Saturday, October 25, 2014

Holiday in May?

We all get hung-up on the rules occassionaly. And while many of them are worth following, it can be good, and also necessary, to break away from the pack sometimes. That lone drummer is at times worth following.

In today's world, with families being of a different configuration from families in years gone by, it can be difficult to navigate the holiday "come visit me"  plan ~ now people have Mom to visit, Dad to visit, their partner's mom and her new boyfriend, dad and his new wife, kids that are spread all across the country. For many, it's not the cozy  "let's all go to Grandma's house" and be one big happy family event anymore. There are lots of logistics, who went where last year, we want to stay home this year, and my oh my, we end up getting all stressed out about the whole thing. There is pressure involved, guilt, and things become more of an obligation than a celebration.

I had lunch with my good friend, Connie, the other day and I brought this up to her. Her suggestion was simple, yet for me, one I had never really entertained. She said to pick a different day to celebrate. Instead of doing without seeing our kids, or our parents, because the holiday falls on an inconvenient day (whether for work, other visitations or obligations), just pick a different day. She is from Holland and told me that there they have a tradition that you must throw yourself a 21st birthday party. And as long as you do it before you're 30, it's all good!  Her 24 year old son is just celebrating his 21st this year. I think that's brilliant!

Point is, you don't always have to follow the rules. If you can't be there on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day with your family, maybe you can on the 15th, the 28th, late May or whatever works. What we are really celebrating is connection, family, friends, whenever it can be arranged, and who can put a "must use by" date on that?


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