Celebrations

It’s interesting, in this day and age, just how many holidays there are and how many things we celebrate. There are the bigger holidays like Christmas, Easter, etc. Then there are smaller ones like Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day, Labor Day, etc. Then there are the personal celebrations like birthdays, anniversaries, a new baby, graduation, etc. And then there are the ones that most people don’t even know about unless they happen to look at a calendar or are in a certain field or something. These are holidays like Administrative Professionals Day (aka Secretary’s Day), Nurses Day, Boss’s Day, etc.

The thing is that while these holidays, these celebrations can be wonderful for many there are those for whom they are a sad reminder of something that happened, of what once was or what never has been. For instance, Christmas can be a difficult celebration for some because it’s typically a time to gather with family and for some that is a painful reminder of the past due to abuse or death or any number of other things. For others it might be difficult because of their current family situation or because they’re unable to get together with their family to celebrate. Perhaps it’s stressful because there’s no money to spend on gifts. There are many reasons a celebration can be a difficult time for someone rather than a joyous time. And it certainly doesn’t just pertain to Christmas. It could be that Valentine’s Day is hard because you lost the love of your life through divorce or death or you’re still searching for that special someone and are starting to feel that it’s a hopeless quest. It could be that Mother’s Day or Father’s Day is hard because you’ve lost a child or you’ve always wanted children and haven’t been able to have any or your child has strayed and is living a life you wouldn't choose for them.  Or it could be hard because your relationship with your own mother or father isn’t what you’d like it to be or one or both of them have died and that day makes you focus on your loss.

So, what should we do? Should we stop celebrating altogether? You can certainly make the point that we should be grateful for the gift God gave us in the form of his son, our Savior Jesus Christ, every day, so why bother with Christmas? We should be grateful for the life that God has given us every day, so why should we celebrate birthdays? We should be thankful for our parents and our children all the time, so let’s do away with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. We should show our love and appreciation to our spouse always, so there’s really no need for Valentine’s Day or celebrating our anniversary. We should be grateful and thankful for the sacrifice our soldiers and their families make every single day, so why bother with holidays like Memorial Day? We could do away with every holiday and celebration.

Personally, I like that we stop and take the time to celebrate things in life.  Of course we should be sensitive to others along the way, because you never know what they’re going through or have been through.  We often don’t know someone’s circumstances or how they’re really feeling.  And while we should be grateful and thankful and appreciative all the time, the reality is that we tend to get caught up in the living of our lives, the day to day stuff, and don’t often take the time to focus on the blessings in our lives or show our appreciation to others.  And so, I’m not going to stop celebrating life and all the little and big things along the way and I don’t feel the need to apologize for that. It doesn’t mean that I feel the need to buy something (sorry retailers) for every holiday, for every celebration.  But I will allow myself to stop and dwell on the blessings in my life and be thankful for them and show my appreciation to others as I also try to be gentle with and pray for those who are reminded of a hurt on that special day rather than a blessing.

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