The Importance of Celebrating Milestones

Every person’s life has milestone moments. Everyday moments matter, of course, but there are a few moments in life that should be distinguishable from the rest. That’s why I want to talk about the importance of celebrating milestones, especially in your family with your kids.

Birthday Cake with Candles Lit. Celebrating an important milestone with my oldest daughter as she turned 11. She chose a caramel cake and pastel candles to top it. The cake sits on a wooden cake stand on my dining room table.

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Merry May, friends! This month we’re reading chapter number five in the Lifegiving Home by Sally and Sarah Clarkson Days to Commemorate: Marking Growth with Celebration.

Each chapter has spoken to me deeply in its own way and this one is no exception. Sally goes into great detail outlining some of the ways they celebrate important milestones in a person’s life in their family.

It’s given me a renewed sense of the importance of celebrating milestones.

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Point of View: Being the Last of 4 Children Celebrations Were Few and Far Between

I came into motherhood with the perspective of having been the last of 4 children in my family. And I think being the last child, the baby, we sometimes get the tail end of celebrations.

What I mean is, my theory is they had gone through 4 children and life gets substantially more busy at that point. And you forget and get tired.

They’d had the big parties and celebrations and they’d thrown a million birthday parties. And all of my siblings had grown up and left home by the time the really important moments in my life started happening.

My oldest daughter blowing out her 11th birthday candles in a family celebration just for her. Her caramel cake sits on top of a wooden cake stand on the dining room table.
We recently had the opportunity to celebrate a milestone in my oldest daughter’s life. She turned 11.

That left an impression on me all the way into early adulthood when I graduated and the moment came and went as if it was just another day. There was no big party because we’d moved from Hawaii to Missouri and left all our friends and family behind. It was just my parents and me.

Motherhood Changed My Perspectives on My Own Childhood: The Desire to do it Differently For Them

So, in fact, most of the milestones in my life have gone basically unnoticed by the community I grew up in. Where my siblings had celebrations for graduation, engagement, wedding shower, and then eventually a baby shower, I had none.

It’s really easy to feel like you’ve not accomplished anything in life when every day feels the same as the last. Nothing feels like a big deal. There’s no special day to mark the passage of time.

So many of my own milestones and hard work were never recognized by those that mattered the most to me. Which has been the driving force behind the importance of celebrating milestones for and with my children.

It brings honor to the person or event and highlights the significant accomplishments. It also reminds us of the many ways God has guided and helped us and of our responsibility to both live for Him and uphold others as they try to do the same.

Sally Clarkson, The Lifegiving Home pg. 120

Why is it Important to Celebrate Milestones?

The man of our time is losing the power of celebration. Instead of celebrating, he seeks to be amused or entertained. Celebration is an active state, an act of expressing reverence or appreciation…Celebration is… giving attention to the trascendent meaning of one’s actions.

Abraham Joshua Hershel

Milestones are Important Because People are Important

My husband was singing offkey on purpose, very loudly, and so my daughter reacted with a crumpled up grumpy face and pointed to him. We were singing Happy Birthday as the candles were lit on her cake sitting in front of her.
My husband chose to sing off-key very loudly as we sang Happy Birthday to her. She was reacting to his humor with a bit of her own.

The importance of celebrating milestones is multifaceted, here are 5 reasons I came up with

01 Distinguish Important Moments

There has to be something to distinguish important moments and days from the rest. Otherwise, all the days run together and nothing feels important or special.

02 Setting A Marker to Remember

Celebrating a major milestone with family members is the best way to commemorate those key milestones that are truly worth celebrating. It’s like setting up a marker to remember when life has passed in a blink of an eye. And gives you something to look back on and say remember when?

03 Recognizing Developmental Milestones

Without taking the time as a loved one to celebrate a person’s life and developmental milestones life just simply passes. Have we truly grown? These developmental milestones are the perfect opportunity to create those sorts of “ritual celebrations” like graduation ceremonies, the first day of school, or the first day of high school. Or even the simple things like celebrating a new school year with new school supplies.

04 Training Our Eyes to Recognize Growth in a Person’s Life

Do we recognize good things when they happen? Even the small moments will bleed into the rest if we aren’t careful.

05 Creating a Sense of Community

When you take the time to allow others to celebrate you or to celebrate others you are establishing community. A sense of worth and belonging. It creates a feeling of safety. Distinguishing big moments grows the community spirit we’re all longing for and creates a healthy self-concept we need.

My youngest son putting the candles on his sister's cake. The importance of celebrating milestones also has to do with community. He was being involved in the celebration. On the top sits her cake on a wooden cake stand, drinks in glass bottles, and above his head hangs an alice in wonderland mobile.
My youngest son wanted to be involved in the celebration, so I let him put the candles on the cake and light them for his sister. This is how community starts, every person has something to offer and a way to be involved.

What is the Importance of Family Celebration?

We wanted our home to be a keeping place for sacred days, sacred commitments, and sacred moments, and this gathering of friends helped all of us remember what our days had held.

Sally Clarkson, The Lifegiving Home pg. 121
Blonde headed little girl playing pin the ears on the white rabbit. She is blindfolded as she tries to figure out where the bunny ears should go on the poster.
Playing games together when you’re celebrating milestones is a great way to cement the memory in your mind. Always a healthy dose of fun. My second daughter trying to figure out where to place the ears on the white rabbit.

