Can you ever really have too many reasons to celebrate? We all have our favorite holidays. Personally, I like Thanksgiving more than Christmas although I enjoy Christmas very much. Some folks prefer winter holidays like these, others look forward to the fun and energy of July 4th or Labor Day.
Almost everyone loves a good holiday. Scrooge didn’t, but he had a change of heart. The Grinch didn’t, but he had an epiphany that changed him as well. There are those (pre-change) that just don’t enjoy such things but most of us are ready for a good reason to have some fun together.
A few years ago I started recognizing that there were certain things that I loved so much and certain days that were so meaningful to me that I felt they deserved a holiday of their own. I looked forward to them every year. I decided that just because they weren’t cultural or religious events to the degree that they had become National holidays didn’t mean that I couldn’t celebrate them in whatever form seemed good.
So I started a still growing list of things I wanted to celebrate. Here are a few:
I love the changing of the seasons. I always have. I have lived in places that didn’t really have 4 seasons and I missed the turning of Winter into Spring into Summer into Autumn. So somewhere during the week of the first day of those seasons I will do something to celebrate it. I don’t throw a lot of parties but there will be a meal with seasonally appropriate foods. One year I bought a wind chime for my back porch with metal sculpture of the sun for the first day of Summer. And yes, I do indeed have a Pumpkin Spice Latte when Autumn arrives.
I thought of the birthdays we celebrate. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr. This gave me an idea. I decided that Pete Seeger’s birthday should be celebrated. He is a personal hero of mine. I admire his courage and his tenacity and the longevity of his convictions. He was in Civil Rights Marches in his younger days and in his 90’s made an appearance at the Occupy Wall Street Marches. He seemed gentle, kind and inclusive and he had a lot of chutzpah. On his birthday I add another song either written or performed by him to my playlist. I might buy an appropriate poster to add to my very hippy-esque studio. In case you’re curious, his birthday is May 3.
One of my very favorite personal holidays is Banned Books Week. In the US it’s usually celebrated in late September. This year it is September 24-30th. I don’t only love to read (something I very decidedly do love) but I love the library itself. I love its mission of not only making literature available to people no matter what their socio-economic status, but their core value of intellectual freedom. So for this week, I gift myself with a new copy of some book that has been previously banned or challenged. Those books get a shelf of honor in one of my bookcases.
Today I got to celebrate an event that I look forward to all year. If the phrase Christmas in July weren’t so overdone, that’s probably what I would call this. Today, was the first day of the annual Library Book Sale. Now, I always love a good used bookstore. But this event is massive. We have a very large library system here, for which I am deeply grateful. I once tried to get a job at the library, but I think I may have come on too strong with my love of books during the interview and I didn’t get hired. I suspect they were concerned I might frighten the patrons with my exuberance. Oh well.
The sale is held at a local mall and there are tables from one end of the mall to the other heavily laden with books, DVDs, and audiobooks. Everything is in decent to excellent condition and cheap. This was about the 4th time I’ve gone. Appointments and events get rescheduled to make way for this day. I have a system. I go early, I wear good solid running shoes and, no kidding, I take a large rolling duffle bag style suitcase. For around $30 I can fill that thing up.
I’m a bit of a prepper. My pantry and freezer are usually reasonably well stocked. I have a garden and I preserve the produce and I buy what I don’t grow and preserve that. As far as my knitting is concerned the phrase “Winter is Coming, Knit Faster” is more than just a meme. This book sale is kind of my way of stocking up for the year. I love the mental image of a winter storm outside and me with loads of books to choose from inside. It is a cozy thought.
As a knitter, I always scope out the Arts and Craft book table. At a previous sale I got 6 really nice knitting books with lots of information and patterns. This time I only came away with one. Fiber Gathering by Joanne Seiff. It is a books inspired by the Fiber Festivals held around the US and boasts 25 projects related to knitting, crocheting, spinning and dyeing. Score!
It was a good and satisfying day. An enjoyable ritual that accompanies this particular holiday is deciding where the new books will be put. I have a system understood by no one but me, but I enjoy stepping back and feeling wealthy seeing the abundance of books before me.
Do you have special traditions or off-the-beaten-path things you celebrate? I’d love to hear about them. Or if you don’t yet, if you were to start that, what would it be? Please comment and tell me about them. This could be interesting and fun.
One of the best things about these small personal holidays is that it can be as big or small as I want it to be. There isn’t the pressure of having to host Christmas, for example and all the stress that can accompany that. If no one else knows it’s Pete Seeger’s birthday, no biggie. If I have everyone over for campfire on the first day of Autumn, it’s up to me. The less pressure, the more fun.
As I have mentioned in previous posts I have begun dyeing yarn and trying a number of experiments #playinginthedyepots. Next week I’lll be talking about what I’m learning and include a photo timeline to show how the process is evolving.
Here’s a teaser photo till then:
Go celebrate something!
P.S. I’m thinking of adding some sort of free floating holiday so I can do it whenever I want. Like “I successfully completed all the tasks on my to-do list! Day”. That won’t come around too often, but at least it will be random 😀