I wrote last night about how I gave my family their Christmas gifts in a return to our old custom. I’ve written about Christmas trees and shopping and the weather and moving the holiday back a month just to suit my own (completely reasonable and correct and you should totally agree with them) tastes.
Christmastime is about a lot of things. It’s about the birth of Jesus, and as such is one of the holiest days of the year for Catholics. It’s about Santa Claus and reindeer and snowmen. It’s about giving gifts to our loved ones. It’s about cooking, and enjoying, a big dinner with family and friends. It’s about falling asleep after that big dinner. It’s about snow. It’s about radio stations playing holiday music non-stop for the entire month of December.
It’s about all of those things, because it’s about whatever you want it to be. That’s true for any holiday, really, but I feel like Christmas really drives that home more than the others. Maybe it’s because it’s so close to the end of the year; in one week, everyone will be starting fresh (despite the demarcation of one year compared to the next being completely arbitrary), so it’s as good a time as any to reflect on the year that’s coming to a close. Maybe it’s the religious significance of it. Maybe it’s the (usually) colder weather that makes people prefer to be inside by the fire, sharing stories and warm beverages. Maybe it’s the music. And yes, maybe it’s even the fact that it’s by far the most commercialized holiday on the calendar, with ads appearing sometime around Labor Day, that gets Christmas into our collective conscience as something to look forward to, something to be celebrated.
No matter how much you enjoy Christmas, make sure to take a moment and smile today. It could be at a joke your uncle has told every year since you can remember, or at a gift you received, or one you gave. Try to appreciate how lucky you are to have people around you who care for and about you, and that you get to spend time with them. And if you’re away from your family, or alone, then smile because hey, at least someone is thinking of you.
Merry Christmas, everyone.