The Holidays Have Changed For Me As I've Gotten Older

Whether I Like It Or Not, Christmas Doesn't Feel The Same As It Did When I Was Younger

The biggest difference between Christmas as a child and now is the people I've lost along the way.

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As a child, the holiday season truly was the most wonderful time of the year. My family decorated our little artificial tree together, we all wore matching Christmas shirts made by my grandmother, and we'd send out holiday cards for all of our friends and family to see how my sister and I had matured. These things along with so much more were traditions which I had imagined I'd do with my children one day.

Family is what puts the joy in Christmas. No matter how busy our schedules were, the holidays were when we always found time to be together. All of the grandchildren would play games, from kickball to boardgames or something we just made up. After eating to our stomach's maximum capacity, we'd just sit on the couch watching television, but that was still enjoyable because we were all together.

The magic of Christmas didn't disappear after finding out Santa was merely a myth; it slowly dwindled as us grandchildren grew old and the traditions started to fade. Suddenly, people were too busy to decorate the tree and wanted to wear a fancy blouse instead of the sweater grandma made. Toys on our lists became clothes or makeup and we'd attempt to make new traditions which never caught on the way the older ones did.

The biggest difference between Christmas as a child and now is the people I've lost along the way. Christmas Eve was always supposed to be at my paternal grandmother's house. We'd have garbage bags filled with presents, read "The Night Before Christmas," and Santa would make a guest appearance. When my grandmother passed away, these traditions faded and we'd wait until weeks after Christmas to even exchange presents and celebrate with this side of the family.

My last Christmas as the child who believed in Christmas miracles was in 2012. On Christmas Day, we brought my grandfather home from the hospital, which was my only wish that year. When shopping at Macy's, they had a box for children to place the item that was on the top of their Christmas list, and I remember writing that I wanted my grandfather home to celebrate with us.

In February of 2013, my grandfather passed away and the holidays were never the same. Seeing his spot at the head of the table empty every year breaks my heart and I wish for one more Christmas where he'd beg to play with whatever gadget I received as a gift.

When Christmas music comes on the radio, I still get excited knowing it's that time of year, but I'm aware it'll never be like what it was when I was younger. I'll always have the memories and pictures from past Christmases and hopefully one day we'll be able to have more just like those as long as we can channel our inner child.

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To The Dad Who Didn't Want Me, It's Mutual Now

Thank you for leaving me because I am happy.
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Thank you, for leaving me.

Thank you, for leaving me when I was little.

Thank you, for not putting me through the pain of watching you leave.

Thank you, for leaving me with the best mother a daughter could ask for.

I no longer resent you. I no longer feel anger towards you. I wondered for so long who I was. I thought that because I didn't know half of my blood that I was somehow missing something. I thought that who you were defined me. I was wrong. I am my own person. I am strong and capable and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

In my most vulnerable of times, I struggled with the fact that you didn't want me. You could have watched me grow into the person that I have become, but you didn't. You had a choice to be in my life. I thought that the fact that my own father didn't want me spoke to my own worth. I was wrong. I am so worthy. I am deserving, and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

You have missed so much. From my first dance to my first day of college, and you'll continue to miss everything. You won't see me graduate, you won't walk me down the aisle, and you won't get to see me follow my dreams. You'll never get that back, but I don't care anymore. What I have been through, and the struggles that I have faced have brought me to where I am today, and I can't complain. I go to a beautiful school, I have the best of friends, I have an amazing family, and that's all I really need.

Whoever you are, I hope you read this. I hope you understand that you have missed out on one of the best opportunities in your life. I could've been your daughter. I could have been your little girl. Now I am neither, nor will I ever be.

So thank you for leaving me because I am happy. I understand my self-worth, and I understand that you don't define me. You have made me stronger. You have helped make me who I am without even knowing it.

So, thank you for leaving me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Christmas Of Remembrance Series: My Last Letter

Christmas time is not about the gifts... It is about something far, far more special.

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Dear Reader,

Thank you for your time.

This is a series that I have dedicated to those I have loved and lost. It was merely a thought, then an idea, and now a realized creation. Christmas time… all winter really is a hard time for me. It holds this duality in my life of being both my favorite and also my least favorite and difficult time of year. It has been that way for years now.

In a way, this series aids my closure and healing further, and it allows me to tell my story in a way that, to me, is less scary (one of the many great facets of this platform). It was never my intention to write this in order to reach people, or encourage people, or serve as an inspiration to anyone. This was for me and only me. No one else. But, if these pieces of writing do impact someone, somewhere, or make them feel encouraged or inspired in some way or another, or just simply make them feel, then I hope you have enjoyed them. If I can make someone feel, then I guess I have done my job.

The life of an artist is often an uncertain one. The life of a human is a trying one. But life is a journey, and all journeys have their trials. Their tests. Their triumphs and rewards. And they all have their losses. What matters most is what you make of all of it. What lessons you learn. What changes you make. What life you create for yourself. What art you create because of it all. It can be very, very hard. But it can all be glorious at the same time.

At the heart of this series, my words, there is this deep and valuable belief of mine: Christmas (or the Winter Holiday that you may celebrate) is so much more about presents and cooking and shopping and all that other bullshit… it is about family.

The family that is related by blood. The family that surrounds your heart. Your Mom. Your brother. Your dearest friends. The bonds that make life valuable. Worth living. These bonds are soulful bonds, ones that are far more special than any mere trivial object. So… be with them. Forgive. Forget. Heal. Mend what is broken. Reassemble what has been shattered. And stop worrying so much. Laugh together. Cry together. Heal on another. Heal together. And may your new days be better, brighter, and full of love.

Happy Holidays.

Ty


A song for you...

"Sense of Home" — Harrison Storm / YouTube

If you liked this series, I invite you to check out my previous article below…

To My Fellow 孤, The Sons Without Fathers On Father’s Day

As well as this article by a fellow creator…

What You Learn Losing A Parent So Young

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