Top 5 Celebrations by Victoria Sue

Thursday July 20, 2017


Hi, everyone! I chose celebrations for my Top 5 because – well, any excuse for a party and I’m there. Most of you know I’m a Brit but been living in Florida for the past seven years, so my top five holidays will be a mix of both countries.


1. Boxing Day – Not celebrated in the states (which I think needs a petition 😉) The day after Christmas Day when everyone just gets to collapse into their favorite chair and eat all the left-overs from the day before. The most popular theory is that servants (eighteenth century) were given a Christmas Box that day – hence the name, but I always remember my gran putting some money in envelopes for people like the milk man, the bin man (refuse, for those that need a translation), paper boy, window cleaner – basically anyone who came to the house regularly throughout the year. She called it giving them their “Christmas boxes.” 

2. Thanksgiving – What an awesome idea! This was new to me when I moved to the states, but I love the idea of a big family and friends get together, to say thank you for being alive and having each other. 

3. Weddings – I absolutely adore them! (See previous note about any excuse for a party.) I’ve been to lots of different types over the years, but my favorite was the most recent. My friend married her girlfriend in the simplest, most emotional ceremony I have ever seen. They said their vows in a public park next to a river, and we all brought a picnic to share. The best thing was because it was a public park they had lots of people coming to wish them luck and love that didn’t know them at all. The most poignant wedding I have ever been to was two friends who had also married recently after forty years of being together. They were actually the second gay couple to marry in the state of Florida the day it was made legal. 

4. Bonfire Night – Back in 1605 a man called Guy Fawkes failed at blowing up the Houses of Parliament in London. And the Brits being weird like that have celebrated this spectacular failure every year on November 5th. Guy Fawkes night (or bonfire night) ranges from a couple of people lighting sparklers in their back yard, to huge great organized firework displays by local councils or charities. The food ranges from hot dogs to bacon butties (sandwiches) to baked potatoes – and parkin. Parkin is a gingerbread cake made with oatmeal and black treacle and is seriously yummy.

5. Valentine’s Day – Last one and a bit of a personal favorite as this goes back twenty years. My hubby (we had only been dating three weeks back then) sent flowers to my work, but what was special to me was he also sent a small teddy bear holding a single red rose addressed to my then five-year-old daughter. She’s twenty-five now and still gets Valentine Day flowers from her dad. (You all said aww then, didn’t you?)

What’s your favorite celebration? I’d love to hear.