Tuesday, February 10, 2015


Freja diligently worked on Valentine's cards all day. (That's face paint.)

Week-long holidays

When I was in my twenties (free and untethered), I used to love to celebrate my birthday week. I've always loved my birthday, but an entire birthday week was a great excuse to go out to eat multiple times in the same week. Cake? Yes, please.

I'm noticing that more and more holidays are jumping on the long-term bandwagon. Christmas is popping up among the Halloween decorations and Thanksgiving starts on Wednesday and extends through Sunday. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for taking time off work and spending it with family and friends, but it's getting kind of confusing for the young-uns.

Valentine's day week

Freja is just getting the grasp of holidays but take Thanksgiving, for example. First of all, she kept calling it Halloween. My explanation of the holiday was a simple: "we remember what life was like a long time ago by eating special food and being together with our friends and family. It's on a Thursday, so you won't go to school." Except we went to church on the Sunday prior to Turkey day and had our Thanksgiving feast there. And the next day one of Hans's colleagues hosted a pre-Thanksgiving dinner for people that may have to work on the actual day. And, finally, we celebrated (and ate) with friends on the actual day. At that point, Freja was done with Thanksgiving. Next.

A pink week

Now we're up to Valentine's day. Again, I keep the explanation simple: "it's one day a year, February 14, when we tell everyone we love how special they are to us and that we love them. We can give people cards to show them how much we care." February 14. Every year. Well, it will be a 3-day, 4-party celebration for us. It rained all day yesterday so Freja spent the day gluing together doilies and glittery hearts for her classmates. Tomorrow there is a party at her school; in the afternoon we're going to a cookie decorating party. There's a potluck at the marina on Friday night. And then, of course, there is the actual day that needs celebrating. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, at least not too much. But it can get overwhelming. Head over to Pinterest to take a look at all the Valentine's crafts you can do or the cake you can make or the mini-tartlets you can bake. Schools throw parties for all the tiny holidays. Everything must be recognized! The crunchy earth mom side of me feels very guilty for not celebrating the solstices and surely I must have some Irish in me around St. Patty's day.

Anyway, just my observation on the escalation of holidays. Is it consumerism? Is it competition? Or is it just an excuse to party with friends, (be them little kids at an Easter egg hunt or adults waking up with Bloody Mary's on Valentine's Day)? Maybe it's as simple as the that: celebrating the random holidays with vigor as an excuse to be with friends and family. I'll subscribe to that rationale.

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