I wake up underneath my cocoon of blankets to a fresh layer of snow falling from the sky. I get out of bed to turn on the lights on my Christmas tree, and open the curtains to soak in the beauty that the white landscape provides. It’s so quiet; I’ve awoken before most people, and the snow acts as a buffer that soaks up all the noise. This is my favorite time of the day. The world is quiet, the snow is beautiful, and I am cozy in my basement apartment. The world outside gets crazy sometimes, but in here, I feel safe. In here, everything feels okay.
This time of year is always bittersweet. Being able to spend time with loved ones is a blessing, but it also causes thoughts about change. It reminds me that everyone is getting older and time is going by faster and faster. It reminds me that people are getting busier, and coordinating time together gets harder and harder. It reminds me that you cannot rewind time and go back to when things were easier and people weren’t so busy. You cannot change other people’s lives and schedules to fit your own. You cannot make that annoying relative magically less annoying.
You don’t always get to choose what changes in your life. Sometimes change happens and there is not a single thing you can do about it. The holidays might not feel like they used to when you were little; they might not have the same magical quality that they used to, and that can be a hard pill to swallow. Every year that passes by, this gets harder for me to accept. I sometimes long for the days when I would wake up on Christmas morning and feel the kind of joy that you cannot put into words. But while that feeling may be gone, that doesn’t mean that the holidays need to be a time of longing and missing the old days. It means that it becomes increasingly more important to take the time to enjoy the little things; baking cookies with mom, watching White Christmas with dad for the hundredth time, curling up on the couch next to your brother with the mug of hot chocolate he made you. These are the things that make the holidays special, not the presents or the number pies you made to impress that one stuck up relative on Thanksgiving. It’s about the love that you give and receive. It’s about all of the little things that make life special, and the things we often take for granted that many in this world do not have. Many of us are blessed way beyond what we realize day to day, and this holiday season is the perfect time to remember all that we are thankful for.