Growing up, Christmas was always my favorite time of year. The decorations, the songs, the Christmas movies. I loved all of it. I especially loved our family’s Christmas traditions and picking out the perfect presents for the people I loved. Christmas was never about getting gifts for me. It was always about giving.
However, years of working in retail slowly but surely killed my passion for Christmas music. You can only hear the same songs on an endless loop for so long before you want to rip your ears off just to make it stop. That was the first aspect of Christmas cheer that I lost.
Unfortunately, it would not be the last. Circumstances change over the years. Life happens. And one by one, our family traditions stopped happening for various reasons.
Then a couple of years ago, my grandmother passed away on Thanksgiving. Suddenly, the holidays were just a sad reminder that she wasn’t there to celebrate with us anymore. My once beloved, magical time of year became anything but happy. All I wanted to do was bury my head in the sand and pretend that Christmas wasn’t happening until it was over.
That made me sad. I had such a passionate love for this time of year, and now it was the complete opposite. But I couldn’t bring myself to enjoy it anymore.
To my surprise, something happened this year that began to change my perspective. I found myself looking forward to Christmas again. Yes, even the most hated Christmas carols were putting a smile on my face. I began to get excited again about buying gifts and trying to find the perfect item that would put a smile on the faces of the people I love. For the first time in a long time, I don’t want to hide and pretend it’s not happening.
This year has been challenging for everyone. Maybe that’s a part of why I’m latching on to the holiday season so hard. It’s a small, bright beacon of light in an otherwise very dark year. We have to grab on to the joy wherever we can find it, and for me, that has come in the form of Christmas cards, music, and family.
I feel a bit like Ebeneezer Scrooge after the Christmas spirits have visited him. I want to run around shouting Merry Christmas to everyone because the sheer joy of rediscovering that love for the holiday is bursting out of me. I honestly didn’t think I would ever feel this way again, so to have it back even a little bit is something worth celebrating.
The holidays are a difficult time for a lot of people — and that’s okay. If you don’t feel like celebrating, don’t feel guilty. But if there is even the tiniest thing that can bring you some joy at this time of year, grab onto it and hold on tight. We could all use a little more happiness at the moment.