While ringing in 2015 will be heralded as a large-scale international celebration as well in smaller, more intimate ways, there are plenty of other big and small occasions you can celebrate throughout the year — aside from the obvious stuff like birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, major milestones and events like graduations, engagements and retirements. Many are one-time occasions or “firsts,” while others are recurring and can become family traditions to commemorate. (My sweet Grandpa used to cut greeting cards in half and mail them to my siblings and me on our half birthdays! I still think of him every November 15th.)

Of course, a celebration doesn’t need to involve something extravagant like a party or an elaborate dinner or a fancy bottle of champagne. It could be a date for ice cream or a special card or a few balloons or a batch of brownies. Just something that makes the person (or people) feel honored and the occasion feel more special than a garden-variety day.

With that celebration spirit in mind, here are 35 non-birthday, non-anniversary, non-holiday occasions to consider celebrating with your family or friends:

  1. First date anniversary
  2. The last day of school
  3. A great report card
  4. The last night together before everyone goes off to camp/summer program/college
  5. The first night together after everyone comes home from camp/summer program/college
  6. Visits from the Tooth Fairy
  7. A promotion
  8. College acceptances
  9. Completing a major business deal
  10. Nailing an audition
  11. A health triumph or recovery
  12. The anniversary of a major health triumph
  13. Finishing a big project
  14. A first haircut or a haircut for a Locks of Love donation
  15. Accomplishing a personal goal like finishing War and Peace or improving pitch speed or running a 5K
  16. When someone special comes to visit
  17. Moving into a new house or finishing a renovation
  18. Achieving a diet or fitness goal
  19. Getting a role in a play
  20. Opening night
  21. Closing night
  22. Winning a special game, match or tournament
  23. Conquering a fear
  24. Being quoted or having someone’s picture appear in the newspaper
  25. Checking off a bucket list dream
  26. Getting a driver’s permit or license
  27. The end of a sports season
  28. Music recitals
  29. Tuesday. Or Friday. Or Wednesday. You get where I’m going with this.
  30. Receiving an award or honor
  31. The anniversary of a pet joining the family
  32. Getting elected or appointed to a position
  33. Half-birthdays
  34. Being accepted to a special program
  35. Just because… (My dad and stepmom threw a fabulous party a couple of years ago “just because” they wanted to surround themselves with all the family and friends they love. It was the best!)

What other occasions do you celebrate?


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