What Christmas Means To Me

What Christmas Means To Me

Emily Wendlandt, reporter

 If there is one perfect moment to reflect, let it be now. We’re in the season of giving and getting, the time to see old familiar faces, and to rekindle the memories you’ve shared with the people attached to them. December can be the most hectic and memorable month out of the year, and at least for me, I seem to find a new perspective on what the holiday season means once it’s over every year, once we’re left to wallow in the normality of January.

     When you’re young, Christmas and the holidays are a blur of pure joy. All you have to do as a kid in December is sit back and enjoy. This was the time of getting and in our eyes, that’s all there is to it. Every year was the same yet different. The excitement of Christmas day builds and builds in your mind. Presents torn and ripped open, the holiday that took so long to prepare, is over in the blink of a morning. Short bursts of moments from Christmas pasts echo back at me from time to time. Remembering what it was like to anxiously lay in bed on Christmas Eve, daydreaming of the next day. My favorite childhood memories are with my sister by the fireplace early in the morning, waiting for the rest of my family to wake up. We’d stare at the tree in awe, a wave of euphoria would pour over us, we were young and let the childhood magic of Christmas get the best of us. Still to this day, my sister and I wake each other up and sit together. I still have to catch my breath when I first see the tree on Christmas day.

     Christmas to me now is shown in a different light.  I’ve come to a point where i’ve seen it all,  every good and bad moment the season can bring. I’ve seen my mom cry tears of joy and sadness on Christmas Eve. Children don’t understand just how hard it is on parents or on adults in general, because they’re only receiving, not retrieving. Your parents are doing this all for you. They’ve spent hundreds on you and your siblings just for this moment that’s all over in a day. To kids, Christmas is only a fragment of what the holiday means, but the realization of what the day truly is comes to the surface as you grow up.

     Something clicks, you realize what the holidays truly are for people. It’s the moment to be grateful for the ones you love, and let that love drive you into giving. A chance to see distant family and friends who’ve touched your heart in a way that radiates with you. We’re at the age now where we’re starting to do the giving and we see now every aspect of the holiday; spending every fall paycheck on your mom and dad. We tend to forget the importance of recognizing the people you love until the holidays roll around, and you realize the incentive you have to give back to the ones who’ve given so much to you. I’ve been walking down a busy street in December, it’s the most stressful time of the year, yet everyone’s smiling, everyone’s exuding happiness, it’s bitter and cold, yet the spirit of the season is alive in the world. The world glows in the truest, most beautiful emotion, love.

     Christmas to me is the ones you surround yourself with, it’s snow falling on a cold night holding the hand of the love of my life, taking in city street lights, It’s looking through a sea of family and friends and showing them just how much they’ve impacted my life. A speck of time solely for the purpose to recognize every blessing, every happy moment. Christmas truly is the most wonderful time of the year, and I hope this year brings you every inch of joy and maybe a different outlook on what the holidays mean to you.