Did you know that May 17th is Norwegian Independence Day?

That country’s Constitution was signed in 1814 and the citizens continue to celebrate every year with bands, flag waving, traditional dress as well as parades. The Norwegians really celebrate!

England also has been celebrating this month, first with a new royal baby and also with the birthday of Queen Victoria on May long weekend. Because we call it the Queen’s birthday, people often get confused about the fact that Queen Elizabeth was born in April and the May 24 celebration is actually honouring the birth of her grandmother Queen Victoria who was born in 1819.

There are so many statutory holidays at both the federal and provincial level that we observe in Canada on a regular basis – Thanksgiving, Canada Day, Christmas and Easter to name a few.

But, in addition, there are also personal events that need to be celebrated. This year my granddaughter graduated with a degree in engineering from the University of Saskatchewan. Two grandchildren had birthdays in May. We just had a Mother’s Day BBQ and in June, I will join fellow students for our 50th high school reunion in our hometown in Saskatchewan.

Unfortunately, people tend not to marry or have funerals, and this robs family members from being able to get together. The prevalence of extended business hours injects a « busyness » into our lifestyles that can block attendance at planned activities that might otherwise attract all family members.

Somehow, we have been lulled into the idea that social media makes up for being physically involved. But a fourteen-character text message or uploaded photo will never take the place of a warm hug and face-to-face conversation.

It is time to re-evaluate the ways that we interact with others and consider how we do or do not participate in celebration activities.

Being involved requires planning and commitment.

Perhaps it would be a good start to just begin celebrating today. Give thanks for what you do have and the ways in which you have been blessed. Then start thinking about the things that you want to celebrate in the future and who you will ask to join you.

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