Author’s Note: This blog post was written mid-March, just before COVID-19 stay-at-home orders became widespread throughout the country, drastically altering the way we live our daily lives. At the time, celebrating anything seemed like an artifact of a previous life.
As the weeks wore on, the importance of celebration became clear; celebrations are necessary. And as a result, we’ve seen birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations, and more celebrated in new and creative ways. We’ve learned a lot about ourselves, our relationships, and what we value most. We hope this post carries a new layer of meaning as we begin navigating forward with this changed perspective.
What do you celebrate in your relationship?
Do you go all out for every birthday and anniversary or are you in a season of life where you barely have time to yell, “Happy Anniversary!” across the room as you head off in separate directions?
Do you celebrate the big milestones? What about the small victories? Do you still commemorate your dating anniversary? What about the anniversary of when you first met?
The thing is, we choose whether we want to make celebrations a priority, whether we celebrate both the big and small occasions, and whether we do that through grand or mundane gestures. By doing so, we create our own relationship celebration “culture.”
So why is this important?
Celebrations are opportunities to connect as a couple.
Through your unique celebration culture, you can create rituals and traditions, moments of connection that you can count on and that strengthen your bond. They could be big things, like an annual anniversary vacation without the kids, or small and simple, like enjoying a glass of wine on the deck after making it through a busy week. When life is hectic and you don’t have the time for the big events, the little things can be just as strong of a glue in your relationship (and probably a lot easier on your bank account!)
Celebrations allow you to stop and acknowledge your journey together.
Sure, birthdays and anniversaries, by definition, are about marking another year older or another year married. But they can also be about what you shared during that year – how you supported each other, sacrificed for each other, worked as a team, and what you accomplished together. The same lens can be applied to other occasions you might celebrate – getting out of debt, getting the big promotion, or sending your youngest child off to college.
Celebrations help you focus on the positive – in life and in each other.
It’s easy to get bogged down by the negatives, both in our day-to-day lives and the world in general. Maybe it’s been a particularly trying month, the whole family has been sick, it’s been raining for what seems like weeks, you just found out your car needs an expensive repair, and UGH, can your partner ever remember to grab the mail or rinse their dirty coffee cup? But celebrations are an excuse to forget all of that and focus on the positive, even if it’s only for ten minutes.
Sometimes it can feel like celebrations aren’t essential – they’re a nice-to-have but not necessarily a priority. Well, we challenge you to make them a priority! Because nurturing your relationship, in big ways and small, is important. So what are you waiting for? Find something to celebrate!