Minor Holidays, Major Joy!

Towards the end of February 2024, I had a delightful chat with Jane from @careeringintomotherhood about the importance of Nurturing Joy for working moms. I had prepared copious notes, but as often happens in conversation, I managed to say very little of what I planned, and the discussion took on a life of its own.

So, not to let good preparation go to waste, I would love to share some more ways I foster Joy and Whimsy in my home: through the habit of observing Minor Holidays.

Minor Holidays are those quirky celebrations, not quite big enough to merit a Bank Holiday but still significant enough to warrant a change in the Google Doodle or perhaps a bit of commercialization in some shops. Some, like Arbor Day, might be acknowledged as part of a Life Lesson at school – as I have yet to come across a series of cards promoting the planting of trees in my local Greeting Card Store!

I like to challenge myself to observe some holidays, even if it’s in the smallest ways, to keep the fun alive in our household. Since the children are no longer in primary school, I am no longer surprised by macaroni necklaces or hand-print Mother’s Day cards.

I aim to surprise them, and I’ve found that as they get older, they enjoy keeping the traditions going – even if it is met with varying levels of enthusiasm depending on the state of the moon or a teenage mood.

February was an absolute joy for Minor Holidays. After forgetting to celebrate Burns Night at the end of January, we made up for it on Chinese New Year by indulging in some ready-meal Chinese Food and attempting to eat it with chopsticks. On the bright side, the children were better with chopsticks and trying new foods than in previous years, but I did forget the Fortune Cookies this year – oh well. Next up was Shrove Tuesday, with a bumper load of pancakes and some friends on a school night, always a blast, and the following day was Valentine’s Day, which I used as an excuse to write sweet text messages to the teens and arrange the food on their plates in the shape of a heart. We’ll close out the month with Leap Day, during which I’ll place a broom across the front door, urging them to leap into the house!

That will lead nicely into March, where International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day conveniently fall close together. On Pi Day – March 14th, there will be (store-bought!) Pie. And rushing through wearing something green on St. Patrick’s Day, putting some flowers in a vase for Spring Equinox, I might adopt the International Day of Happiness – March 20th – as the day to scatter post-it notes with smiley faces around the house.

I’m wary of April 1st, as my youngest child likes to plan and execute elaborate April Fools’ Day jokes! But revenge will be mine on Arbor Day when, for dinner, there might be Broccoli – Three Ways!

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