We love celebrating in our house, by saying woohoo to the big things and finding reasons to celebrate the little and weird things too. Being a single parent family, with only two of us, you may think we don’t have heaps to chances to celebrate. In reality, Miss 14 and I find any reason at all to celebrate … and why not!

Including friends, family and loved ones whenever possible is one way we celebrate big. But I’ve also been very aware over all the years, that it was very important for us to make our own traditions and find new ways to celebrate big and small with just the two of us, as you can’t always rely on others being around.

Here’s a small glimpse into the things and ways we celebrate:

* Our car odometer ticking over 200,000 km

We had been watching it for weeks, knowing it was getting closer.  But the night that we knew it was going to happen, we were heading home and were going to be on the motorway when it happened.

That didn’t seem like a good enough way for this milestone to pass by. So even though it was late, we grabbed snacks and drinks and head off out towards the coast, pumped up some suitably celebrational music. We had loads of fun watching it tick over 200,000. Why?  Because we could and it was fun.

* An Epic-ly long week of work commitments for me / assessments, exams and assignments due for Miss 14

We celebrate a week of success like this, by hitting the supermarket to find ‘whatever food we actually feel like that doesn’t require cooking’ even if it’s ‘Lemonade Popsicles and Crackers & Cheese’.

Then to the DVD store to stock up on a great collection of back catalogue movies that make us smile, grabbing 6 for $10.  Then back home to relax, curl up on our comfy couches with cosy blankets and indulge in craziness, drama and laughs and let the week just ease out.

* Summer Holidays

These are celebrated with creating a ‘Summer Time Bucket List’, listing everything we want to do or challenge ourselves with.

From playing a game of tennis, to embarking on a huge step outside our comfort zone like bungy jumping, to 6am swims out to the raft in the lake, to sleeping out under the stars…

The possibilities are endless for celebrating school being out for summer. They are so much fun to look forward to and to tick off.

* Christmas with a range of odd traditions that has made it unique

I’ve posted before about our unique way we decorate our tree, opening one present at midnight and the orange in the bottom of the stocking.  But we also find at least one new song to listen to and learn its crazy dance moves too.
One year it was “Agadoo” with the nieces (you know Agadoo-doo-doo, push pineapple, shake the tree), another time “Gangnam Style”, maybe this year we might “Shake it off”.

What’s important to add in here, is that it’s not all perfect. Sometimes life just takes over, or if Miss 14 is away and maybe none of our friends or family are around and it’s just me celebrating odd things by myself.  But I’ve learnt that that’s totally OK too.

* Toooo much study and homework

We celebrate Miss 14’s hard work and strain on her attention span after hours and hours of work by punctuating it by having an Impromptu dance party.

This blows out the cobwebs, gets the oxygen and blood flowing and allows Miss 14 to get back into it for another hour or two. 

* End of the School Term

We rip out of school as quick as possible and head into Starbucks to treat on Frappuccinos and talk about the term and the fun they had.

It’s a great way to celebrate the end of the School Term and unwind in different environment.

* First day of term

After schools out on the first day, we often celebrate by heading out to the beach, splashing barefoot in the water with ice creams and talking about all the happenings of the first day.

Sometimes it’s been so cold that we have gone for a quick run out to the water and then back to the car to hibernate to eat the ice creams.

* School Holidays

I’m a working Mom, so I don’t get School Holidays off (we have a huge close down period at Xmas), so over the years, Miss 14 has done a variety of things like holiday programmes, flying off to my Mom, coming to work with me, and a host of other things.

But over the last couple of years, I have tried to at least take 1 day off per holidays and we have made these into mini School Holiday celebrations by making that ‘Road Trip day’.

We head off in search of simply ‘whatever’, never knowing quite where we are going to end up or what we will find.  It often finds us on wind swept coastal beaches, music blasting, taking tonnes of crazy photos, having conversations about things we may have never have had, going to places we didn’t know existed and really cool memories from that one day.

* Birthdays

A staple celebration no matter where in the country we are, is homemade ‘Milkshakes at Midnight’ on the eve of your birthday and one present to open so you can ‘see your birthday in’.

* Stage performances

It’s old-school, but we celebrate coming off stage on the final performance night with flowers, just like the stars do.

Just a cute wrapped stem is all that’s needed (& for my budget), but Miss 14 likes it and performing on stage is pretty amazing and she feels really special receiving it.

Reading back over all the above back made me laugh, as many of our celebrations involve ‘Food’. But thinking about it, food has been a central feature in celebrations for decades and in cultures all over the world so I think we are onto a good thing.

What we have learnt is that it doesn’t matter if there is 2 of you or 10 of you.  You can always find reasons and ways to celebrate the Big, Small and Weird things in life.

How do you and your family celebrate the Big, Small and Weird things in your lives?

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Pip manages a busy office by day and is a closest blogger and computer geek by night. She writes about Parenting, City Living, Teenagers, Adventures, Faith, Travel, Single Parent families and whatever else takes her fancy, over on her blog www.wellingtonchic She is precariously navigating an adventure filled life as a single parent to a very busy teenager and fits in her writing (via a 3.5 inch screen) whilst standing in Supermarket queues or on the sidelines of sports practices.

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