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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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.

Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.

Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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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.


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.


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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