How do you celebrate your special occasions? In a way how you do it – is it your own choice or just a habit passed through the generations or pushed by the people around you? In this post I would like to share my attitude towards celebrations: birthdays, weddings and any other events – how do I like it and how do I do it.
To begin with, if you have been following my blog long enough you already know that I like every single day to be special (if you haven’t yet – check out my post on Exceptional every-day). I like to surround myself with beauty every day, not only on special occasions. I also like “celebrating” when I feel like celebrating. However, of course there are certain, let’s call them – “extraordinary” celebration moments – birthdays, weddings, graduations and so on.
The way how you celebrate them boils down a lot to traditions passed from generation to generation. If in your family it has always been done to have a huge table filled with tons of food e.g. for New Year’s eve, there is a big chance that you will have it as well. Unless you ask yourself the question if you actually want to overeat at night, be forced to finish the rest in the upcoming days and desperately try to get rid of extra weight in the upcoming weeks. If you follow the common traditions with respect to weddings, you might have a huge party with a lot of relatives and friends, a white dress, roses, pigeons, kisses every time somebody shouts “bitter” (if you are Russian) and all the other “shebang”. If that is what YOU really want, it is perfectly fine to have that. However, if what you truly want is to get married in a small circle of friends, or even (like we did it) just sign the papers with two witnesses and fly away on your honeymoon, you can have it too! When you celebrate something, it is your special occasion and it is totally up to you to decide how you want it to be done. Most importantly if you don’t feel comfortable with the way it has been usually done, you don’t have to repeat it. Just choose your own way!
Likewise, with kids’ birthdays and especially for the very small ones. I heard a lot of people complain about how tiresome it is to organize the party for their 1, 2 or 3-year-old with all the guests and all the food, and all the entertainment… And yet they do it. And then complain how horribly exhausted they are. I am sorry, but I have only one comment to that – nobody really forced you, it is you who decided to do it. In my opinion first birthdays are more about parents rather than about kids themselves.
To give you an example of our way of celebrating: for our son’s one year instead of organizing a party we went to Boulogne-sur-Mer to see the Nausicaa Sea center. Our kids loved it! That was a fantastic experience for the whole family! And even now when kids see sharks on TV they are excited because they saw them in real life. Expense-wise it was absolutely comparable to organizing a party for 10 people (if not cheaper), but it was much more memorable for us.
I am not saying that in our family there will never be kids’ birthday parties in a “traditional” understanding of the word. Probably, when our kids become older we will have to organize something, which will likely include renting an all-in solution at an external location. If kids will want to have that way of celebration, they will have it. The most important for me is exactly that element of your own wish, your own choice, your own path if you will. Not because it is usually done, not because everyone around you is doing things in a certain way, but because you chose it. (And if you chose it, why are you complaining?)
To conclude, the next time you have a special occasion approaching just ask yourself the simple question: “How do I want to celebrate it?” and do it your way. It’s your special occasion after all.