I remember being a kid, and anxiously awaiting the arrival of Christmas morning. I started my Christmas countdowns in August, sometimes earlier. I decorated the tree with shiny ornaments and string lights, made sugar cookies for Santa, and left carrots on my front porch for all of the reindeer to snack on in case they got hungry. These activities are what made Christmas, Christmas for me.
Now I’m 19 years old, and today is actually Christmas Eve, and I’m writing this article from an airplane on my way home from a ski trip with my friends in Utah. Key word being friends, and not family. My life has changed, I’ve grown up, and although I will always love Christmas and appreciate everything that it stands for, the magic of it is gone.
I know that Santa isn’t real, I know that the person responsible for eating all of my burnt and poorly decorated sugar cookies was actually my father, and I know that those carrots were probably thrown into the woods to be eaten by real deer.
I used to dance around my house and sing to Christmas music starting in October and continuing these dances and carols until the New Year. I haven’t even listened to a Christmas song this year, other than being forced to hear them at Starbucks or the mall. I would watch Christmas movies year round, and this year I haven’t even watched Elf.
As I grew up, I forgot how to keep the magic of Christmas alive, and that’s why Christmas no longer feels like Christmas to me. We forget that the little things in life are the things that matter the most. We forget to take time off of the hustle and bustle that we deal with daily, to belt out Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” or remind ourselves that it’s not silly to watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” as a grown adult.
I’ve come to realize that Christmas is what you make of it, and this year I didn’t make Christmas feel like Christmas. I made the mistake of leaving the magic of the holidays behind as a mere memory of my childhood. Just because I know that a fat bearded man doesn’t slide down my chimney on Christmas Eve, or that my dad is the culprit to the half eaten sugar cookie that was left on the plate shouldn’t change anything. If anything it should make me feel special that I was provided such a lovely childhood during the holidays, and that should be enough for me to keep that magic and excitement that is buried deep down somewhere inside of me alive and thriving.