Tuesday, October 16, 2012 | By: Lynn


I was watching a news magazine show recently when I learned I'd missed celebrating Moldy Cheese Day on October 9. What?? How does one celebrate such a holiday, eat blue cheese? I don't think the holiday is celebrating the moldy cheese I used to find in my mother's refrigerator. It's pretty clear how one would celebrate National Vodka Day. That one I missed, too. It was October 4.

What is it about holidays that we humans enjoy so much? Give us a day to celebrate something and we're going to be happy, or at least distracted from the ordinary routine of life, which is something to celebrate.

Holidays for many provide a day off from school and/or work, so of course that makes us happy. Even those of us who love our work need balance, so time off from being productive is welcome. And depending on what we're celebrating, it gives us an opportunity to express ourselves and display our love. We humans enjoy that, too.

Some holidays garner more attention than others, obviously. Stores start stocking for Halloween on the heels of back-to-school products and promotions. And I'm sure Christmas shopping is already in our minds before Halloween passes. But though many feel that Thanksgiving is given short shrift in holiday respect, there is plenty of attention given the holiday and what it means to us. We set aside time to gather with friends and family, eat a lot and celebrate our blessings.

Though each holiday offers a theme – gift-giving, love, beginnings, for example – it's my current theory that they share a common theme – celebrating being alive.

The Pilgrims celebrated that they'd survived, so far, in the New World and that celebration of being alive continues, not just at Thanksgiving but in celebration in general. It's often said that life is a gift, one to be appreciated. But life is also hard, in different ways for all of us, but still hard. We acknowledge that paradox with celebration, and we often incorporate the elements of our living that have meaning to us. These are the things we live for, even in hard times, the things that make life worth living. We want to express ourselves, our aliveness, in ways that matter to us. We want to be with people we love, people we believe we can count on, and in doing so fuel the bonds that ensure not only our survival but our quality of life.

Halloween is approaching. There will be witches and goblins and Darth Vadars and princesses and more, all seeking candy. But underneath is the common theme celebrating being alive. Halloween has its roots in celebration of harvests, but also historically was a time to acknowledge the spirits of the dead, according to Wikipedia, the portal to all knowledge. In our past, humans established a tradition of recognizing that it's possible we endure, beyond the grave, beyond this life as we know it. In a sense, celebrating being.

So yes we all may tire of the commercialization of holidays. But we get on board because, no we're not mindless lemmings, we need hope and celebrating special occasions acknowledges there is reason to have hope. Life is a celebration – of something at any given moment. For instance, just in October there are pages of lists of holidays, including everything from Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, National Reading Group Month and National Rollerskating Month to World Rainforest Week (12-18), Peace, Friendship and Goodwill Week (24-30), and Dictionary Day (16), Wear Something Gaudy Day (17) and Information Overload Day (20). Visit  OCTOBER2012 for the full list and get celebrating!

But if you don't want to overtly celebrate IPod Day (23) or National Magic Day (31), celebrate vicariously by reading about others celebrating a holiday. Do a search on Amazon  for Halloween fiction, for example, and you'll find romance novels to enjoy. You don't have to get costumed up to join in that celebration of being alive. You may not be able to find a novel that incorporated National Moldy Cheese Day or IPod Day, but you'll certainly find plenty of holiday fiction.

Have you written or read a romance novel that incorporates celebrating a holiday? Share?

Image from Dreamstime


RT Wolfe said...

At one time, my sons and I tried to brainstorm all the traditions we have in this country. We came up with several examples regarding birthdays (cake, singing, candles, gifts) and weddings (gown, cake tasting, garder, tossing the bouquet, first dance, father/daughter dance, $1 dance, bridal party table) and others like opening doors for women, shaking hands at introductions and many more. We never considered, however, the many holidays we have. How do you gals keep thinking of such great posts? I'm truly impressed. :)
-R.T. Wolfe
Black Creek Burning (Crimson Romance, 2012)