The importance of celebrating together
By Anchel Krishna @anchelk
Every year from at the end of September our family enters a virtual daily ritual/whirlwind of cake, presents, celebratory meals, happy birthday and a rendition of baar baar din ye aaye led by my brother-in-law. My sister-in-law, mother-in-law, dad, sister and Syona all celebrate their birthdays in this one-week period.
This year we are celebrating with the variety of birthdays with various activities: trampoline dodgeball, a dinner, a brunch and a sing-along party. It is busy to say the least.
October doesn’t offer much in terms of relief with a few more family birthdays and the start of the Hindu holiday season. Throw a few late season weddings, a busy time at work, corporate conferences, adjusting to the back to school schedule and the start of the ever-dreaded flu season into the mix and the pace of life is downright frantic.
You’re likely to find me wandering the aisles of a party store with wide eyes, a box of tissues and a cell phone glued to my ear.
Wonder how we manage the schedule? I have two secret weapons. The first is Google Calendar synched on my phone, Dilip’s phone, our home computer, iPad, and my mother-in-law’s phone (because she takes care of Syona while we’re at work). The second is that everyone we’re celebrating with is related so by default they have to accommodate everyone’s schedule.
But the thing is, this one of my favourite times of the year. Our schedules are jam-packed but the smiles and laughs are also non-stop. All of these occasions are a wonderful reason to spend time together.
And now with Syona joining in on all the fun, it is also a great way to instil the importance and value of family traditions and celebrations. When we were growing up, my mom would always get up early on our birthdays and make our favourite Indian sweet. We would also sit in the mandir for a few moments, do a special puja and put aside some money for children in need. For Syona’s birthday I typically get up early, make her a special breakfast (this year she has a newfound passion for waffles so that is what she will get) and an Indian sweet. We take a few minutes to sit in front of our little mandir as a family and we put aside a donation for kids in needs. I love this tradition and I think it’s a nice way for Syona to celebrate a special day.
All the traditional religious and cultural festivals are also a lot of fun. Our family grew up learning the significance of each of the celebrations through my dadi’s storytelling. This is one of my favourite childhood memories and traditions. I haven’t started anything similar with Syona yet, but I know I will in the coming years.
Syona will also grow up knowing that all celebrations are better together. Our families and friends are such an important part of our lives. They do a lot for us and help us out all the time, in any way they can. When you have amazing people like this in your life having an opportunity to celebrate the milestones with them really is the icing on the cake.
How do you celebrate family milestones and religious or cultural holidays?
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