One of the saddest things about moving to a new state is the realization that our celebrations will change. But what if instead of mourning the loss of Grandma’s amazing turkey or our kids’ birthday party with the same playmates, we embraced this new season with creativity? What if the red state transplants became the best in the community at celebrating because we of all people know what it’s like not to be allowed to celebrate at all? What if we were the most resolved to get all the neighbors together, the most excited about playing the music that gets everyone dancing, the most determined to cook up the best meal that blesses the most people?
Anniversaries, Independence Day, birthdays, visiting family and friends… the summer is always a season filled with an exorbitant amount of celebrating in our home, to the point where when it’s all over, we’re utterly exhausted from all of the celebrating! Although the feasting and fun is wonderful and refreshing, it is also a lot of work. Moving to a new state may require a bit more creativity, but at the end of the day the effort we put into our celebrations will pay off huge dividends just as they did in the states from which we came.
Do We Really Have to Celebrate?
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve thought something like, “Is this really necessary? We just moved. Should I really set out the St. Patrick’s Day decorations?” But, I’ve come to believe that there are zero regrets to be had in celebrating all the occasions of life and much to regret in choosing not to celebrate at all.
Charlie Kirk recently spoke about the problem of nihilism – the idea that life is entirely meaningless. Nihilism has become very popular amongst our young people today. Teens and even very young children struggle deeply with identity, purpose and worth… It’s no wonder we hear statistics like 1 in 12 kids are on some kind of psychiatric drug https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/psychiatry-through-the-looking-glass/202108/are-children-and-adolescents-overprescribed. I certainly don’t mean to minimize the fact that some people genuinely need these medications. However, I do wonder how many of these young adults and children, were they simply to be in homes where they were treasured and regularly celebrated, would feel this kind of hopelessness.
Celebrating can accomplish powerful things..
- It gives your spouse and children something to look forward to.
- It proclaims to a watching world that people matter.
- It lets children and teenagers see adults responsibly enjoying life and the fruit of hard work.
- It says that the milestones of life are significant and worthy of honor.
- It connects us to each other as we rejoice with and over one another.
Embrace the Newness
There might be a holiday you never dreamed about celebrating that is really important to the members in your new community – like Mule Day out here in Tennessee. (Yes, it really is a thing!) Being around others who are rejoicing is good for your heart so even if you don’t have many friends to celebrate with yet, put yourself around people who are enjoying life in a responsible way that blesses kids and adults alike. Although things might feel weird, it’s good for you and your family to see people having fun in your new state.
There might be a new sports stadium or a great new theatre or more opportunities to see some of your favorite country stars…. Be sure to capitalize on these adventures. They can be a great way to celebrate BIG while you’re still just getting plugged into your new state.
Celebrating Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank
Dollar General gifts with balloons and streamers is enough to send most little ones into a frenzy! A hike along a beautiful trail with a picnic lunch can be very meaningful. Trying out a new restaurant (like Circa in Thompson Station – aaaaamazing!… https://circagrill.com..) Inviting neighbors over for a simple bbq…. All of these are wonderful, very simple ways to continue the important work of celebrating.
What are the Results of a Lifetime of Celebrating?
Joy! Value! Purpose! Something to work for! Taking the time to treasure our loved ones in ways that truly bless them pays itself back tenfold.
We must remember that although we may have made huge transitions to new states, life is continuing to happen. Our children are continuing to grow. That 7th wedding anniversary year will never come again. It’s important to take some time away from the moving boxes and just thank God for all He has done and for the people He has entrusted us with.
In this age of nihilism, we, the transplants of society, have a rare opportunity. We get to declare to all around us that even though we’ve lost a lot… even though our celebrations don’t look as they once did…we will celebrate loudly and with purpose. We have every reason to because, even with all of the loss, our lives have significant meaning. None of this has happened by accident. The same God who commands us to be joyful in Him has given us babies and butterflies and midnight snacks. It’s all full of meaning. What is that meaning? God loves us. Say it to your kids. Say it to your neighbors. Say it to yourself over and over and over again. It’s a miracle worth celebrating both today and forever.