Why I Celebrate Leap Day, and Other Minor Holidays. Do You?

One of my favorite resolutions — and I write about it in my books The Happiness Project and Happier at Home — is to celebrate minor holidays.

Celebrating minor holidays is fun, it’s low-stress, and it helps make memories.

And today is Leap Day! Last Leap Day, I took my daughters to Ripley’s Believe It or Not and to Dylan’s Candy Bar.

But this year, our lives are different. After school, my older daughter has lacrosse practice, and she also has to study physics, so she didn’t have time to go on an adventure — even a minor adventure.

But I wanted to do something. So I’ve told them, “At about 9:15 tonight, when we’re usually winding down for the evening, we’re going to go out! For a fancy dessert!”

For me, Leap Day is a variation of Opposite Day. It’s a day when unexpected and crazy things can happen. I’m usually very focused on family members being ready for bed on time, and while I don’t enforce my own low-carb rules on my family, I usually don’t go out of my way to seek out high-sweets situations.

But that’s the fun of Leap Day, and the thing that will make it memorable. It’s so different from what we usually do.

Did you do anything special to celebrate Leap Day? Or to celebrate any other minor holidays?

  • Anna Alapatt

    Not this year! Now I have to wait another 4 years. I wish I was at Dylan’s Candy Bar 🙂

  • Andy

    This Saturday is ‘Sugden Day’. All of my family’s birthdays are in the space if 52 days so we’ve appointed a Saturday midway between the last and first as a family ‘holiday’. A minor celebration and one just for us!

  • RethinkHappy

    My assistant has Adoption Day coming up. It’s the 3-year anniversary of the day they adopted two of their children, and they always do something to celebrate it.

  • Erin

    I have three boys (8, 6, 3) and I told them we would do something so crazy it could only happen every four years. Make your own sundaes for dinner. They were thrilled. We don’t do big things for little holidays, but because there aren’t huge traditions or expectations, a little treat or fun activity goes a long way.

    • gretchenrubin

      Love it!

  • kicking_k

    My little boy, who’s four, was so fascinated by the concept of having an extra day in the year that he wanted to do something special. We planned to go to a science attraction in town, but it wasn’t open that day; we ended up going to the museum and it turned out they had a special free event on which I think will be more memorable for him, actually. We had a lovely time and he got to drive a model Mars rover!

    • gretchenrubin

      Love it. There really is something uncanny and wonderful about Leap Day.

      • kicking_k

        It just occurred to me that this was a perfect example of something that went wrong (the attraction being closed) which will make a good memory.

        I will try to remember to do something special again in 2020!