Here are five things that I love about Christmas and the Holiday Season.
- The Snow
There is something so peaceful about snow and the way it is calming and white. I love the way it muffles the sound of everything and makes a hushed sound in my ears. It is no fun to shovel and it can certainly be scary to drive in, but when I was younger and didn’t drive, I could enjoy the snow either in a snowsuit and a sled, or from my window with hot cocoa. The snow adds such a brightness and the best is when no one has walked on it so I am the first one. It is fun making the first footsteps in a field of untouched snow. I also find it cozy at night when the snow swirls in the wind and the street lights are only seen as a pale glow that appear fuzzy and amorphous, and the howling of the cold out there makes me feel so much warmer inside the house.
- The Cool Weather
In New Hampshire, where I lived from age seven to age nineteen, the winters were very cold and at times brutal. I remember stepping outside and my face burning from the windchill. But here in Alabama the winters are mild and I couldn’t love it more. I hate the intense heat and humidity of summer; the air itself seems to stick me and wrap me in layers of wool and sweat. The way I see it, you can always add more layers if you are cold, but you can only take so many layers off when you are hot. For me, Alabama winters are perfect and I could easily live with the weather year-round. It is much easier to enjoy the season when I am not panting and wiping sweat from my face.
- The Music
I will freely admit that Christmas music fills me with a sense of joy that ordinary music does not, and I love it. I know many people who don’t care for it, but I certainly do. I think it stems from nostalgia; my mother always played Christmas music all day everyday from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, and the memories of childhood Christmases come flooding back to me when I hear it. My favorite is the “Carpenter’s Christmas.” I could listen to that CD all day long, partly because it contains some elements of classical music, which is one of my passions. Speaking of such, I often associate the holidays with some composers, maily those from the Baroque and Classical periods like Bach, Vivladi, Haydn, and Mozart. I had a CD with Haydn’s late symphonies on it and I would listen to it while drinking hot chocolate and writing, drawing, or reading. Music is a source of happiness during the holiday season.
- The Exchange of Gifts
I love to wake up on Christmas morning and engage in the exchange of presents. I like to shop for Christmas gifts and it is a great opportunity to show how much you care about your family and friends, to show your appreciation for them, and to bring them joy with a present that they were looking forward to getting. It is also exciting to receive something you really wanted or didn’t know you wanted as well. One of my favorite gifts was a full-sized keyboard when I was probably fourteen. I had been playing on a cheap, miniature one and it was amazing to have one that had the full 88 keys. It’s a funny thing how when we are young the gift pile is so high, but as we grow older, it seems to shrink; however, we are just as happy because it isn’t about the amount of gifts we receive, but rather it is about the love behind the ones we give.
- My Rediscovered Joy
In my teen years, while struggling with a developing mental disorder, the winter was a terrible time for my depression, and there were some Christmases where I stayed in my room and couldn’t bear to be around people either for anxiety, or just emotional turmoil that destroyed my ability to enjoy anything. But in the last five years or so, my joy for the holidays has returned and I can engage in all the activites with fervor. I no longer am isolated and contemplative of suicide, but rather I am writing and walking in the cool of evening, and I am making fudge with my mother and visiting with my friends and going out and shopping, and I enjoy every minute of it. Sure there is a little bit of sadness when it’s all over, but it doesn’t last long because then there is a chance to make goals for a whole new year. I found my joy in Christmas again and I could not be more thankful.
Christmas is my favorite time of year, though I know it can be a difficult time for many people. I hope that everyone can find at least one thing to be thankful for this holiday season and hold onto it. Have a wonderful holiday!