What Holidays Are For

Shells in the Sands Series #2

Gemma Jiang, PhD

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The intention for this series is to share cherished thoughts and reflections of life in bite-size pieces. I have been an avid journal writer since my early teens, and most of the original writings were initially captured in my personal journal. I have chosen the most pertinent ones to share with the world through this series. This joy is similar to picking out beautiful shells while walking on a sandy beach.

Happiness seems to depend on leisure, because we work to have leisure, and wage war to live in peace. ― Aristotle

This year’s holiday season is upon us, which invites again the question I have been pondering “what are holidays for”? My answer has been evolving as my life continues to evolve.

Before I started my professional life a few years ago, I very much had the mentality of a child, that holidays are to celebrate special occasions. For children, and for those who have adults in their lives carrying the bulk of life’s weight for them, holidays are magical times of celebration. Tasty food, good clothes, laughter at family gatherings, memories from vacations, traveling, all add a magical spark to holiday occasions. Many people recall remnants of sunshine from their memory bottle to warm up the holidays…

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Gemma Jiang, PhD

Senior Team Scientist, Colorado State University; Complexity Leadership Scholar and Practitioner; also at https://www.linkedin.com/in/gemma-jiang/