Lazy Holiday Anniversaries by
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Prompted By Anniversaries

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Born close to Thanksgiving, my grandfather started celebrating anniversaries on a holiday instead. We always celebrated his birthday on Thanksgiving. The tradition stuck.

Valentine's Day, 2002: The date that Dick and I decided we were "serious."

All Saint’s Day: My wedding to my former husband.

Valentine’s Day, 2002: The date that Dick and I decided we were “serious.”

Valentine’s Day, 2004: The day we were selected ahead of others to buy our new home, bypassing a waitlist.

Memorial Day: We celebrate our family’s Gemini birthdays (mine, my mom’s, and my brother’s).

First night of Hanukkah: My father’s date of death in the Jewish calendar. I do the Yarzeit candle along with the first Hanukkah candle.

// RetroFlash

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I have recently retired from a marketing and technical writing and editing career and am thoroughly enjoying writing for myself and others.

Characterizations: funny, moving, right on!, well written


  1. Marian, I understand perfectly!
    My dad’s birthday was Nov 26 and we always celebrated it on Thanksgiving whenever that fell.

    My grandmother was born in the Ukraine on Purim, actual date unknown, and thus we celebrated it each year on Purim whenever that fell.

    And for some reason we always exchange holiday gifts and cards “erev” (the evening before).

    So go figure, whatever works!

    • Marian says:

      Love Purim as a birthday celebration, Dana. The long Memorial Day weekend works for us, and my mom’s birthday is May 30, so often it falls exactly on that weekend. Mine is four days earlier, and my brother’s is two weeks later, so it’s a perfect time.

  2. Betsy Pfau says:

    Great way to celebrate, Marian. Match your occasions to the calendar. Works for me.

  3. Khati Hendry says:

    I like the idea of grouping the holidays. February 14 was close enough to one of our dog’s (unknown) birthday that we picked it. I still remember my parents’ wedding anniversary, and also when they died. So many things are important, and having a date to remember is a helpful ritual.

    • Marian says:

      Thanks, Khati. At first I was concerned about the impact of my dad’s death on future Hanukkahs, but a wise chaplain suggested I just “add to the light” with his candle, and it’s turned into a very soothing ritual of remembrance.

  4. Not being one to remember dates, I really like the idea of celebrating anniversaries on holidays…it makes it easier to remember them!

  5. Laurie Levy says:

    I also love the tradition of linking anniversaries and birthdays to holidays. My older daughter was born November 26, also a Thanksgiving birthday. Valentine’s Day goes to my younger daughter, February 9. Mine is always associated with Labor Day, September 7. My grandparents also didn’t know the exact date of their births and chose holidays to celebrate them.

  6. John Shutkin says:

    I’m a bit late to the parade (or RetroFlash), Marain, but heartily agree with everyone before me. I love the creative way that you have chosen anniversaries worth celebrating (or at least remembering) and how you do it. And Memorial Day is a model of birthday efficiency.

    I am just now realizing that I have been a slave to the calendar for too damn long — thank you for the epiphany!

  7. Suzy says:

    I’m so glad you wrote this, Marian! Perhaps my email encouraged you. And I love the idea of celebrating on the most convenient holiday! So much easier to schedule that way.

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