The air has a cold bite to it now and it’s dark before most of us get off work or finish our last class of the day. The holidays have arrived! Thanksgiving is already here and the array of holidays in December are not far behind. But what was once a time of cheer, wonder, and excitement now feels a little different. Maybe a little off for some of us. It isn’t the impending doom of finals that’s bringing me down though. As I’m getting older I’m finding that all those holidays that were the best times of year for me as a child just don’t have the same allure they once did.
The old cliché that holidays just aren’t that great for adults is something I’m not buying though. Because I firmly believe that the holidays can still be wonderful, just in different ways. Now I could list a whole slew of ideas as on how to make the holidays more whatever. But to be honest it really just comes down to one thing.
This doesn’t have to be just the family you were born into though. In this day and age there are so many different ways to connect with people from all over the world. So whatever your definition of family is. Find it. This can be your sorority or fraternity. This can be just you and your roommate. Or it could be you, your mom, your dad, and your 30 closest relatives. Even if it’s just you and your cat. Surround yourself with loved ones. Set time aside for those important in your life, in one shape or form. Sit in front of the TV and watch a marathon of any Netflix show while stuffing your face with ramen. Or go for a hike in the freezing cold, just to complain the whole time about how stupid an idea it was to leave the house in the first place. Go home for more than washing your clothes and emptying your mom’s fridge. Put down the phone and engage in some kind of conversation. Or play seventeen round of Words With Friends with your family. Take a ton of pictures of the exact same food everyone else around the nation is having and post it on every single social feed, bragging about how awesome a home cooked meal is.
Just engage with your loved ones and show them how much they matter with your time and your attention. Just because we’re all broke twenty something’s doesn’t mean that we don’t have anything to give over the holidays. Mass media wants us to think because we can’t give a million gifts of the newest and fanciest gadgets we’re failures. We aren’t. At this point in our lives we have the opportunity to give our parents and our friends and even our pets exactly what they want. Our time.