But running a close second? Well, that's gotta be Canada Day. And it was ever so apparent to me when I woke this morning with those day-before-Christmas butterflies in my stomach. Yes, you read that right. I am a kid at heart, and I still get wound up tighter than a bobbin in the days leading up to exciting times!!
Our little town gets a jump on the festivities, kicking off the celebrations a day early. Which, in my opinion, is pure genius. There are so many other big parties, events, and celebrations on THE day... our party in Q-town really has become an amazing "Canada Day Eve", drawing folks from all over the Pontiac who are itching to bust out the Red & White. We have a community BBQ, a parade, a flag raising ceremony, activities for kids in the park, legendary fireworks, and a DJ in the hall to keep the dance floor hopping all night long. And then, that leaves everyone free to take part in other parties the next day. (that is, if they can make it off the couch... )
This year, Canada Day is going to be a bit different for me. For the past 10+ years, I have been involved with the Canada Day Committee, the fundraising group that hosts the party in our town. I have always been a worry-wart, but as I get older, I find the burden of stress and worry growing even worse when I'm involved in organizing something. Last year seemed to be extra-stressful. I felt like I was weighed down by worry non-stop, all year long.
I made the decision to have a stress-free year this year, and the first thing I did was step down from my beloved Canada Day Committee. It wasn't an easy decision to make. I love Canada Day so much, and I loved being involved in making the "magic" happen in our town. But my stomach was constantly in knots - even if it shouldn't have been - and I started realizing I was dreading the events, rather than looking forward to them the way I used to.
Now that the big day is upon us, I find myself keyed up with excitement, but also feeling a little bittersweet. While I'm looking forward to just relaxing and enjoying the festivities with my family and friends, I'm just a teensy bit sad that I'm no longer "one of them". While I don't miss the worry and stress, I do miss being part of that Canada Day team. They are all my friends, and we always had so much fun together that day.
I don't miss going to meetings, I don't miss setting up, I don't miss the next-day clean-up. I definitely don't miss worrying about all the little details that go into making the day perfect.
I'm looking forward to enjoying the BBQ with my family, watching the parade from the sidelines from a comfortable lawn chair, and not feeling guilty when I've had a few drinks and I'm up dancing instead of selling tickets or tending bar. I'm looking forward to sleeping in the next day and not worrying about having to go clean up at the hall. I'm looking forward to a stress-free celebration.
But there are a few things, several very special moments, that I will miss:
Once the BBQ is over (usually my least-favourite part of the day, because it is always so chaotic and busy), I'm going to miss hopping into the back of Wayne's truck with the rest of the committee for our slow drive through town to the school, to get ready for the parade; that giddy feeling I'd always get before the parade started.
And last but not least, I'll miss watching the fireworks with the committee. We always went to our "special spot" to watch them together, and it was a great feeling of pride. The fireworks in our town are kind of amazing, and have a reputation for being one of the best displays in the area. That's pretty awesome, considering we are a very small town. That's basically what all of the money raised goes into - making it an incredible show in honour of this beautiful country we call home. I'll miss huddling up with the committee, watching the explosion of colour and sparkle in the sky, giving the big "oohs and ahhs", cheering for the big grand finale, falling silent to listen to the rolls of applause and hoots of appreciation from the the hundreds who gather to watch, high-fiving each other on another job well done, and declaring "WE DID IT!!! LET'S PARTY!!!"
And this year? I just may be that annoying sloppy-drunk girl who they have to shoo out of the hall long after the bar has closed down... I just may be. ;)