In Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Alice stumbles upon a rather strange tea party in which she encounters the Mad Hatter and the March Hare known by all as utterly nutty. These poor fellows find themselves trapped in a constant battle with Time, but still they manage to celebrate. Alice is drawn into their festivities and later learns they are celebrating an unbirthday which makes perfect sense when explained with the logic that one has 364 days in which to receive an unbirthday present and only one day to celebrate one’s day of birth.
The story is whimsical and silly, but in reality couldn’t we all use a little more whimsy — a little more freedom to celebrate? Holidays are signified by special occasions or days off work, but life is so much richer than that. Our souls need to celebrate, we were created to enjoy life, to live fully alive, to awaken to wonder!
So, why celebrate? It’s universal! Celebration is a bright thread running through the tapestry of every life. So many of us carry around more pain than we can speak of, camouflaging our grief with pleasant answers and rehearsed lines, but the only way we can truly flourish is to be real. Celebration is contagious, and it pulls us out of our own mess and reminds us that no matter what is going on — we have solidarity in joy!
Celebration takes vulnerability, and sometimes it can be scary to choose joy when your heart is beyond weary. As mommies, we have an incredible gift in our children, for they are great teachers of awe and wonder. Kids don’t need a reason to celebrate; it’s just part of who they are. If you ever need help understanding what it means to truly delight in life, try viewing your day through the eyes of your little one. Allow yourself to live life a little unhinged, take a step of faith and a deep plunge into celebration. Mark your calendar with joy and find pockets of wonder in the midst of ordinary living. Create your own celebration and invite your loved ones to party with you, because the reasons to celebrate are endless.
This originally appeared in Hello, Dearest Fall 2015. If you didn’t get a copy and would like your own, you can subscribe to get Hello, Dearest in your mailbox every season. If you subscribe, forward your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll shoot a copy of the current issue in the mail to you for free … just because we like you.
Asha Grinnell is a lover of adventure, family dance parties and spending time by the sea. She is married to the man of her dreams and a mama to two little darlings who keep her on her knees and her toes. Follow her at onlytruenorth.com.