The importance of celebrating milestones with your family and those who know you and love you most creates a sense of

  • Accountability These celebrations do more than simply celebrate a person, it also holds them accountable for continuing to live well. In a day of informality for life commitments and stewardship, this is a way to create a meaningful moment in time.
  • Community It’s important to have a community of love, a home to find acceptance, comfort, help, and a stable base in a less-than-stable world.
  • Identity Important moments such as these serve to create the indelible value in that community as a person worthy of noticing and appreciating. To be seen.
  • Remembrance and Responsibility Remind them of their roots, faith, traditions, values, and beliefs, and of their responsibility to steward their lives well.
My oldest son crouched down feeling the white rabbit game with his hands as he has a blindfold on and cannot see. He's trying to figure out scientifically where the ears might go on the white rabbit.
We all played the games Pin the Ears on the White Rabbit and Hat on the Mad Hatter for a bit of fun. The importance of celebrating milestones with your kids is all about enjoying their childhood for you and for them.

What are Some Other Important Milestones in Life?

There is a whole myriad of special life milestones and many that are very specific to each personality. But here’s a small list of 10 important milestones you can celebrate with your family and friends

  • Graduation Ceremonies
  • Engagement Parties
  • Promotions at Work
  • Wedding Day
  • Anniversary Celebrations or Family Day (as Sally puts it)
  • Baby Shower & Birth
  • Baptism
  • Holidays
  • Birthday Party
  • Developmental Milestones (in a child’s life, like the first day of school or first steps) or even an older child’s life like getting a driver’s license)
Pinning the Hat on the mad hatter game was a lot of fun. My youngest son plays the game with a blindfold on his eyes. The game board was taped up on my back door.
My youngest son has unbelievable beginner’s luck placing the hat on the Mad Hatter, but he’s kind of lucky like that!

You know your loved ones best and each person has their own set of challenges and accomplishments when they meet those challenges. Whether it’s a child or adult who plays instruments and has recitals, or someone who has gotten a promotion at work.

The point is to pay attention to those moments and help make them meaningful because I guarantee the lack of intention is noticed.

Humans want to share life experiences with others and it doesn’t go unnoticed when others don’t take note of important times in their lives.

How Do You Celebrate Milestones in Life?

The most obvious answer is to throw a party! But it doesn’t even have to be formal or big fancy special events.

My oldest succeeding at his scientific process of getting the hat on the mad hatter. He has a blindfold on and a cartoon venom and spiderman shirt on. He stands in front of the Mad Hatter poster game that's taped to our back door.
You’re never too old to have fun. The importance of celebrating milestones with my kids is to keep them young and let it be known that they’re noticed and valued.

The point is more to mark such milestones and big moments. Make the person who’s being celebrated the guest of honor and send them into the next season of new stages of life with a new goal.

  • Throw a Party big or small
  • Go Out to Eat
  • Have a family dinner at home
  • Invite Friends Over
  • Have a BBQ
  • Go Do Something Special
  • Give a Meaningful Gift: Time, Money, or Handmade Item, etc.

I took the time to create all the decorations for this party. Each one of us took an element and colored them to give it a personal touch. It’s the thought and intention that really counts. And makes a person feel special.

My youngest daughter set herself up next to the cupcakes and enjoyed the frosting on at least 4 of them while we were playing games. Little girl sitting at the table fork in hand eating frosting.
My youngest was way more interested in cupcake frosting than games.

Celebrating Milestones Touches Lives and its Important Work to Set That Tone

The way we touch a child’s life matters both in the long term and the short term. And this very important life work takes place primarily inside the walls of home.

Sally Clarkson, The Lifegiving Home pg. 128

I want to remember even the small moments, but the truth is I don’t have a great memory. So what can we do to help ourselves burn that special moment in our minds?

My oldest son ensures my daughter doesn't cheat while she plays the games. He is holding her head forward so she can't lift her head up and see under the blindfold. He's smiling as he does it, it's all in good fun.
My oldest son is making sure she doesn’t cheat and looks under the blindfold. Celebrating milestones like this also gives siblings a great opportunity to celebrate each other. Which helps their relationship grow into a deeper bond.

3 Ways to Distinguish Important Events that I like to Use in My Home

  • Photo Album One way I’m fighting memory overload is to create personal photo albums for each of my kids. I want them to be able to look back and have proof of all of the memorable milestones we shared together. It can feel like a daunting task sometimes, but it’s been so worth it to see them look back and I can tell them the stories of their life. Photographs really have amazing power.
  • Family Traditions Another one of many wonderful ways to ensure you remember is to create family traditions. We talked about Rhythms, Routines, and Rituals in January’s post. When you create that habit of celebrating each other, it just sticks in your mind that much more firmly. Like the daily flow of a family dinner.
  • Ceremony & Awards Little tokens like a certificate or award might seem childish, but for some people, they really matter. They’re meaningful and a physical item to prove they’ve accomplished something great. This is why they still hold graduation ceremonies. I’m coming up to a 15-year anniversary and I think an anniversary award sounds great.

I hope I have given you some inspiration and ideas for ways you can celebrate as well as an understanding of the importance of celebrating milestones in your family.

Thank you so much for stopping by!


Meet the Author

Hi, I’m Julie! Mother to five beautiful kids, Homeschool Educator, Writer, Handicraft & DIY Enthusiast, Photographer, Thrifter, and Furniture Restorer. Follow along for fun DIY projects creating a handmade home on a budget! Read more about me here→

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