What Christmas Means to Me and Why Mon, Dec 09, 2019
As we all know those last couple weeks of November through that first week of January can get pretty hectic. Growing up both sides of my family were pretty massive, it meant traveling to and from just about everywhere. From Northern California...to So Cal...to Arizona.. to Utah..to Idaho...then back round home. Travel whether it was in the backseat of the car or catching flights at 5AM. White Elephants, Secret Santas, all of it. I remember not understanding the significance of Christmas given I’ve never identified as religious in any way, I started to see it when I was able to see loved ones I hadn’t seen since last Christmas...Hearing everyone’s laughter, my baby cousin’s giggles, my grandpa telling the same awful 5 jokes over and over to different groups. I remember a crowd surrounding my aunt’s pellet stove, rubbings their hands together waiting for dinner to be ready. I remember welcoming new family members ever year, meeting them for the first time in their christmas pajamas.
At one point when I was considerably younger I remember getting a job with my family’s business, saving up and buying my best friend this beautiful sterling silver turquoise necklace (she loved it), I was so proud of myself. I was ten. For quite some time I had a concept ingrained in the back of my mind that Christmas = gifts and I grew a slight obsession with idea of THE perfect gift, especially after that necklace. For years I was trying to compete with myself and if I didn’t get the right reaction, I knew I had to do better next year. I had forgotten what Christmas was really about.
Now, with the little family I have left, it's not quite the celebration it used to be. Having my family being only my fiance and our chosen family, its left little room for celebration. I’ve started to come to terms with that and realized the ways we celebrate holidays can change, that our perception changes.. And that's okay. With no parents left to tell the secrets of Santa, we enjoy ourselves in different ways. Whether it means sharing a cuppa, getting the cheap but SOOO cozy fuzzy socks from the mall, or lying under sherpa throws with cats in our laps and a good book. It means the celebration of one another and recognizing the privileges we have. Christmas now means recognition for me, of what we have. Of what others don't. Of everything. I challenge you to recognize the things that you do have this holiday season rather than what you don't.