It's a weird phenomenon, living outside of your home country.  Major holidays come and go, without a hint of their arrival on the tv, radio or from friends.

Another reason I've realized that holidays go by virtually unannounced is because the grocery stores don't have entire aisles dedicated to the upcoming holiday.

It's strange, really.

We all seem to forget when Memorial Day is, say "really???" when someone mentions Valentine's Day and thank goodness that the American Embassy School recognizes President's Day!

It almost feels that the only reason we DO know when an American holiday comes up is either when Facebook Friends start posting about their plans, or when the American Community Support Association (ACSA Club for short) holds an event, themed for such a holiday.

I always get a bit melancholy when I read blogs with recipes for Labor Day weekend, crafts for 4th of July and gratitude projects for Thanksgiving. Not that I would have made those crafts, started those projects or rushed out to buy the ingredients for those recipes, but since it doesn't feel remotely normal to celebrate those holidays here in India, we've almost decided to not bother at all.

But the flip side of this is that we experience the fun festivals like Holi and Diwali, not to mention the burning of the effigies during Dussehra/Navatri. Rakhi is another favorite

I just wonder what happens when we do return to the United States ... will we have to reteach our kiddos about these holidays and traditions?  Is it a "parenting fail" that they are missing out on family time with low country boils, ringing the dinner bell before Thanksgiving, making snowmen the day of Christmas, or snow ice cream with egg nog on New Years Day?

Or here's an "out there" thought for you ... imagine we had never left the United States to begin with.  Just because our littles continued celebrating these holidays year after year while we had a five digit zip code doesn't mean they understand WHY our nation celebrates.  I'm not sure ANY of our three kids know the true reason behind Labor Day, Memorial Day, even 4th of July (as much as that makes me cringe).  

Do American children really understand the history of our country and the remembrance activities and traditions that have been started as a result?

Do our children know why my mother's side of the family always read that chapter from Luke before opening presents on Christmas Eve (or the chinese food for dinner that night)?  Do they get the meaning behind the festivals that hearken the beginning of summer (complete with foot races, hot air balloons and carnies galore) ?  Do they truly understand why mama gets chills when the Blue Angels fly in formation at the air show?

What is our responsibility as parents (regardless of where you are living) to instill and continue tradition, establish and introduce new celebrations ... and provide an explanation ?

As usual when I write a post, I feel as though I am aimlessly rambling, so I will leave my thoughts here ... what do you think?  I'm asking seriously and would welcome thoughts and a discussion!!  

Do you talk about the "WHY" behind your celebrations?

(by the way, I kind of am loving the fact that when I googled "celebrations" for an image for this post, a photo of holi was right there on the first page!)

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