How and when do you take time to celebrate in your family? I know growing up we celebrated birthdays and family. Mom took time for me to invite friends over for my birthday. I have fond visual memories of friends around our dining room table, eating cake! We also would gathered for family birthdays. I remember gathering in March as my grandparents, myself and my cousin all had birthdays in March. I still remember those yummy meals together- chicken and dumplings – yum!. In summer, we would all gather for family reunions to celebrate being related to people I didn’t know, ha! Again the theme of food was popular. My grandpa would pile his plate so high he had to hold the top of it to keep food from falling off.
Funny how food is often associated with celebrations. We eat at weddings, birthdays, and graduations. There is something celebratory and connecting about eating good food together. I think sights, sounds and smells of food easily bring back celebratory memories..
How do you celebrate?
What about you? Do you take time to celebrate together? Summer is a great time to celebrate together. The word celebrate means two similar, yet different things:
- to honor (an occasion, such as a holiday) especially by solemn ceremonies or by refraining from ordinary business to celebrate Memorial Day
- to mark (something, such as an anniversary) by festivities or other deviation from routine celebrated their 25th anniversary
Throughout the summer, we have the opportunity to do both. Summer is usually kicked off by Memorial Day, an occasion to honor and remember our servicemen who lost their lives by serving their country. We honor their service to this country. This past Memorial Day, I saw lots of pictures posted on Facebook of different people’s relatives who had served.
Honor and celebrate family history
It reminded me of the opportunity during the summer to honor and celebrate our family histories. How many of our children and grandchildren know of relatives who served in different ways for our country? For example, I have both a grandfather (he was 64 and my grandmother 29 when they married) and a great grandfather who served in the Civil War. My husband, Jim, is a veteran and my uncle Harvey served in WWII as well as my father-in-law, Chet who is still living. Those are people to honor and celebrate. What stories are in your family that you can honor and celebrate? Family histories are ones to gather, celebrate and tell your children and grandchildren. Family Search.org is a great place to start for free genealogical research. Watch out though, you might get the family history bug!!
Mark something special
In addition to honoring being a way to celebrate, marking something special with festivities is another way to celebrate. Traditionally we think of births, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and graduations as things to celebrate and they certainly are things to mark with festivities.
What would happen though, if you began to look for other ways to celebrate your life? What if each week there could be something you looked forward to celebrating? What if in the summer you had a festival or other deviation from the routine and celebrated life?
Capture a celebratory joyful summer moment
I am suggesting that summer is the perfect time to enjoy a celebratory lifestyle and find joy in the present. Brain research shows that engaging in present moment practices brings calm and joy. Celebrations that engage you in the present moment are one way to practice that joy. When you think of celebration, you may think of activity, yet celebration may be one of celebrating yourself with a day away doing exactly what you need to be joyful and healthy for yourself. What might that look like for you?
Other celebrations could include setting aside a day and calling it something – Cousin Day, Movie Day, Pajama Day, Beach Day, whatever you and your family decided was essential. By giving it a name, making a plan and circling it on your calendar, you turn it into more of a celebration- something that deviates from the routine.
In my 23 Easy Celebrations for Summer checklist, you’ll find a variety of ways to celebrate and enjoy summer for the introverts – people who like more solitary activities to the extroverts- people who thrive on larger crowds and busier activities. I think you’ll find something for everyone in your family. The checklist includes things like hiking, picnicking, having a backyard camp out, and interviewing your family members about what they remember of life as a child in the summer.
Once you have the list, you can sit down with your family and determine what and when you might like to celebrate summer. The list may even generate more ideas of your own. Remember to celebrate is a time to mark festivities. And what better time than summer to celebrate family time as festive?.
Hope you can get out and enjoy this summer. I know you will build good social bonds, strong memories, and best of all fun, which is great for your brain and your family! Celebrate your summer and share on the Nancy Booth Coaching facebook page. We can encourage a joyful summer for each other and share ideas.
Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach. She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world.. She writes about taming the overwhelm. looking for ways to motivate, energize and inspire you to find that new vision! You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm. It’s time to explore possibilities of a new vision to include stronger relationships, better life pacing and gain hope and peace.