Party Big or Stay Home

I don’t mind big event celebrations. They can be fun and exciting. Experiences to remember. But I also like small celebrations too. Things done with just the people you love or care about. Those are just as important. The rest of my family is split. Two are like me and like going to the events and two would rather stay at home. So when a big day comes up like Canada day, what is the best way to enjoy it?

I go back forth between pushing the two out of their comfort zone to attend public events and either leaving them behind or having the rest of us go without attending. We still have fun because we are together, but it can be stressful trying to enjoy something that is just not someone else’s thing. They can intentionally or unintentionally make it unpleasant for everyone. So I really have to pick and choose my battles carefully.

I’m not a big fan of the “constructed” or “fake” holidays. I understand the premise of a society agreeing on holidays in order to celebrate their identity, but since I don’t fully identify with these societal constructs, I find that the holidays bring some inner turmoil for me. I would not want my kids to miss out on any “Norman Rockwell” moments so I try to make these times special. I have to admit though that even though I go to great lengths not to force my views on my kids, they have adopted most of them , making for a great nurture argument. So when deciding how best to celebrate a somewhat arbitrary holiday, one has to question the best way to encourage or respect everyone’s desire to participate.

For me it is a social thing. To be out enjoying the company and inclusion of fellow humans , no matter how terse or fleeting the connection may be. I find it comforting and fascinating. At the same time though it can be a frustrating process as big crowds often bring problems. I think the two in my family like me are of the same mind. We like to be around other people but are perfectly fine on our own too. For the other two, it is a more trying experience to adjust to other people and fit in. It brings a different set of stressors and anxiety. And although I respect this and try to work with it, the lesson of not being selfish is also an important one. Solitude can lead to an inability to understand others needs and emotions, making relationships very difficult. So for me and my family holidays are a tightrope of emotion and anxiety.

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