Why do we celebrate?

flowersIt is just 3 days before Christmas at the time of writing. I’m looking forward to getting together with family and friends and, once all the fuss and prep and rush are over, doing very little. Celebration is not an event or an action, it is an ongoing experience based on our identities, attitudes and choices. We celebrate because it reinforces, justifies and rewards these. There are 6 things about celebration that I use to guide the textual tapestry of scenes and pages in the Kingdoms of Celebration.

(1) Purposeful

It is not often that we celebrate “just because”, but, even in doing so, “just because” is still a purpose. There is still a train of thought that precedes “just because”. There has to be something motivating us to celebrate, providing a focal theme around which we decorate, prepare and execute.

(2) Inclusive

No one likes to celebrate alone. It seems rather artificial and sometimes depressing when we choose to isolate ourselves in celebration. It is not impossible, but it does help to know that there are like-minded people with the same purpose and intent.

(3) Traditional

Everything starts somewhere and at sometime. However, the most enjoyable celebrations are those that have come through the ages and passed on from generation to generation. One could argue that there are many reasons why some traditions survive and others disappear, but, generally, even if at some time enforced or imposed on us, tradition is the result of acceptance and satisfaction.

(4) Memorable

This year when we get together, we will talk about things that happened 10, maybe 20 years ago. We will laugh without restraint – the type that keeps the neighbours close to their phones. We will also take time out to remember those who are no longer with us. Celebration imprints long term memories into our brains, such that we have them to sustain us when the less celebratory times come.

(5) Inspirational

After Christmas we will start thinking about the new year. When thinking about the new year we will construct lists of resolutions (some less sincere/realistic than others). Nevertheless, time to reflect, get together and celebrate is significant in making us believe that anything can be achieved.

(6) Refreshing 

As much as we will stay awake longer hours, sleep in random postures, let our eyes and ears be consumed by bad movies and good conversations (and vice versa), after it all we will feel a sense of rest that cannot be achieved with 12 hours of sleep. Celebration is good for the body, mind and soul.

Can you imagine a world without celebration? As meaningless as some of the manifestations of our cultural celebrations may appear to be, celebration is as much as we make it and allow it to make us.

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