Secular Schooling, Love, Family, Friends, Playing, Cooking, Baking, Gardening, Arts & Crafts, Music, Dance, Traveling, Reading, and Volunteering


all while living with Chronic Illness

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Yearly Celebrations

Now that life has settled down a little I am going to put together a list of monthly celebrations. I checked out a really lovely book called "Days to Celebrate" by Lee Bennett Hopkins. Each month is a chapter and starts with a calendar of birthdays, important events, and holidays listed for each day. Following is several pages of poems by authors who were born during the month or commemorating events that occurred during the month. The book is mostly Euro-centric, so I hope to find a multicultural resource that is similar.

I'm also using a book I found at a 2nd hand store the other day "Every Day a Holiday" by Silvana Clark. Like the title says It has a celebration for almost everyday of the year! They range from super silly, like Play in the Sand Day (Aug 11th), and National Day of Puppetry (last Sat in April) to the more traditional holidays we are used to celebrating. There are one page descriptions for each day with fun activities, crafts and food ideas. This book has focus on US holidays and is more oriented to Christian holidays.

I'm hoping the book "Festivals Together" by Sue Fitzjohn, Minda Weston and Judy Large will help fill the large multicultural voids. I may also contact some of my Muslim and Jewish friends for suggestions from them.

These are some of the subject areas I plan on including in my list:
  • Holidays
  • Festivals
  • Famous authors birthdays (if they are age appropriate)
  • Famous poets birthdays (if they are age appropriate)
  • Historical events, including inventions, discoveries
  • Musician birthdays
  • Season changes
I don't plan on doing a celebration everyday, or even all those on this list, but a few sprinkled here and there could be a fun addition to our school days.


4th Thursday - National Clashing Clothes Day

1 - New Years Day
14 - National Volunteer Day
15 - Martin Luther King Jr's Birthday
18 - Winnie the Pooh Day
19 - National Popcorn Day
29 - National Puzzle Day


3rd Monday - Presidents' Day
2nd Full Week - Random Acts of Kindness Week

14 - Valentines Day
19 - Solar System Day
 24 (2013) - Chinese Lantern Festival


40 Days before Easter - Mardi Gras

2 - Dr. Seuss' Birthday
14 - National Kids' Craft Day
17 - St Patrick's Day
20 - World Storytelling Day
21 - World Poetry Day
27 (2013) - Holi
30 - Van Gogh's Birthday


Easter (sometimes in March)

2 - International Children's Book Day
20 - International Astronomy Day
22 - Earth Day
26 - National Bird Day


2nd Sunday - Mother's Day
Last Monday - Memorial Day
Last Tues/Wed - National Geographic Bee Finals

1 - May Day
1 - Mother Goose Day
5 - Cinco De Mayo
12 - Limerick Day


1st Saturday - National Trails Day
3rd Sunday - Father's Day

1 - Superman's Birthday
7 - National Crayon Day
9 - Donald Duck's Birthday
14 - Flag Day
19 - Butterfly Day
21 - First day of Summer
23 - National Pink Day
25 - Eric Carle's Birthday


4 - Independence Day
10 - Teddy Bear Picnic Day
24 - Cousin's Day


2 - Friendship Day
3 - Parks Day
29 - Mary Poppin's Birthday
30 - National Toasted Marshmellow Day


1st Monday - Labor Day
1st Sunday after Labor Day - Grandparent's Day
4th Sunday - National Good Neighbor Day

7 - Backwards Day
18 - National Play-Doh Day
22 - National Family Day
22/23 - First Day of Autumn
29 - Pumpkin Day


2nd Monday - Columbus Day

1 - World Vegetarian Day
16 - Dictionary Day
31 - Halloween


Thanksgiving Week - National Game and Puzzle Week

4th Thursday - Thanksgiving

3 - National Sandwich Day
11 - Veterans Day
14 - National Teddy Bear Day
15 - American Recycle Day
16 - The Sound of Music Day
17 - Homemade Bread Day


8 Days between November 25 - December 26 - Hanukkah 
December 26 - January 1 - Kwanzaa

21 - First Day of Winter/Winter Solstice
22 - Flashlight Day
25 - Christmas
26 - Boxing Day
31 - New Year's Eve

Welcome to Holland

I saw this on the blog Letters From Holland and thought it was a wonderful description of not only the experience of raising a disabled child but also the grief of living with a disability. When you are young you have dreams of what your life will be like and living with a chronic disability is isn't one of them. You don't necessarily want to change your experience because of everything you DO have, but there is a loss of your dreams and it can be difficult to let those go.

Welcome to Holland

by Emily Perl Kingsley (c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved)

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this...... 

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned." And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.