Make Up Your Own Holiday

by Julie Snyder

Make Up Your Own HolidayWhether you'd like to promote a cause or just have a good time, "Make Up Your Own Holiday," celebrated on March 26, encourages everyone to get creative, get organized and honor your own unique, wacky, fun event.

This jovial holiday was created and proclaimed to the masses by Thomas and Ruth Roy. They make a hobby of thinking up fun days to celebrate.

Right now, your mind is already thinking about what you could celebrate. Why not declare today as, "All About Me" day and celebrate it the way you want to?

How do you go about doing that? It's easier than you think. All you have to do is name the day, decide what you want to do, and get other people to buy in and do it along with you. To show you how a holiday is "born," I've decided to share our special occasion with you.

A Unique Holiday is Born

It was the season of the three "B's." I was too "busy," too "broke" and "bottomed out" emotionally.

At this time, we lived on a small farm and ran our own business. I worked part-time and home-schooled our kids. On top of all that, my mom ended up being diagnosed with cancer. Before I knew it, Christmas decided it was on its way. Couldn't it have waited a couple of more weeks?

Around the middle of the December, I called a family meeting. I gathered up my courage and confidently stated, "Kids, we're not going to celebrate Christmas this year."

You could have heard a pin drop...for a couple minutes. After it sunk in, the protests began. We listened to the kids and then started listing the reasons each child thought the holiday was important. Three traditions consistently rang out -- fudge, gifts and game time.

After the family discussions calmed down, I piped up with my idea. "Why don't we make up our own holiday? Did you know that if we wait until after Christmas, we can get twice as much stuff for about half the money? Besides presents, what do you guys think should happen for our holiday?" I saw the heads bob up and down in thought, and eventually in agreement.

After a bit of family brainstorming, "Clearance Sale Day" was born and so were all its slogans and rituals. Our crafty creators' ages ranged from 2 to 16. These are some of my family's favorites slogans, rituals, and insights:

  • Twice the loot at half the cost!
  • Food focuses on easy to make finger foods and grandma's homemade fudge.
  • The "Clearance Sale Fairy" leaves a flower pot of goodies and asks that you leave a bicycle pump out so she can pump up her wheelbarrow tire.
  • The "Clearance Sale Fairy" is willing to accept a 25 cent donation towards a newer vehicle.
  • The holiday colors will be purple, orange and gold.
  • Decorating revolves around a decorated wheelbarrow that conveniently holds the gifts. Sparkling lights and fairy accents may be used.
  • Clearance Sale Day is observed on a weekend in January when everyone's ready to get together and have some fun.

Over the years, our family's holiday has changed. When the children were younger, most of their effort went into decorating and gift making. Now, as the youngest approach adulthood, planning the food and trying out new board games seems to be the focus. I'm okay with that because as the kids grow, so do our family traditions.

Create Your Own Holiday

Choose Your Own Date

Finding a time for your new holiday can be as easy as filling in an empty date in your activity calendar. January might be cold, dreary and in need of holiday cheer. Once Independence Day rolls past, the hot days of summer can drag on. Make up your own holiday and add a bit of sparkle and your own fireworks!

Does your family find themselves surrounded by holidays they don't celebrate? Do you feel as if none of the standard holidays suit you? Be creative and make up a special holiday that means something important to you and your family.

Create a Ritual

Holidays usually require tradition and ritual. You can build your special day around food, activities that suit you and your family, decorations and a story about how the holiday came into existence. On March 26, National "Make Up Your Own Holiday," put together a new way to celebrate your family heritage.

Share Your Holiday

Now that you've created something unique to celebrate, it's time to build anticipation as the big day approaches. Get out the decorations and invite the clan and friends who might enjoy the festivities. Don't let a moment go by that isn't documented. Record the event in pictures, journal about it, video it or have your own unique way to preserve the event. Every so often, it's fun to play "do you remember...." and reminisce about all the fun you had together. Now your family can't wait to celebrate, again!

After discovering this liberating, amazing un-holiday, what would you like to create and celebrate?