Most of us celebrate holidays – Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day – but why?
Of course, we celebrate some holidays because of our religious beliefs. However, there are other reasons why we hold to these joyous occasions. These holidays break up the flow of the year and bind us together as families and communities.
We celebrate holidays because we want to have fun. We want a break from our regular schedules, jobs, etc. Without holidays our weeks would run together into years of humdrum mediocrity. What is October without children ringing our doorbells asking for candy? What is November without a turkey on the table and family around it? What is February with no heart-shaped boxes adorning the kitchen counter? The answer: boring months, I say.
We also celebrate holidays because they are reasons to reconnect with family and long lost friends. Although we can make the effort to see family and close friends anytime, many people do not. Many people make holidays the times they reach out to other people. And not only is it important to us to feel the warmth of family, we enjoy holidays because they bring out a sense of community. The bright red hearts decorating department stores in February, the blinking lights strung on lamp posts in December, these help us feel connected to something larger than ourselves.
In a world where get-togethers and barbeques do not happen as much as they used to in decades past. In a world where no one borrows sugar from his or her neighbour any longer or bakes a cake when someone moves on to the block, holidays tie us together.
I urge everyone to not throw holidays to the side of the street. Get out and decorate your home at Christmastime. Surprise your spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend with a Valentine’s Day gift. And definitely, have fun at Halloween. Even if you do not enjoy Halloween, I guarantee the children in your neighborhood will appreciate you dressing up, putting a graveyard in your front yard and passing out candy.