Holiday! Celebrate! – A Song For Additional Needs Families In 2021

Who knew that when global pop icon Madonna’s third hit single, ‘Holiday’, hit the airwaves in 1983 that the words to this upbeat pop classic would become so iconic for the world some 38 years later. As we arrive at the second COVID-19 summer many families are looking for a much-needed holiday, but with so much uncertainty about where it is possible to go, when, and what restrictions might be in place, navigating it is proving to be a new form of holiday nightmare.

“If we took a holiday
Took some time to celebrate
Just one day out of life
It would be
It would be so nice”

Even one day of holiday is fraught with uncertainty, the rules seem to change all the time and planning is all but impossible. This is especially difficult for families of children and young people with additional needs for whom advance planning on a military level is mandatory even to just get out of the house sometimes. Sudden changes of plan, or even cancellations, are incredibly difficult to explain to a child that struggles hugely with any change or adjustments to their routine.

“It’s time for the good times
Forget about the bad times, oh yeah
One day to come together to release the pressure
We need a holiday”

“You can turn this world around
And bring back all of those happy days
Put your troubles down
It’s time to celebrate”

After the last 15 months or so, many families of children with additional needs are at breaking point; vital support services including respite care have become a distant memory and the toll of lockdowns, isolation, school closures, being unable to leave home for long periods at a time and constant uncertainty has been massive. It’s hard for families to see a way to turn things around and move into those happy days ahead.

“Let love shine
And we will find
A way to come together
Can make things better
We need a holiday”

Even before the pandemic, holidays were a distant dream for some families. In our own case, for example, we’ve not been able to have a holiday away for four years now as James is currently unable to overcome the anxiety that restricts him to visits to just a handful of favourite local places. But even if we can’t get away for a holiday, we can still enjoy good times, letting love shine, coming together, making things better.

“Everybody spread the word
We’re gonna have a celebration
All across the world
In every nation”

Maybe for families like ours that can’t go away for a holiday, we can lead the way in showing that we can all still have a celebration, making the most of the summer weather at home, spending time together as family, making special memories of our time together. Wherever we are, if we make the most of the good times that we are able to enjoy, if we focus on what we can do with our holiday time instead of what we can’t do, then maybe we can still celebrate and have fun. We might not be somewhere exotic, we might still be at home, but we’ll be with the people that matter to us and that has to be something worth celebrating!

So, why not join me in firing up the ghetto blaster and partying like it’s… 1983!  Take it away Madge… “Holiday! Celebrate!…”

Have fun,


Text © Mark Arnold, image and song lyrics © WEA International

See also:

All You Need Is Love?

All You Need Is Love – Reprise

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