To The Grinch Who Stole My Christmas

A Letter To The Grinch Who Stole My Christmas

I hope you realize that you've taken the only thing someone was looking forward to. xoxo

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I use to adore Christmas and everything it was about. As I've gotten older, I have noticed myself becoming more and more depressed when this time of year comes around. This year will be the second year in the last six that I am unable to go home to family. Thankfully, I can keep myself busy with two of my three jobs, and that I have my two fur children with me, but it won't be as happy as I had hoped.

Christmas time can be very hard for some people and not everybody shows it. I am not one to ever really let anyone in but I am also not someone afraid to show my emotions. Watching families come together and create memories is always hard for me to do because I would give anything to be able to just sit in the same room with my family even just for a day. The last time I saw them was in August and they literally drove two days from Louisiana to North Dakota just to bring me things for my classroom and then stay for 24 hours just to drive back home again. I thought that would put my heart at ease but it really just made me even more anxious to go home again.

Like everyone, we all think "home for the holidays," but when airline tickets cost as much as a months rent, it's not always possible. I found out I wasn't able to go home in early November and was crushed. Thankfully, I have a family that I talk to everyday and they check up on me like it's their day job. That's what a military family does, we care deeply about each other so you would think that a Christmas apart would be easy. Wrong, it's the toughest thing I have EVER been through. In my 24 years of life, we have only not been together TWICE. Thanksgiving is another story but Christmas was always the four of us together. Even when my dad was Active Duty Air Force, we were never apart on Christmas Eve or day. I wouldn't know what to do at that young of an age if I didn't have both of my parents with me.

My mom was bummed when I couldn't come home, but she wanted to make sure I had gifts to open on Christmas morning. I was so excited that I was going to get to Facetime them and open gifts just like if I was at home. I told her what I wanted, she went shopping and shipped me the box. In the week leading up to my box arriving, I cleaned out my bank account to afford my bills, I didn't have enough to afford groceries so I am living off of hamburger helper in small portions, and I was over charged on my rent. This package was going to be my saving grace, the one hope I had left about this season and everything it stands for. I was ready for something great to happen.

My Package never made it to me, so I have a few things to say to the person who decided to steal my Christmas hope.

Dear Grinch,

Why did you feel the need to do this? You live in my building with me, you have probably seen many packages worth more than this sit at my doorstep for hours before I came home to get them. Why this one? What worth does it have to you to take the presents my family got for me? I hope you're enjoying them and having the time of your life. I know they're just things, but to me; they were my everything. I was going to open them with my family to make it feel as though I was home with them again because my depression is getting bad again and I need even the smallest amount of light to get me through this season. Taking someone's Christmas gifts is lower than low. I would've rather you have taken one of the boxes of makeup I received from Limelife than something from "Mom and Dad." If the person who took them wants to return them, I'd be thrilled; but as of now, I am just assuming I'll have a Christmas with nothing under my tree. I am not going to ask my parents to repurchase things and resend them in fear you will strike again. I just hope you really needed them more than I did.

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To The Grandmothers Who Made Us The Women We Are Today

Sincerely, the loving granddaughters.
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The relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter is something so uniquely special and something to be treasured forever.

Your grandma loves you like you are her own daughter and adores you no matter what. She is the first person you run to when you have a problem with your parents and she never fails to grace you with the most comforting advice.

She may be guilty of spoiling you rotten but still makes sure to stress the importance of being thankful and kind.

Your grandma has most likely lived through every obstacle that you are experiencing now as a young adult and always knows just exactly what to say.

She grew up in another generation where things were probably much harder for young women than they are today.

She is a walking example of perseverance, strength, and grace who you aim to be like someday.

Your grandma teaches you the lessons she had to learn the hard way because she does not want you to make the same mistakes she did when she was growing up.

Her hugs never fail to warm your heart, her smile never fails to make you smile, and her laugh never fails to brighten your day.

She inspires you to be the best version of yourself that you can be.

You only hope that one day you can be the mother and grandmother she was to you.

A piece of girl’s heart will forever belong to her grandma that no one could ever replace.

She is the matriarch of your family and is the glue that holds you all together.

Grandmothers play such an important role in helping their granddaughters to grow into strong, intelligent, kind women.

She teaches you how to love and how to forgive.

Without the unconditional love of your grandma, you would not be the woman you are today.

To all of the grandmothers out there, thank you for being you.

Sincerely,

the loving granddaughters

Cover Image Credit: Carlie Konuch

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You Don't Have To Be Born Into The Family You're Meant To Be With

Water will always be thicker than blood.

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According to Merriam-Webster, the primary definition of a family is "the basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children", meaning to be a family, you must be related to others by blood. I used to run by this ideal up until high school took over my life with full force, but, as my friend told me one night in middle of our conversation, you can't get through life without friends.

You can't walk a pathway full of obstacles on your own and expect to come out of the other side unscathed, especially mentally. You can't see yourself face-to-face with your worst enemies and conquer your worst fears just by boosting your own confidence (unless you have an amazing capability of keeping your self-esteem afloat just by yourself).

In essence, life is meant for you to be born into a group of people and take on the world as if there's no one else you're meant to live with. To live is to survive with spirit, and friends are the bridge to the emotional freedom that blood-related family can't always bring.

And there's no reason to realize only if you have a large group of friends or if your family isn't as supportive as friends. It's something you come to realize with experience, and you won't know it's true until you find yourself sitting at a lunch table laughing so hard with these completely random people until you can't breathe.

It amazes me when I'm thinking late at night about how I came to meet my best friends that there was a completely randomized set of events that happened to end with two different people sharing common interests. Who would've thought that in a sea of seven billion people (that keeps changing every second), I'd be able to find myself identifying my extended family as a girl who loves reading, one who loves fashion, another who loves pull all-nighters to watch Netflix, and so many other people around me, too.

It's a diverse group of people that I identify as my family outside of home, and I know that college being just around the corner is going to change my life. But that just means my family keeps growing. You don't have to be related to someone to call them family. My friends and I openly consider ourselves to be sisters, and it's going to stay that way as long as we stay together.

One thing I can agree with in the true definition of "family", though, is that no external force can break apart a bond. And if there's something that happens to break us away from one another, we weren't meant to be family in the first place. It's a constant cycle throughout life of figuring out where you belong, but you'll eventually come to understand who you were meant to be stuck with.

There's a sense of thankfulness that comes after the realization that you've found people you can completely be yourself with. They'll forgive, they'll share, they'll love, and they'll do anything to make sure that you know that you're one of the pack.

Just a few days ago at a party, we were all glued to the TV screen while playing "Bandersnatch", and everyone seemed so invested. It was comical to see their reactions to scenes that I had already seen months before, and because the movie was an interactive game, when they made the wrong decision or when I accidentally spoiled the next scene, they would yell (out of playful spirit). It was exactly like a family, and though I wasn't the closest of friends with a few people there, it was nice to see that everyone was bonding over the movie.

It's the smallest of moments when you make the largest of discoveries, and over the past three years, I've found out that there's not much difference between family and true friendship. Friends will unconditionally love and support you just as your blood relatives might, but the only big difference that I can immediately think of is that the people in your life will show you love in different ways based on how they know how to show it.

And that's what makes you love them all the more.

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