Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Things worth celebrating (Day 10: UBC July 2013)

It was author Jarod Kintz who said, “The year you were born marks only your entry into the world. Other years where you prove your worth, they are the ones worth celebrating.”

In theory, I accept the validity of his statement. I agree that the mere fact of one’s birth or existence does not deserve to have trumpet blasts piercing the night. 

/In practice, I’m a great one for celebrating birthdays. I come from a family in which a birthday was treated as a very special thing. On your birthday, you were treated like a king or a queen. And you didn’t even have to be a young ’un to merit this special treatment, though it helped, especially since it was the elders in the family doing the pampering.

Generally, my parents made a big to-do about birthdays. The entire family would go to church in the morning to pray for the birthday boy or girl. Later, Mum would cook the favourites of the birthday boy or girl, bake a cake and we’d all gather around and sing Happy Birthday.

For some strange reason, even though I’ve got a pretty good singing voice (so I’ve been told) and even though I can sing Happy Birthday very melodiously if I’m singing by myself, I’m not very good at singing Happy Birthday in a crowd. I don’t know why my singing suddenly begins to sound off-key, when I'm singing Happy Birthday with a group of other people. Must be all the noise getting into my eyes.

I’ve inherited that feeling of goodwill towards birthdays. Now that I’m a mother of two, I make it a point to bake a cake or make some dessert, with a new, untried recipe each time a family birthday shows up.

Christmas and Easter, and Diwali in my marital home, are other occasions that merit large-scale, though not necessarily lavish, celebrations. Mass at church and a meal with the entire family in attendance was a 
huge part of the celebrations.

One other occasion that merits more than the usual degree of celebrations is August 15. It happens to be India’s Independence Day. For Catholics, it is the solemn feast of the Assumption of Our Lady. And for us, as kids, what got our cup overflowing, what put the icing on the cake and the star in the sky, was the fact that it was also Mum’s birthday. After I got married, I learned that it is also my mother-in-law’s birthday.

While events such as these are worth celebrating, what I’d most like to talk about here are those tiny little things that show up without notice or warning, and demand a celebration.

I have only to announce that I have found a new recipe for cake, and that I am going to try it the following Saturday for La Niña and El Niño to break into an impromptu jig. I join them on the floor, and clown around with them and we all burst out laughing.

My children see with eyes that are new, and it is their gaze that tells me that nature is flush with a thousand dazzling things that are worth celebrating.

And of course, not all celebrations have to be about loud music, lively conversations and outbursts of laughter.

There are many things worth celebrating that can be celebrated just as well with silence, contentment and a grateful heart.

(This post is written in response to a writing prompt on The Writer's Post.)


  1. I , too , love to celebrate b'days and occasions with great pomp. Now with age , I prefer the quiet celeberations with traditional sweets, cakes and delicious food. We celebrate our son's b'day with cakes and good food and of course with fun and laughter.Your post made me remember those days.

  2. As we get older, I guess we realise that celebrations are no less significant without the noise. Thank you, Kalpana.

  3. What a wonderful post - you are a great writer! Sounds like it would be fun to be at your house. I'm not very good at celebrating much...wonder why? I'll have to think about that now. Have a blessed day!

  4. Birthdays are always worth celebrating. How interesting that both your mother and mother in law shared the same birthday.
    So, what's the newest cake recipe? I'm curious. I crave cake but can't go out to get any till I've finished my blog writing. Discipline :)

  5. Well,sometimes i think why to celebrate our birthday, its not a big deal the day we were born. And sometimes, i feel it must be special. Frankly i have not still decided if its special or not ;)

    But I agree the point that celebrations can be uncalled for & do not need any big days. Little things need to be celebrated in our own ways.

  6. I think the "grateful heart" part is key. Thanks for this post!

  7. Birthdays are special even in our family. Cakes, good food and friends and family are mandatory accompaniments.

  8. I love holidays and birthdays because they are celebrations at my house!! They make the best memories!


  9. Oh i love celebrations... keep looking for reasons... If nothing then I just make something nice and celebrate 'nothing'... the spouse thinks i am crazy.. but MIL loves the idea :)

  10. wow! What fun that your mother and MIL share the same birthday! Birthdays are also celebrated with a lot of fervor in my marital home too! :)

  11. Isn't it fun being a mom and being the artist of the celebration? Mrs Make it Happen as it were? I only wish that I didn't have to make it happen for my own as well. LOL


  12. Celebrations are always such fun!! :)
    Birthday and Anniversaries and Festivals are always much more fun when it is celebrated!! :)

  13. i've never got old enough not to be celebrating my birthday!! and somehow no one ever forgets my birthday,( falls on independence day!) and it becomes a really special affair! maybe i'll grow up some day!:)

    celebrating is one great way of feeling alive...

  14. I am fetish for celebrations, I always keep saying that one needs to count the blessings and that needs to all the festivals, birthdays anniversaries and whatever we can collect in life :)

    Festivals and birthdays promotion parties are all excuses of God to ensure we have a bit of fun :D


  15. That was so wonderful Cynthia.. I love celebrations and yes I agree with that thing about how you find a recipe and anounce about ur experiments..loved ones light up in joy.. :D



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