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The Story of Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day has been a holiday for us at Blue Elephant since we first launched.

We've had a lot of questions about the origin of this tradition, so this year, Cathy is telling the story of Groundhog day.

The Origin

When my son H was three, he came home from daycare with the craft they had made at the group drop-in centre that day.

The groundhog could pop up and see his shadow or stay hidden.

I asked him to tell me about his craft.

"What did you make today?"

He took the groundhog puppet out of the craft and proudly announced:

"A spatula!"

Clearly, the point of the craft had been lost in translation somewhere.

When I stopped laughing, I explained no, this was a groundhog and it was because the next day was Groundhog Day.

Being big on holidays and celebrations, H wanted to know what one does to celebrate Groundhog Day. When I said that usually people don't celebrate at home, he burst into tears.

"Well, love, what should we do to celebrate?"

"We need to make a cake, Mummy!"

Sounded reasonable.

"And decorate!


"How does one decorate for Groundhog Day?"

H looked at me with the kind of withering glare that only 3-year-olds can manage and said "You look them up on the COMPUTER."

And thus began the annual celebration of Groundhog Day.

The Spreading of The Word

It started with a cake. Which we repeated in year two. With more decorations. From the COMPUTER.

In year three, we hosted one set of grandparents for dinner.

The extra batter was turned into cupcakes to send to his daycare buddies.

It was also the year I showed H the movie Groundhog Day for the first time. He loved it and we discovered the time honoured Groundhog Day greeting: Don't drive angry!

Year four saw the expansion of our decorations to include the front door (our mail carrier must have thought we were nuts) and the creation of The Groundhog Bistro.

The Chief Groundhog, as H was dubbed, revelled in his role as Party Planner Extraordinaire. I loved every minute of this totally silly, totally glorious day that was all because of H.

Over the years, the table decorations became more elaborate as did the grandparents' attire. My mother made ears for each of us to match our hair colours, Grandma Kathy came with teeth.

And so, the gospel of the Groundhog was spread.

The End of an Era

And then, one day, we realized that the last Groundhog Day WAS the last Groundhog Day.

"It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we report the closing of Groundhog Central. After more than 10 years of spreading the word of the Groundhog to friends near and far, the Chief Groundhog has decided his work here is done.

In memory, here is a retrospective of the glorious celebrations, the unique costumes, the grandparents in said costumes, and the inevitable cake thoughout the years.

May the spirit of the Groundhog continue to watch over you and your loved ones and may you remember his wise and sage advice: Don't drive angry! Don't drive angry!"

But....we couldn't let this glorious tradition disappear forever. I decided we'd preserve the spirit of this hallowed day by creating an official Blue Elephant holiday.

So, in honour of the Chief Groundhog.....

Happy Groundhog Day!

Don't drive angry! Don't drive angry!


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