The Holidays Dilemma: Are Simple Celebrations Enough, Anymore?



A handful of smaller holidays kick off the new year.

New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, April Fool’s Day.

When I was young, there really wasn’t much to them. We celebrated small, if at all. 

New Year’s was mostly for grown-ups.  When we kids were old enough, we stayed up with the grown-ups and counted down the giant ball dropping in Times Square.

Valentine’s Day? Another day for grown-ups. When we were little older, we found a small Whitman’s Sampler Box (4 pieces!!) and a card on the kitchen table for us when we came down to breakfast. 

St. Patrick’s Day? If we remembered, we would dig something green out of our closet to wear. 

April Fool’s Day? A few people would attempt to pull pranks at school, but that was pretty much it.

Today, it seems like each of these holidays has gotten bigger and bigger. A grand Valentine’s Day Dinner with elaborate heart themes for the whole family are posted all over Facebook. St Patrick’s Day has brought elaborate traps to catch a leprechaun in the house and searching for the treasures he has left behind. April Fool’s has somehow become a competition to see who can pull off the best prank on their children.


A 10-year-old (not a family member) pronounced my Valentine’s Day non-Dinner “lame” this year. And I started to wonder if my “old fashioned” ways of celebrating these holidays had fallen out of touch with the times. 

Did I need to elevate my game? Did I need to do more to keep up? 

I’ve seen what circulates on Facebook and Pinterest.  I know I’m not anywhere near what else is out there, but am I out in left field?? I didn’t know anymore.

So I Asked About These Holidays…

I turned to one of my favorite Facebook groups, a group of moms in my area. I wanted to see if I was out of touch or right in with everyone else. Why not?  Facebook was one of the main sources where I was getting the idea I might be out of touch—it seemed like the right place to ask!!

What I found surprised me. Based on dozens of responses (mostly from strangers), it appears that I am not out of touch.  I am not doing significantly less for my kids than many other moms out there. I am on par with the masses. 

While everyone has her own spin on how to celebrate these holidays, few moms seem to be doing all of them over the top.

I felt better.

It reminded me to keep Facebook and Pinterest in perspective. There are lots of very creative moms out there. And more than a few go over the top on a regular basis, but they aren’t the norm. 

The norm is moms like me, doing a little something for each one.  A little something.  A little something fun that reminds our kids that we love them. 

And really, isn’t that the whole point?

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Once Upon A Time, in another life, Kristin graduated from the University of Michigan with a plan to teach high school math. But then, life happened when she wasn’t looking…. She married an Army guy and 23 years, 3 kids, a few dogs, 7 homes, and 2 continents later she’s now a single mom living here in Colorado Springs. Along the way she volunteered for the Army, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and several schools; managed volunteer organizations, coached judo, trained to be a whitewater rafting guide, biked down Pike’s Peak and even managed to teach some high schoolers a little math before forging new trails writing, teaching and financial planning. She never knows what’s coming around the bend, but she’s learned to handle whatever life (and the Army!), throws at her with a smile and a laugh. She’s pretty sure you can get through anything with those, even if you have to fake it occasionally!!