Celebrate Leap Day, Or Any Other Minor Holiday.

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One of my resolutions is to Celebrate holiday breakfasts. However, I’ve realized, that resolution should actually be framed as a subset of more general resolution, something like Celebrate minor holidays or Find occasions for festivity.

In any event, I followed this resolution on Leap Day this year. I’d been feeling oddly thrilled by the approach of Leap Day, but it hadn’t occurred to me to celebrate it, until I heard someone else’s plan.

At an event in Dallas a few weeks ago, a woman told me that she was taking her four kids out of school on February 29 for a day of fun. I was enchanted by this idea, but I’m too much of a Hermione to pull my daughters out of school. Instead, I picked them both up and swept them away for an afternoon of special adventures.

First, we went to Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium in Times Square. I figured that was an appropriate thing to do: Ripley’s celebrates the unusual and rare, and Leap Day is fun because it’s unusual and rare.

Then we went to Dylan’s Candy Bar (a giant candy store). My husband doesn’t enjoy that kind of thing, so my daughters hadn’t been there before, and if you like that sort of place—my daughters and I do—it’s tremendously fun. The girls spent a very long time making their candy choices.

Truth be told, as adventures go, this wasn’t very ambitious. We barely left our neighborhood, and the entire outing lasted less than three hours. Still, it felt special, like a “treat.” Also, I know myself; I have to keep my resolutions manageable, or I can’t keep them at all. One of my most important Secrets of Adulthood…Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

One of the main themes of my happiness project is memory. Time is passing so quickly; I worry that I won’t remember this time of life, what it’s like to have children this age. My shorthand for this worry is The days are long, but the years are short (of everything I’ve ever written, my one-minute video, The Years Are Short, is the thing that resonates most with people).

Celebrating minor holidays is one way to make time stand out. Because this day was unusual, it’s more memorable.

Another theme of my happiness project is light-heartedness. Instead of marching around checking things off my to-do list all the time, I want to take time for silliness, for fun, for adventures. Something like Leap Day is a good hook.

Did you celebrate Leap Day? Do you do anything to celebrate other minor holidays?

From 2006 through 2014, as she wrote The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, Gretchen chronicled her thoughts, observations, and discoveries on The Happiness Project Blog.



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