Thank Goodness for “Hallmark Holidays”

I am sure you’ve heard the saying, “oh that’s just a Hallmark holiday,” yes? My husband is a huge fan of this phrase, and it’s not just because he happens to be really challenged (he hates shopping) in my love language (gift giving). I genuinely understand that some people aren’t celebratory by nature; these are likely the same people who don’t love birthday parties. I also understand that some people don’t see a need to dedicate a day of the year to moms, dads or our relationships.

I am going to agree to disagree. And here’s why.

flowers-1245820_1280We live in such a fast paced culture. The vast majority of us, especially those of us in the trenches with small children and jobs, are go, go, go, both by nature AND need. We hustle from one project to the next and one appointment to the other. We are all short on sleep and time, while also being behind on work and our “to do” lists. Most of us are stressed and overwhelmed, whether we admit it or not. So we stay up later, work harder, hustle more and add even more to our pile. No rest for the weary, right

That is the beauty of Hallmark holidays. Call them fake or unnecessary, but the beautiful truth is that the world slows down. And I love it.

On Hallmark holidays, I receive virtually no emails (except One King’s Lane and Groupon – has anyone figured out how to actually unsubscribe from those yet?!)

On Hallmark holidays, we make plans with family and my kids lovingly color cards for the “fake” guest of honor.

On Hallmark holidays, we get the cutest crafts from my children’s school. Those are priceless. The interviews about mom and dad absolutely kill me and are a highlight of my year.

On Hallmark holidays, we cook breakfast and splurge on bacon and cinnamon rolls because calories don’t count. We randomly open the nice wine and make mimosas “just because.” We lounge around the house. We seemingly have permission to DO NOTHING.

On Hallmark holidays, my social media feeds are inundated with pictures of precious families expressing their gratitude for one another. Life seems to move in slow motion as people stop to enjoy the day. Of course, many of us also hurt on these so-called Hallmark holidays when we have lost a loved one or don’t have a celebration planned, but I don’t think that means Hallmark holidays are bad. I think that might be an important part of the remembrance and grieving process.

I believe the world needs more of ALL of this. I think we all need more time around the table together, whether with take out or a home cooked meal. We crave more interaction and downtime and yet we seem to struggle to make that time. Celebration is good and oh so necessary for the soul, even when celebration brings a hint of sadness. It reminds me of one of my favorite Dave Matthews songs, “Celebrate we will, ’cause life is short but sweet for certain…”

Yes, I know that we can control making this happen more often, but a lot of us don’t. So if we need Hallmark in order to make life celebrations happen every once in a while, I am ALL for it. Anything that makes us slow down and live life and break bread and enjoy that which is sacred and fleeting has my vote and full support.

Ashley is the Co-Owner of New Orleans Mom, Red Stick Mom and Lafayette Mom, now the largest network of parenting websites in South Louisiana. Proud graduates of the University of Virginia, she and her husband Blaise spent time in Tampa and Scottsdale prior to settling down back home in New Orleans, something they both said "would never happen." An avid runner, she'll try any workout at least once and is always up for sweating with friends. When she’s not shuttling her 3 very active kids to school, gymnastics or baseball, you can find her cheering for the Saints, trying new restaurants or spending time with family and friends. She's also not afraid to return mediocre books to the library before finishing them because life is too short for bad books. A native New Orleanian, Ashley loves exploring and discovering the beauty of South Louisiana through her growing children's eyes.

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