I spent last Saturday at the Royal Botanic Gardens celebrating the humble tomato. The Tomato Festival is in its 5th year and over two days, thousands of people flocked to the gardens to join in the celebrations. There were tomatoes of every size, shape and colour, tomato tastings, gardening talks, cookery demonstrations and everything from tomato seeds to Panna cotta with candied tomatoes.
Of course there was the Long lunch and the mind boggles to think what chefs might have concocted to serve three courses, all from tomatoes.
So I began to think, if you can celebrate a tomato, then there has to be endless things in daily life to celebrate. Celebration is birthed in gratitude, so how much richer would our days be if we cultivated a celebratory mindset.
Last week I started at the gym. For me that is something to celebrate because a gym is one of my least favourite places to be. But, determined to stay as fit and flexible as possible as I navigate old age, I’ve made the commitment and that’s a big achievement for me. And I look forward to celebrating lots of reached goals along the way.
All around us everyday there are things to celebrate, we just need to be mindful and grab the opportunities. Be bold and imaginative.
- Take a friend out for coffee and celebrate the day you met or the years of friendship you’ve enjoyed together
- When a child has mastered a task, been especially kind, thoughtful or helpful, let them choose their favourite meal for dinner
- Celebrate summer fruit
- Celebrate rain - go walking in the rain and enjoy the wetness of the rain
- Invite the neighbours in and celebrate a new or old friendship
- Celebrate failure and the opportunity to learn from mistakes. Why only celebrate achievements? Federer always has a celebratory dinner whether he wins or loses, he celebrates getting as far as he got and wants to thank those who helped him along the way. This is especially important for children to learn that they are valued even if they didn’t win or achieve the goal, as long as they tried their best.
- Celebrate Autumn - visit some of the wonderful open gardens during March and April - jump in a pile of Autumn leaves and savour the crunch underfoot - children love to be 'buried' in Autumn leaves - hunt for colourful toadstools
- Celebrate pine nuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, basil or asparagus – we enjoy some of the best food in the world in this country so try new recipes, create new food memories
- Celebrate Tuesdays ... start a Tuesday tradition
- Get into the great outdoors and celebrate nature - have a picnic, go on a bush walk, climb a mountain, play in the snow, explore a frosty wonderland
- Celebrate courage. I remember when my daughter was young had to have blood taken and she was very brave, we bought a little monkey on the way home - it became her special friend and it always reminded her of being brave.
- Celebrate family - parents, siblings, children, cousins, nieces and nephews - plan a celebratory meal - send a surprise card or note to let them know they are loved - surprise them with a visit
- Celebrate the successes of others - be generous - be enthusiastic - be encouraging
- Don't just celebrate beginnings but also endings - a job well done, a life well lived, a dream realised, a tough hurdle overcome
- Above all, celebrate the grace given to us in Jesus. I love Philippians 4:4, "Celebrate God, all day, everyday. I mean revel in him." The Message