• Gordon MacLellan

Talk, share, eat, laugh

Talk, share, eat, laugh

Planning your own celebration, 2

If you have decided that you’d like to create your own celebration, or maybe turn a planned event into something more celebratory, the celebration you plan can be as straight forward or as complicated as you want it to be! Simple is almost always better but that can still mean stepping into new areas, trying something new.

The first of these “planning your own celebration” posts suggested general things to think about. In this one, start pinning yourselves down: saying “if we do this, what could we add to that event….”. The thread that runs under all of this is finding ways to encourage people to celebrate the world around them, to find the wonder of being alive in this living world

leaves, double-sided tape and clear acetate...

If you have a first idea – a wildlife walk perhaps, planting trees, a talk, a picnic - start with that and think around what might complement it. The following are starting points for discussions. Future posts will offer activities you could use yourself or point you to resources that might help you do some of these and will help you structure your celebration and build a checklist of practical points.

  • take time to talk and share experiences: let your visitors speak, encourage them to talk to each other: one of the easiest and most rewarding things to do: maybe plan some questions to start conversations

  • share new words: work together or invite individual input to share a poem or song, a chant a litany that celebrates the environment you are working in

  • pause on a walk to appreciate moments: look at mindfulness ideas, take time

  • mark physical changes -tree planting, pond clearance etc

  • decorate the place: lanterns, leaf patterns, sand or sawdust on the ground, ephemeral sculptures, (permanent sculptures?), flags, bunting

  • decorate the people: hats, masks, costumes, badges, facepaint

  • move around – processions are easy and fun – add rhythms to walk, march or dance to – decorate yourselves, and carry musical instruments, flags, big figures, lanterns…

  • performance – either by a few of you or by everyone –create together or maybe invite people to add their own piece – music, song, story, drama, puppet…..

  • food – and sharing food is one of the oldest and most lovely ways of celebrating together. Use other ideas to create more of an occasion then sit down and enjoy, adding performances perhaps as you go

  • contemplation – if your group share a faith or philosophy all of this might revolve around one of your existing activities: a service or daily practice. Think about how one of the above might add to that, or come back to that “pause” suggestion above

lots of bits to build wildlfie books

The essence of all these threads is the connection between people and place. Do not worry too much about what you might do. Very often, participants at an event appreciate the chance to explore, to share, to reflect and simply to stop

a "celebration" might be taking time to stop and look

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