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Why Celebrate?

The need to stop and mark a moment is vital to our well-being. Large, small, or middling moments are worthy because it is about setting aside time to honor something in life. It makes us whole, ensures optimism, and provides us with a sense of belonging and completeness.

When I began dating my husband, one of the first things he told me was that during canning season, a neighboring family with four boys would gather around the kitchen table and play cards to wait for the lids on the new canned goods to cool off and 'pop.' During summer when fresh fruits were in season, homemade strawberry shortcake with hand-whipped cream was another anticipated and lip-smacking event. My husband was raised on a farm with no siblings. So, when neighbors called to come join the fun, he didn’t hesitate. Today, he takes part happily and with gusto.

I imagine that almost everyone grew up in a home where birthdays included a candle-lit cake. My earliest memories are attending friends’ birthday parties. Brainstorming from what to give as a present to other earth-shaking questions: Will there be games? Who will be attending? Those parties were a rich diversion from ordinary school days. The rolling around of our own birthday caused butterflies in young tummies.

Most of us take for granted the excitement of an entire season of Christmas rituals but volunteering at a shelter for women taught me not to be so quick in thinking everyone was so lucky. The facilitators made a big deal of all of it, starting with putting up and decorating a tree. Donations allowed gifts to be bought, but wrapping and personalizing them was a special project many had never known. Brand-new flannel pajamas were bought for the guests and their children, so memories could be made having cocoa on blankets near the lit tree and the next morning, gathering before dawn in their cozy pajamas to open gifts was a thing many had never experienced.

We look forward to annual holidays the year ‘round because they all mean specific preparations, time-honored decorations, and recipes with many passed down for decades. Special events crop up as a family grows and we pass along traditions we learned growing up. The events stack up to become treasured memories. There’s tremendous satisfaction in passing along experiences that we know will continue to become part of life forever.

At, there are journals for you to keep notes about your celebrations. If not written down, too many special moments evaporate, and specifics disappear. Take the time to set aside each event from getting an unexpected accolade to reaching a quiet goal and marking them as special. Months pass so quickly, and we owe it to ourselves to declare a time-out. Being together and celebrating, “just because” is a perfect excuse to stop and breathe. Creating a celebration can take as little or as much time, energy, and cash as you want to invest in it. The important thing is just to do it. The icing on the cake is to note in a journal who, what, when, where, and why. Reading your notes later allows you to revisit the past, educate others, and enjoy in making it through another day. Always share life freely and without limits.

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