it doesn’t matter when you celebrate as long as you celebrate!

Today I stumbled upon a blog I wrote a few years ago. As I re-read it, I realised that much had changed, and further confusion had been added to the mix with our children now living in other countries. What holidays are important to you? How do you work together to make celebrations happen?

The Blog

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. Well, it was Mother’s Day in the UK not in Hungary. That gave us a dilemma, first of all keeping up with important holidays when they are not marked on your calendar, and secondly whether we should celebrate here or not. While commercialism has many negatives, it does have some benefits. At least if you are blasted with Mother’s Day messages in every aisle, you have a fair chance of remembering the occasion. Thankfully this year we did remember, and my Mum was delighted to receive flowers. Unfortunately, our children didn’t remember to celebrate with me, and I suddenly felt the importance of the day! In the middle of my disappointment, I realised that along with embracing the new it is important to celebrate some of the traditional things within our personal culture.

As an ex-pat family, it is a good idea to decide what occasions are important to celebrate with your family. Talk about it together so you are all on the same page. If it isn’t something that is celebrated in the country you are in look up the dates in advance and mark them on your calendar. If it is an occasion like Mother’s Day when you won’t be involved in the planning make sure they at least know when it is. Try to do this well in advance so they can be prepared, and you don’t have an opportunity to be disappointed. If there is a similar alternative celebration in your host nation, then decide if you want to celebrate on that day instead. We have just discovered that while there isn’t a Mother’s Day celebration here, we can celebrate on Women’s day which is celebrated a week earlier in Hungary. Substitution works well if you don’t mind what date you celebrate on.

To celebrate or not to celebrate?
  • Decide what dates are important for you and your family to celebrate
  • Be willing to leave the old and embrace the new (but don’t forget that date if a loved one back home expects you to remember their special day)
  • Also be willing to maintain the old way of doing things when you know it has a family or cultural significance that you want to preserve
  • Be proactive and plan

Whatever you decide do remember to have times of celebration.  All through the old and new testament, we have example after example of celebrations that occurred. Celebrations give us an opportunity to express our thankfulness to God for all he has done for us.

Psalm 145:7

They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.


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