Name: Aubrey Clark

Profession: Avid lover of snow, holidays, and winter magic

In the words of the great Lorelai Gilmore, "Everything's magical when it snows."

The Christmas season just feels different from other times of the year. Starting at Thanksgiving, the goodness in humanity and peaceful ambiance of the season stand out more. The streets begin to glitter with puffy snowflakes, that melt into a sparkling puddle as they hit the pavement. It begins to feel like we are all living in one of those Christmas town snow globes.

The air gets harsh, frigid, but it makes going inside and getting cozy by the fireplace that much better. Grabbing a blanket, some hot chocolate, and a nice book has never been more satisfying than it is while getting toasty by a fire and watching the snow fall outside. How beautiful and enticing is that scene?

It's not just the light of the fire that soothes the most cold soul on a winter's day. Peaceful white lights line the trees and the streets, beckoning people to look up and grin. The street lamps reflect off of the streets, cars, store windows. Even the darkest night is granted the warmth of the sun with these decorative lights. They are candles, bringing warmth of spirit in the cold evenings.

Apart from the decor -- the wreaths, the tinsel, the mistletoe, the lights, the ornaments -- people can just feel change. There's the smile and satisfaction of a mother buying her kids the perfect toys for Christmas morning, anticipating their stomping feet on the stairs and yells to wake the house up. There's the click-clack of heels headed to the church for a candlelit Christmas Eve vigil. You can hear the carolers spreading the sounds of the holidays on street corners, the clink of coins falling into a donation jar for those who aren't as fortunate during this time of year. There's inspiration to be more charitable, generous, and good. I wish this were always the case.

There are the memories of Christmas that come along with the time of year -- Christmas tunes playing as a family sets up the tree. One year my dad, sister, brother and I went out shopping during the holidays. I saw a baby doll I really wanted, but it was beyond expensive. Instead, my dad bought me a special set of crystal, sparkly, multi-colored, angel ornaments. To this day, seeing them on the tree makes me so grateful for that memory. I love taking each one out the box and spreading them out on the branches.

Each family has their own traditions, whether they be baking cookies, volunteering at the soup kitchen, going Christmas caroling, or having a secret Santa event. Memories of these occasions are always colored warmly in my mind, glowing like the flame of the fire. The smell of Grandma's sugar cookies comes back to me, the taste of minty candy canes stolen off of the tree while Mom wasn't looking, the gingerbread house's scent wafting through the living room. There's the scraping sound from the attic as Dad pulls out the nativity scene, dropping down the plastic statues one by one to my brother, who rushes them out to front yard.

We can't forget about all the laughter -- a giggled out scream as a snowball collides with a puffy jacket, a chuckle as Kevin says another hilarious one-liner in Home Alone, a soft laugh as parents watch their kids build snow forts and igloos out in the freezing cold weather.

There is so much joy surrounding this time of the year -- so much harmony. I can only hope and pray that one of these years that beautiful hope that gleams in humanity during the holidays can be carried forward. To all of Odyssey's wonderful readers, writers, and executives: have an amazing holiday season full of laughter, love, and memories. Celebrate the magic of the season and cherish each moment.