The recipes? Check. The ingredients? Check. The set table? Check. Hours in the kitchen toiling over a hot stove? No problem. Your guests' smiles upon finishing the feast? It is those responses that will make you do just about anything to carve out this holiday as your own.
"Nurturers can even get mad if someone else steps up to the plate to prepare the meal," Yarrow says. "For a nurturer, their pride in their identity is associated with caring and what they can provide to their family and friends. They love having a lot of stuff to do, putting all of those dishes on the table, and getting feedback."
Who else enjoys fall’s biggest banquet? Nurturees, of course. "It’s also the lazy holiday," Yarrow adds. "You can also be that person who just loves to sit back, be served, eat, and watch TV."
Santa Claus is not the only one making a list and checking it twice. You also have diligently gathered the gifts, the goodies, the wrapping, the ribbons, the lights, the candles, and all the tokens and trinkets that have come to symbolize the end-of-the-year holidays, no matter how you celebrate them. "I interview consumers all the time who collect stuff for Christmas and Hanukkah year-round," Yarrow says. "For them, they are obsessed with taking the time to hone and perfect the collection. Then they finally get to put it on display, which is very much like putting their own personality on display."
Collecting isn’t confined to material objects, either. "For most families, every year introduces new traditions," Yarrow explains. "For many people, they can’t celebrate without these traditions. It’s one of the ways they honor the fundamental values of family."
The parties, the dresses, the champagne—you might think of New Year’s Eve as the superficial holiday. But Yarrow finds it's more than just a chance to kick up your heels as you count down to midnight.
"It’s a holiday that is more crucial for people going through a transitional time in life," she says. "Most people who are going through some back and forth use this time of year to think about what they are grateful for in order to come to terms with what happens next year."
Yarrow says she’s a huge proponent of what she calls psychological gratitude. Reflection and those resolutions that define this holiday for many are all part of shedding a skin and building a new one, and we can all make a toast to that.
When Yarrow speaks to consumers about Valentine’s Day, she hears two common complaints. The first is that sweethearts feel pressured to buy or do something that doesn’t feel genuine to them and the second is that they often feel underappreciated by whatever gesture does come their way.
"There are always so many sad stories," she says. So what does it say about you if you still put February 14 on a pedestal? You are willing to hold on to a mythical ideal of love. "You romanticize it," she explains. "And there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as it doesn’t prevent you from actually finding love. Because when love is really good, it’s not like it is in the movies. Love is much more complicated."
You’re the one decorating the eggs and organizing the neighborhood hunt for candy. And why not? You’ve waited all season to hippety-hoppety your way into Easter and embrace all the new blooming tulips, baby critters, rays of sunshine, and fresh beginnings that arrive with the onset of spring.
"Easter is a devout holiday," Yarrow admits. "But looking at it from a consumer perspective, it’s also a holiday of great joy and lightness. You are finally getting released from winter and everything is going through rejuvenation. I don’t find it surprising that I really hear about this holiday from moms. It is the holiday most associated with birth."
Yarrow likens you to a megaphone. That’s because you worship the ground you stand on, and you take pride in rallying others to worship it, too.
"Most holidays are recognized for bringing humans together, and we enjoy celebrating them because we yearn for those times when we are connected," Yarrow says. "But there are secondary holidays on which we honor something simply to remind people about what’s important. They may not have the same emotional relevancy, but they are still relevant."
Other holidays may bring family and friends together, but the Fourth of July is about bringing entire communities together. It’s a big birthday party and everyone is invited to share in the celebration.
"I hear from a lot of people that it’s their favorite holiday," Yarrow says, adding it’s not merely about red, white, and blue patriotism. "I often think it’s because it’s so inclusive. Whether you’re out enjoying a cookout or parade or local ball game or fireworks, you’re standing next to people you may have not stood next to the whole year."
The thing that frightens you most about Halloween is not getting your costume just right. Whether you’re dressed as a zombie, sexy nurse, Miley Cyrus, or the bride of Frankenstein, you see trick-or-treating as a chance to discover what goes bump in the night and what wakens inside of you.
"Costuming is a way to try on different personas and to role-play," Yarrow says. "It tends to appeal to young adults, because they are still trying to figure out who they are. They can dress up, get attention, and take in other’s reactions." What’s better? Contrary to being considered the spookiest night of the year, the holiday is one of the safest for stepping out of character. "Extroverted people love Halloween, but that’s not universal," Yarrow says. "You’ll find that introverts let it all out, too."