rituals: the sound of celebration (abby norman).

Guest post Tuesday, exclamation point!  I really like today’s writer (but whenever is that not the case?), and I also really like today’s post (…but whenever is that not the case?)  Because this thing called Life, in and of itself, is worthy of celebration. And Abby Norman gets that.  So, enjoy the story of the ordinary everyday she tells today, that not-so-boring ritual that makes the story deeper. 

Photo cred: www.popsugar.com
Photo cred: www.popsugar.com

We don’t have many rituals. I love fun, and am easily drawn in by novelty. I was told I would surely grow out of this, that is the best part of no longer being in my twenties. People have stopped telling me that I will grow out of myself; now I can grow into it.

My propensity toward novelty means that it is sort of difficult to keep rituals. I know that kids thrive with night time rituals and when I am putting my three year old into bed for the fifteenth time I swear that tomorrow the night-night song and story will begin. But then there is a new show on television, or the girls imaginary play is just too good to interrupt, or the mud pie making in the spring time yard means that we needed a bath and then things got crazy with the bath paints. I love all of it. You skip a night time ritual enough and then there is no ritual at all.

But there is one thing I like do, like to have, like to use. There is one ritual I keep cold in my refrigerator, just so that I can have it on hand whenever the occasion may arise. I keep a bottle of champagne in the refrigerator, and I open in when there is something worth opening.

It is a ritual of celebration.

Sometimes, the good thing that happens is an acceptance letter for a conference, an academic journal, a contribution blog. Sometimes it is a Friday. Sometimes the good thing is that no one, not the four year old, the three year old, the dog, peed on the floor. Sometimes the good thing we are celebrating is that we have champagne in the fridge. Recently it was celebrating my friend’s engagement, mostly for them and their new life together, a little bit for me because I set them up. I got it right.

I like champagne. I just like it. This is the reason this celebration ritual started, but it has turned into something more. Most people like champagne, so it is a ritual many of us can participate in (I keep sparkling grape juice now, for my abstaining friends. Everyone gets to be in on this party.) But I think the thing, the little extra oomph that has made it stick, is the sound.

Everyone knows the sound of a champagne bottle opening. The POP is in movies and even songs. Weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, these big events are punctuates, opened and closed by the opening of a champagne bottle. This noise and the subsequent pouring and passing are often followed by toasts.

I love toasts. My husband and I met on a speech team, we both have taught public speaking, and the toast is one of our favorite assignments. I love that in a toast, you have the opportunity to stand up, look someone in the eye, and tell them all the great things you really think about them, to let other’s bare witness to that. I think this should happen more than three times in your life.

So, if someone walks through my door with good news, don’t be surprised if I head for the refrigerator, get out the mason jars (all the champagne flutes broke), carefully untwist the wire and put a towel over the cork. I will twist slowly and purposefully until I hear the POP, the alarm that something good has happened. I will pour a little out for all who want to join in the celebration, and I will celebrate with you. I will look you in the face and tell you I am proud of you, glad for you. I will tell you all the good things I should tell you for no reason, simply because they are true. I will replace that bottle with a new one, waiting for another reason to celebrate.

Anewheadshotbby lives and loves in the city of Atlanta.  She swears a lot more than you would think for a public school teacher and mother of two under three. She can’t help that she loves all words.  She believes in champagne for celebrating everyday life, laughing until her stomach hurts and telling the truth, even when it is hard, maybe especially then. You can find her blogging at accidentaldevotional and tweeting at @accidentaldevo.  Abby loves all kinds of Girl Scout cookies and literally burning lies in her backyard fire pit.  Cara again: I mean, do you love Abby’s words (and her heart), or WHAT? Leave her some love below, and then run as far as you can store-ward for that bottle of bubbly!


11 thoughts on “rituals: the sound of celebration (abby norman).

  1. Abby, I have a friend who opened a bottle of champagne with a friend every night. She was battling cancer and knew it was a matter of time, so as long as she was strong enough to partake she celebrated every night that she’d enjoyed another day.

    1. Leah, I SO wanted to be there! Hoping to show up in two weeks, after speaking engagements today and next Wednesday ….of course you’ll likely have a baby and be home by then!

  2. I love this! I love how this isn’t only about celebration bug looking for those moments to celebrate that might otherwise get completely overlooked. I might start this one. I have mason jars and a refrigerator; I could do this. 🙂

    1. Oh my gosh ….I know I’m not supposed to be the one replying to guest posts, but Kelsey, you’re KILLING me. “I have Mason jars and a refrigerator; I could do this.” You’re hilarious!!! (Me too).

      Cara Meredith

      writer, speaker, musician. carameredith.com


  3. This is really cool! There is a great old movie called ‘You Can’t Take It With You’ with Jimmy Stewart, and in the movie there is a large and eccentric community living in this grand old house that the bank is trying to buy. In the house, they have a bell and when anything worth noting or sharing with all the random people around, they ring the bell loud and gather everyone together. I loved this concept so much that my husband bought me an old school bell, just like it. I haven’t rang it as much as I should, but I love this idea of celebrating together the great things in life. So let’s ring the bell and pop the champagne!

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