Creating Holidays

Not only are we on school holidays right now, here in Wales, but I’m writing this on Easter, just after looking through beautiful photos from friends and family of their Seders, since Passover is this weekend, too. Because my family background is partly Jewish, and because I grew up celebrating a non-religious version of Easter, both holidays have meaning to me. And since I come from America, originally, but my husband is British, the Easter that we celebrate together with our children is a personal blend of our two family/cultural traditions.

The whole thing has made me think about how we create holidays, as families, and as larger cultures. Sometimes it’s as simple as it is in our house, where our kids get big chocolate Easter eggs on Easter – a British tradition that I didn’t celebrate when I was growing up – but they get those eggs in baskets left for them by the Easter bunny, usually with the kind of green “Easter grass” that my own baskets were always filled with when I was a kid, along with fluffy toys and other small treats. For me, the most fun part of Easter, when I was growing up in Michigan, was colouring the hardboiled eggs for the Easter baskets, so I do that with my American-British kids now, in Wales. For my husband, a big chocolate bunny, the kind I grew up getting in my baskets, would NOT be the same as a big chocolate egg, so chocolate eggs are what we get. It’s all part of the juggling act that happens when people from two different traditions start a family together. I bet my grandchildren will celebrate their own Easters in distinctly different ways, as my sons blend our family traditions with their spouse’s.

I’ve also heard of families making up special holidays of their own, based on big moments in their family history.

What’s your favourite holiday? And how does your family celebrate it? I’d really love to hear about it.

6 thoughts on “Creating Holidays

  1. Well I suppose, aren’t birthdays like little holidays that families create? Because, like you said, it is sort of celebrating an important event for a family; it’s like saying “you being born was and is and will always be important to us” and different families all have different traditions and ways of celebrating them. I always think that birthdays are a bit like Christmas but more personal 🙂

  2. Aww, that sounds like an awesome Easter! I always associate Easter with reading because when I was a kid we had a big extended family and always got loads of Easter eggs, so my mum refused to get us another one and always got my siblings and I a book each instead. So a lot of my Easters were spent visiting family and trying desperately to sneak into corners and read my new book…

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