Home For The Holidays: My Story
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Home For The Holidays: My Story

Reflecting on what makes this time the most wonderful time of the year.

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Home For The Holidays: My Story
Sarah Marie Williamson

While it might also be the most hectic period, I have always considered the last three months of every year the most exciting and memorable. Summer is great, especially in the mind of a student. However, the end of autumn and beginning of winter, better known as holiday season, is truly the most magical time of the year.

For my family at least, this time includes Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas with the occasional New Year, depending on the amount of holiday burnout after three consecutive months of festivities. Yes, my family does consider Halloween almost as sacred as Christmas. Despite all the hassle or stress we might be experiencing in our daily lives, you can bet that at least our home is decorated during these happy and merry months. A little holiday cheer goes a long way, after all, including everything from a personalized Christmas tree to an autumnal cinnamon broom.

No matter how old I get, helping my parents decorate, prepare for or even just celebrate the holidays has become a tradition. Others might question my interest in the usual family festivities as a college graduate, but participating now in my twenties only adds a touch of nostalgia to the entire custom. In fact, being older now enables me to appreciate this time with family and loved ones even more than I did as a child. For children, each of these holidays is like a spectacular party because of all the vibrant decorations, the loud chattering and laughing of loved ones and the smell of amazing seasonal food. As a young adult, though, I’m discovering it’s more about the memories you make than the holidays themselves.

For instance, a couple weeks before Halloween, my dad and I decked the porch not with holly but, rather, with orange lights and flashing spiders. Helping him decorate outside, especially, for all the major holidays has always been a tradition. This year as a college graduate, I finally didn’t have midterms to distract me and limit my assistance or holiday cheer.

Our first step was to go to the shed and collect the supplies, but we couldn’t just walk. No, for the first time in years, I rode on the back of his truck’s tailgate. Before college and even high school, this had been my main form of transportation over the family farm. Whether looking for a homegrown Christmas tree or just surveying the property, riding like this always connected me more to the land and to my dad. This latest time, it connected me back to my childhood.

Then once we actually set up the lights, I again played the role of errand girl or spotter. While my tasks might seem menial for a young adult, they are necessary and customary. This kind of holiday routine is very telling of our usual relationship with my being an only child. During the holiday season, though, there is a special quality in being his support.

I expect to find the same sense of pride and nostalgia during the coming holidays as well. Even though now I might coordinate my own Thanksgiving dishes instead of only add to my mother’s meals, I am sure to find that fellowship in the shared kitchen. Also, while I might do my own Christmas shopping now, sometimes months in advance, there is nothing quite like maneuvering through the Christmas crowds to help my parents finish their own lists.

Sure, it might not seem like much through an outside perspective. Holiday time is usually family time, after all. However, at this stage in my life, I’m discovering how important it is to appreciate each moment of quality time that holidays allow. One day these instances will be what I nostalgically look back on, and I don’t want where I am in life to take away from the precious moments and potential memories.

Whatever your situation this year, consider going back to your roots and making the most of family time this holiday season. Release your inner child and relive the Thanksgiving and Christmas of your dreams. If you make it matter, you make it memorable.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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