Every Christmas for the past ten years, I have given EC a calendar as part of his Christmas present. On each calendar I had written the Cabbage Patch family’s important dates such as birthdays and anniversaries so that EC would always have a heads up for what was coming next in the family celebrations. In the beginning, the calendars were scenic and rather tame; they featured landscapes and nature scenes (sort of gives you that butterflies and rainbows feeling, doesn’t it?) and only included family dates. Recently, I asked EC if he could remember what some of the previous calendars featured. He replied, “That was when you still had some sanity so it’s harder to remember the pretty ones”. When I still had some sanity? What the hell was that supposed to mean?
At some point, I turned into a calendar maniac. I went from writing in our important family dates to making social commentaries about certain holidays that were already marked on the calendar. I also switched up from the butterflies and rainbow calendars to calendars geared more the EC’s interests: Zelda, Star Wars, Angry Birds, and Super Mario for example. These calendars were just begging for more than birthdates to be written on them and I was just the woman to do it.
My mania began simple enough. I started by writing in some thoughts and/or suggestions about how EC could celebrate other holidays throughout the year. Sometimes I included trivia questions and other times I would include pop culture references. Here are a few examples:
- Christopher Columbus Day – “Be like Christopher Columbus and discover something new today.”
- Feast of the Epiphany – “Contemplate your life and have your own epiphany.”
- Groundhog Day – “How many times was Bill Murray bitten by a groundhog while filming Groundhog Day?” (The answer is twice.)
- April Fool’s Day – “I hate to tell you but you were adopted.”
- Mother’s Day – “Phone your mother and tell her how she is the BEST mother in the whole wide world.”
- On my 50th birthday – “Tell your mother how marvellous she looks for 50.”
- Assumption – “Never assume anything. It’s safer that way.”
- Taylor Swift’s birthday – “Shake it off, Taylor. You’re only 26. Lots of time to find your soul mate.”
- Quite often I suggested he Google certain holidays such as Yom Kippur, Chinese New Year, Ramadan, and so on. Whether he did or not, I am not sure but I do know him well enough that if the comment or suggestion was witty, sarcastic or interesting enough, he would.
Here is a photo of my “creative genius” as EC calls it:
Over the years, EC has referred to a couple of my calendars as ‘loopy’. While the ‘loopiness’ is definitely a part of my personality, what he did not realize was that each year I was trying to top the previous year’s calendar. I was in competition with myself to make the new calendar the best one EVER. This called for some serious creativity, let me tell you. It wasn’t until I was preparing this year’s 2016 calendar that I realized that I could only be creative about the epiphany so many times. Somehow, I had to come up with something over the top if I was going to beat 2015’s.
I put my thinking hat on and thought that there must be other holidays celebrated throughout the year that do not make it on to the calendars that we purchase at say, Wal-Mart or Calendar Club. A quick Google search and, sure enough, there is an entire world out there of funny, eccentric, and quirky holidays. So……
Enter the Quirky Holiday Calendar. I decided that instead of writing my comments all over the calendar I would create quirky holiday bags that would include an explanation about the holiday as well a something creative to help celebrate the day. The bags would be mailed out to EC prior to the beginning of each month to be celebrated (holy smokes, the month goes by quickly).
Here are some pictures of the holiday bags’ preparation:
Preparing the quirky holiday bags is similar to a scavenger hunt. First, I look for items around the house that will coincide with the holiday. Then, I head out to Value Village. Dollarama and The Bulk Barn to finish off the rest of the items I need for my bags. For example, Value Village is a great source for children’s books, mugs and toys. Bulk Barn is great for treats such a gummy teeth for Tooth Fairy Day while Dollarama is great for items such a rubber duck for Rubber Ducky Day and rubber snakes for Serpent’s Day.
Here are some examples of my creativity at work:
Save a Spider Day
Road Kill for Buzzard’s Day
Sometimes all you need is a small baggie and a little imagination:
National Create a Vacuum Day
Other times a photo will suffice:
Spunky Old Broad’s Day
Here are some of EC’s texts and comments about The Quirky Holiday Calendar:
The wonderful thing about the Quirky Holiday Calendar is not only the feeling that comes from being creative about the whole thing but it is the feeling that comes from doing something special for someone you love. When I was operating my business, I did not have time for the anything that involved a serious time commitment. It may appear that the monthly holiday bags are a lot of work but keep in mind that, while I could have stopped at including only one quirky holiday per bag, I did not; I went overboard (surprise, surprise). There are so many great holidays to choose from that I can never narrow it down to one. Plus it is just so much darn fun!
Whether you choose to send your loved one(s) a calendar that includes important birthdays and anniversaries or you choose to go all out with a quirky holiday calendar, the benefits are many. Not only does the creator of the calendar feel wonderful for doing something special for their loved one but the recipient feels that love each and every day when they check their calendar. Also, as I pointed out to EC, this world can be stressful and full of challenges but, if we stop for a minute and think about it, there is ALWAYS something to be celebrated and thankful for.
And it’s pretty darn good getting something in the mail other than bills 😉
Calendar maniac: 1
2017 calendar: 0 (for now)