This past weekend, I celebrated the completion of my Master’s degree. It was a momentous occasion — one that I will always remember. There were two ceremonies: one for my hooding and the actual graduation ceremony. Both were beautiful. The whole experience was affirming.
Given the magnitude of this event, my first impulse was to go shopping. I wanted the perfect outfit. More importantly, I wanted to shop for some killer shoes to wear as I strut across that stage.
My recent commitment to simplicity was tested in the face of such a special occasion. Society says that I need to get a new outfit to celebrate my accomplishment. But I was determined not to.
I decided to wear two dresses that I already had. I used jewelry to add that extra sparkle to each outfit. I wore a gorgeous pair of shoes that I already owned. And I had a wonderful time.
As it got closer, I started to focus on the most important aspects of graduation weekend. I would travel with my family. I would see friends. I would be recognized for my achievement. These are the things that graduation is about.
Shopping does not add value or significance to any celebration. Things do not add value. If anything, they distract from the real purpose of the celebration. I now understand that I need to focus on what it is I’m celebrating — not all the stuff that goes along with it. If I’m giving thanks for another year of life, finishing a degree, or the birth and resurrection of Christ, then I will truly give thanks from my heart. I will not get caught up in the material aspect of celebrations. This weekend when we celebrate Mother’s Day, it will be about celebrating the women that have impacted my life. It’s about appreciating and honoring them, not what I buy them.
Celebrations are truly blessed events. However, it is so easy to get sidetracked my the materialistic aspects of holidays and celebrations. I encourage you to keep focus on the purpose of the celebration itself. I encourage you to live fully each moment of your celebration. I encourage you to celebrate deeply, joyfully, and simply.