Together More : Celebrate More
I lived in a hostel when I was in college. After completing my graduation and campus placement, I lived with 3 other friends in a 2 bedroom house. Life was smooth, till one of my roommates got an opportunity to go "onsite". The green monster of jealousy rose within me, I needed to go onsite too! And so I began working hard, I was the last to leave office, I worked most weekends. Thankfully, this time around when the opportunity came, my team lead recommended my name for onsite coordination! and within 6 months of my roommate going onsite, I followed suit. After this "life" was honestly a blur spending time between Bangalore and any of the onsite locations.
Ours was an arranged marriage, my parents wanted me to marry a girl who could understand my lifestyle. My wife is a software engineer too and works in a big firm with hectic project deadlines. As you are all probably aware, things move pretty quick once parents choose and decide the girl and make you "choose" the same one. I was married 3 months after first meeting my future wife. Did we find our Platinum day of love? Well What I can say is that life was pretty smooth for the next couple of years. We were busy with work, we would make weekend plans if we were free or we would laze around. We did a few foreign holidays too. My job was to book the holidays, my wife would pick the best photos and make Facebook posts. The best among the best were framed and kept occupying walls and corners of our rented apartment!
For some reason, my parents decided that I wasn't happy and kept asking, "So,when is the bundle of joy coming along?". My wife's parents asked too, but may be they worded the "bundle of joy" differently or any other reason, this wasn't a big issue though. In any case, our bundles of joy ( yes bundles, we have twins) did come along about 3.5 years into our marriage. Life became even more hectic, if that was possible. My wife joined back work 6 months after the kids were born, there was an old nanny to take care of the children.
Kids grew up, life was ok. We "did" a few holidays - we mostly went back to either of our homes when our schedules permitted us. When our twins were 3, we realised that our kids didn't know anything about Diwali or Pongal or Pooja or any other festivals. It wasn't something sudden, since we both had lived outside our home for practically half our lives, we weren't too clued into the festivals. Our kids were growing up the same way too. My wife is the one who reads all that is to read about parenting and she found out why it is important to celebrate festivals with our children
1) It makes kids know about our culture and roots more and roots are really important to grow into mentally strong human beings
2) It helps in building memories - Special occasions and milestones are really the memories that come to use very quickly when we are looking for something from our childhood
3) Festivals by default also mean more friends and relatives, so we get to bond more.
4) There is an enthusiasm that builds in the family, when we know a special occasion is coming up and there is a general positive climate. Dinner table conversations are about what to buy, how to clean up the house and what would be the menu for the day
5) Festivals are great conversation starters. Children especially find it easy to talk about events and in mixed environments learn more about other cultures too
And so it is that our journey of celebrating began, the twins are 8 now and we do Pongal in my house, Diwali in hers or vice versa every year. Other festivals such as Navratri are usually spent at our house in Bangalore. The kids really look forward to the festivals. We bond more and we are happy in the hope that as parents we are contributing in our own way towards building rooted and happy children. We also celebrate holidays like Halloween, Holi, Rakhi etc P.S: The other happy side effect is that we buy clothes only during festivals and it really helps yours truly's budget planning better :). My biggest parenting tip and life tip for happiness is to celebrate more - festivals, holidays. milestones or anything else, juts find an excuse celebrate