights, ghosts great and small, inflated monsters of dubious ancestry.)
All these events got me wondering. Why is it that we limit ourselves to one day for our celebrations? I'm not lobbying for a week-long hoop-la or "every day is [whatever] day."
And I'm not trying to start a protest here. First thing you know, it'll become an issue, then a movement. If we're not vigilant, we could get so much support we'd become a national institution, demanding our very own day, with a Forever stamp named for us. Cards/decorations/T-shirts with our logo would flood the market.
My thoughts run to the idea of: Why don't we keep the spirit of the event alive?
The Veteran's Day celebration at my church was very moving. Six veterans from a rehab house came to visit and processed down the aisle carrying the colors (flags) of each of the branches of the military. These men looked so serious, so stern. They were not in uniform, but they carried themselves with dignity. I had a hard time finishing the hymn we were singing because of the lump in my throat.
Because one of my grandsons is a veteran, I think of our military personnel often during the year. That's what I mean about keeping the spirit of the celebration alive.
Facebook's 30 Days of Gratitude has brought the practice of giving thanks to the attention of many folks. It's not just a Thanksgiving Day thing.
In my community, people put flowers on the graves of their family members and friends all year through, not only at Memorial Day. We honor all who have died.
In July we have our fireworks displays, picnics, parades . . . another time for remembering those who died in the process of making us a nation.
Labor Day has become a long weekend for vacations or other kinds of events. Yet the reason for the day was to honor workers in our country. Despite unemployment statistics, many people work.
I doubt that many people forget to say "I love you" to those who mean a lot to them. Some people say they don't remember birthdays, not even their own; but I do remember birthdays, my own, those of my family and friends, and even people I don't know well. (Don't ask me why--I don't know.) And I often send little "thinking of you" cards--not much message needed; to know a person is thought of makes a difference.
The stores are already in Christmas mode. My orientation is Christian, so I'm on the welcoming committee for the Christ Child. Celebrations for Christmas need not be lavish. My favorite way to celebrate Christmas is with family--eating a meal together, sharing gifts, catching up on news, seeing the newest baby (in pictures, if not in person). And I try to keep the message of "peace on earth" alive all year through.
Think about how you celebrate--your favorites may not be mine. See if you can come up with a way to keep the spirit of the event alive in your life.