It seems as though Christmas was just here. Has it already been a whole year since our last Christmas season?
A year ago from today, I was the same in the sense of freaking out over my finals and dying during our school's dead week. Last year I bombed a biology lab practical, and I did it again. Big shocker (but for the record, I did study really hard, just freaked out a lot about it). And at the end of it all, the only thing to look forward to was having no school for a glorious three weeks, not to mention the Christmas and New Years. Bombing a test seemed like nothing anymore.
But there's more to look forward to than just getting through the test week. Yes, being able to end the quarter and take a vacation with no homework is an amazing thing, but the holiday season is brimming with much more joy and deeper meaning. With all of the hubbub and living a fast-paced lifestyle, it's easy to forget that the holiday season, Christmas in particular for me, carries a message more than stressing over what to buy everyone for their gifts. It's the season of remembering Jesus' birth, the one who gave the greatest gift of all to the world, which is His salvation, His life.
God sent his son down to be born as a baby from a poor, young girl that nobody knew in a smelly, musty manger behind some town inn. Jesus was born into humble beginnings and grew up a normal kid. It's amazing that when He was 12, He realized he had more of a mission on this earth than He had known. We were left with a message of salvation and hope for our futures because Jesus gave us silly humans a chance to be saved. All that from a baby born from a virgin.
During this season I am going to try and focus more on the beautiful story of Christmas. Of course, I'll still buy gifts for my loved ones, but I am not going to get trapped into the ridiculousness it is to rush to the stores and get that last thing before someone else gets their hands on it (cough, Black Friday, cough cough). To me, it is just not worth it to place material possession over a physical connection. And if you are not religious, or celebrate a different holiday this season, the same message still applies to you: take the time to focus on being with those you love, snuggle up in a blanket with a nice drink, and reflect on the good things in life, whether it is the simplest thing or something grand.