My Grandfather made Christmas magical. He always had Christmas spirit and he was the reason I looked forward to rushing down the stairs each Christmas morning. Christmas has not been the same since his death almost four years ago.

Christmas as a child includes waking up your parents before the sun is even up to force them to get out of their bed to watch you open all the goodies and treasures that Santa left under the tree. I would always feel a rush each time I look at the Christmas tree to find an assortment of colorful presents underneath the tree. My family always made sure to tell me that I was more fortunate than most, but I never thought much of it until I got older.

Grandpa would give each of us grandkids an Advent calendar as well other chocolaty goodies that would make our eyes pop out of our heads with excitement. He treated us well and always told us to thank God for how fortunate we are compared to others.

Christmas was always a time that the family got together. After he passed, the family did not remain as close as we once were. I remember the best Christmas of my entire childhood was when my family was all together in Disney celebrating Christmas and my Grandfather's 60th birthday. Everyone was happy because we were all together. My cousins and I would go on adventures throughout Disney world and spend the best Christmas vacation we have ever had together. This was a special time for my family since we only got nine years with my Grandfather after this special moment.

He passed away and it was hard on my whole family. My Grandfather knew everyone. He would recognize people from his kindergarten class in the grocery store and talk up a storm for a couple hours at best. He was well loved and everyone misses him still to this day. It was hard on me because I never had a chance to say goodbye to him and he was my biggest role model. I took a long time for me to accept that I could not say goodbye to him and that he would just want me to be happy, but Christmas has not been the same without him.

I started to not enjoy Christmas as much as I once did. It became a time I would think of him and think of all the sorrow I felt when he passed. I became uninterested with the holiday and did not want to do anything because I was dealing with my own issues of not being able to see my favorite person ever again. My grandfather and I were extremely close. He saw something in me and gave me the confidence to believe in myself.

I am a freshman in college and this is the first year I really do not want anything or need anything for Christmas. After my first semester of college, I am just thankful for good health, family, friends, and a loving boyfriend. I am finally happy with where I am and I am actually looking forward to celebrating Christmas with my loved ones. My Grandfather will forever be on my mind, but I need to follow in his footsteps to celebrate his favorite time of the year.