The other night I went to a “Friends Christmas.” I was invited last minute because it’s a group of people I’ve been recently growing closer to, but I was so touched to have even been thought of. I watched them open the meaningful, hilarious, and overall very thoughtful gifts they got for one another and absolutely loved it. And the friend who invited me even bought me a gift of my own, just so I didn’t have to sit there with nothing to open (even though I insisted that I didn’t mind).
And this holiday season, I’ve thought a lot about how weird Christmas is. How weird it is that my house has three fake trees in various rooms, covered in lights and tinsel and ornaments that were poorly made by us kids years ago. how weird it is that we have music playing 24/7 these days and, even weirder, it’s songs that are almost inappropriate to play during the other eleven months of the year. And how weird it is that everyone celebrates this holiday.
I mean, look at me. I’m from a family that very rarely discusses religion and hasn’t gone to church in years, yet every year, I celebrate this holiday three times. Once on December 25th with my immediate family. Once with my dad and his siblings and their kids (and now their kids) a few days laters. And once sometime after that with our big extended family.
And I completely understand why religious people can get a little irritated around this time of the year when the true meaning behind this holiday is so often forgotten. And I also understand that it has simply evolved from the time when nations, like the US, were founded on one religion to a time like today where families that practice Hinduism and Judaism and even atheists still celebrate this holiday. Because that’s just what you do. On December 25th you celebrate Christmas, even if you don’t accept Jesus Christ as your savior.
So, yeah, Christmas is a little weird (and I know religion can be a touchy subject), but I kind of love it.
Because every year, I get a family reunion. Every year we get a reason to come home. We get a reason to travel and be with loved ones and all meet in one place and, as I grow up, I realize how hard this may become in the future.
But every year we get an excuse. An excuse to splurge on gifts for your friends and family. An excuse to take a day off of work and school and go home. And you don’t even have to be religious.
Because of Christmas, I have memories with my family that I’ll never forget. I have stories of my cousins and I wreaking havoc at every hotel we went to because we kept getting kicked out of the one that hosted us the year before. Because of Christmas, I got that night with friends that meant so much to me.
Every year I have butterflies on December 24th because I can’t sleep. And sure, it used to be because I was thinking about Santa and what presents I might open the next morning, but it’s changed as I’ve grown. And now I feel like I have butterflies during the entire holiday season. Because even though life isn’t perfect right now–even though I’m still dealing with things and stressing out a lot–even though my family’s not perfect and can be difficult to handle sometimes, everything’s okay. It’s not, but it is.
It’s like Christmas. Christmas is so weird. And it’s not–it’s all normalized now–but it is.
Have I lost you? I feel like this post was making sense up until this point, but that’s alright. I just wanted to talk about how much I love Christmas and I wanted to express how grateful I am for it this year, because it’s coming at a time when I need it the most. Everything seems to just be better, when not that much is changing at all.
And I think that’s part of the magic of Christmas.