It’s October, which means this is the beginning of holiday season! We love excuses to celebrate! We take a break from work to dress up in costumes, hand out candy, say thanks, eat yummy food, light candles, say prayers, decorate, give gifts, receive gifts, kiss our loved one at midnight, and make goals for another year. Doing rituals together is something that makes us human.
We celebrate people too. Even though everyone has a birthday every year, we make time to celebrate it—why not? We spend lots of time and money to celebrate weddings and births despite the fact that these are still very common events—why not? Graduation is one of the few events that we celebrate based on a person’s merits, but ironically, we tend to make a bigger deal out of high school graduation than the attainment of a doctorate.
If we love celebrating so much, why do we contain our festivities to religious and established traditions? When was the last time you sent a card to someone for putting on an art show? Did you make a feast for your friend who choreographed an entire dance recital? Have you ever thrown a shower for someone who put out an album? Did you buy a gift for your friend who just put on a concert?
Art is an important part of life, and artists spend dozens to hundreds to thousands of hours creating whatever it is they make. They often spend their own money for projects and put more effort into them than anything else. After all of that time, money, and passion, they are the ones to bring refreshments to their recital or provide catering for their show. Then, they get some likes on Facebook and hear “cool” and “sounds nice,” yet they still have piles of CDs or prints piled up at home.
So to all my friends who have accomplished artistic pursuits, I am sorry if I didn’t celebrate you enough. I’m not going to say, “You should be proud of yourself,” because you already are. I’m saying, “We should all be proud of you.” Congratulations, you deserve to be celebrated!
And for all of us who have talented and motivated people in our lives, let’s give gifts, cards, candy, and throw parties for those who spend hours, dollars, and energy to bring more enjoyment, thoughtfulness, and art into our lives. They are worthy of celebration.
By Anna Brake