A Different Kind Of Excitement

A Different Kind Of Excitement

When Christmas doesn't feel like Christmas anymore

Growing up, Christmas used to be magical. With every light my parents hung up in front of our house and with every ornament placed on our tree, my spirits were lifted and my heart raced even faster. There was something about Christmas that was indescribably mysterious and exciting.

The weeks leading up to Christmas were the best. Our house was constantly filled with desserts and gifts from family friends, Christmas cards were always dispersed on the kitchen counters, and the scent of our Christmas tree made the entire house smell like a Winter Wonderland.

The night before Christmas was the most exciting night of the year. Sleep was impossible; my little sister and I would stay up for hours talking about what we thought we were going to get. It was for sure the longest night of the year; it seemed as though we had been tucked away in our room for at least 15 hours. We’d read every Christmas book we could find in our room and stay up chatting until the early hours of the morning.

And before we knew it, it was 8:00 a.m. on Christmas morning. We’d tear open our stockings, wake up everyone in our house, and wait impatiently for everyone to be ready to open presents. And once we were all seated around the tree, pajamas on and presents in hand, everything felt right in the world.

And while all of those things still ring true today, the magic seems to have faded. Christmas has started to feel a little less… special. The weeks leading up to Christmas are filled with stress, trying to manage my money well enough to afford getting everyone the perfect gift. I’m more concerned about what I’m going to wear to our Christmas Eve church service than I am about spending time with my family. Christmas has become more and more about appearances and money and less about family and giving.

Putting up my Christmas Tree isn’t as special anymore. Going to see the Nutcracker with my family isn’t one of my top priorities. I fall asleep the night before Christmas just as easily as I do every other night.

Why? Why has Christmas lost its excitement? Where did the mystery and the joy and the suspense go?

I think that as we get older, we start to realize that Christmas isn’t about the presents or the candy canes or the holiday cards. We start to understand that Christmas isn’t just a fun holiday where everyone is surprised by a big, old man in a red suit.

Christmas is about the God of the Universe giving us His only son. Christmas is about the fact that the King of Kings came to this earth in the form of a helpless baby born in a barn. And you know what? THAT’S where the excitement should come from. THAT is where the mystery and the suspense should come from.

Why would the most powerful being in the universe come in the form of an infant? That’s the mystery. However, we have the answer: it’s because He loves us more than we could ever imagine. He loves us SO much that He gave us His only son, so that we, the dirty and sinful humans, could have eternal life.

What a reality check. What a slap in the face. I’m so caught up in money and presents and clothes and appearances that I am overlooking the excitement of this holiday.

Yeah, Christmas looks different at the age of 19 than it did at the age of 9. I don’t get as excited over the thought of Santa, and I don’t stay up all night waiting for Christmas morning. However, Christmas brings a different excitement into my life. Christmas reminds me not only of how broken I am but also of how gracious and loving my Heavenly Father is.

So as December begins and you start to prepare for Christmas, spend some time thinking of what it is about Christmas that excites you. Remind yourself that Santa isn’t the “reason for the season,” and that Christmas is the day where we received the best present of them all: a Savior who loves us so much that He died for us.

And that, my friends, is something to get excited about.

Cover Image Credit: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/Sy1Qlxgo2ek/maxresdefault.jpg

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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I'm Keeping My Christmas Tree Up All Winter And There's Nothing You Can Do About It

It's the WINTER Season... ;-)


I think that my tree would not be considered Christmas-y if the ornaments are taken off and the lights are kept on. I think to just looks wintry. I am also keeping up decorations that say "let it snow", and I am keeping up any snowman without holly berries or presents in their hands.

The tree looks wintry in my opinion. It looks pretty with the lights and brings the room together. It gives off a warm ambiance, unlike that of fluorescent lighting.

I've taken all ornaments off except for gold snowflakes and I've left the silver tinsel garland on as well as the lights. It looks wintry to me still. I will probably be taking the whole tree down by the end of this month to prepare for Valentine's Day decorating. (Yes, I pretty much decorate my apartment for every holiday—sue me).

There's nothing like coming downstairs and seeing those lights sparkling.

Or coming inside from a dreary, rainy day outside and seeing them light up the room in a calm, warm, and comforting glow.

Or having a bad day, looking up, and seeing them shine.

It sort of makes me upset when I come downstairs and see that someone has unplugged them, to be honest.

I guess they don't see it as I do.

Pretty, twinkling lights forever!

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