I love the Christmas season. I think I may even love Christmas more now than I did when I was young.
I love it all: the twinkling lights, the music (well, most of the music), the food and spending time with family. And yes, the shopping. While the parking lots can be a bit ridiculous – good thing I like to walk! – I love trying to find that perfect gift for friends and family. And then of course, wrapping and the anticipation of waiting for that person to open their gift. And the Christmas lights make the shorter days and driving home after dark so worth it.
Maybe it’s because our day-to-day lives are so full. We have stresses from work, from family, from society and Christmas comes around bringing light and love (and maybe a few days off to decompress!). And it’s also a break from the news screaming from all corners of the country and the world – perhaps even more so every four years with presidential campaigning. Christmas reminds us to enjoy what we do have: family, friends, a home, whatever it might be that we are lucky to have. And it also reminds us that there are those who may not be as fortunate as we are, and encourages giving back and helping out others.
After Thanksgiving, I start getting so excited. I tell myself each year that I will seek out the different holiday events around town, and even so, there are still so many I haven’t done or seen yet. This is such a magical time, and I just want to embrace it fully to leave such wonderful memories. Life is hectic enough as it is, there’s no reason the holidays should be as well. Relax. Enjoy. Be grateful for being here to experience it, for being right here.
And right now, I’m looking forward to just enjoying tonight and tomorrow with my family. The baking started first thing this morning with a savory flatbread for breakfast, and plans for roasted butternut squash soup for dinner. And then there are my family’s traditions of when we open presents carefully chosen with love, acknowledging how fortunate we are, and pancake breakfast first thing in the morning. Even when I spent a Christmas alone in DC, I was sure to still make pancakes for myself. Family traditions are important. And then we also have a full, freshly cooked meal on Christmas day. How delicious is this house going to smell!
If you celebrate Christmas, I hope that you and yours have a very Merry Christmas!