When I was little, Christmas used to be my favorite holiday simply because unlike my birthday, I received many instead of a single gift. Besides, it was so exciting to decorate the house, put up the tree, dressing up, and having such an elaborate and delicious dinner in the end. My parents have always been generous but being the youngest one of my siblings, they were even more generous with me when giving gifts. Every year, I persuaded them to open the gifts when the clock struck midnight on the 24th rather than on the morning of the 25th since they had long told me the truth about Santa Claus. I loved receiving gifts, as most people do, and I loved making Christmas crafts to give to each member of my family along with watching the classic Disney Christmas films.
But as the years went by, the magic of Christmas slowly vanished. I was more occupied by school each year, and so I was always too tired to help my mom decorate, something that I started to notice was incredibly stressful to her because of the mess and her perfectionism. The dinner was also a lot of work for her, which put a strain on the night when she argued that she was tired (rightfully so) and didn’t want to do it next year. Christmas crafts and cards became a chore and my family almost immediately fell asleep when I put on a movie. The gifts decreased as did decorations and each year, I felt like there wasn’t really any holiday that was as nice as before. I read a tweet that said this was what growing up felt like. I was disillusioned. Although I am Roman Catholic, my family wasn’t very religious, and I was struggling with my faith. Christmas was more of the occasion than a religious holiday for me. But I still held on to the belief that I loved Christmas and that it was my favorite holiday. And though I struggled each year with trying to convince myself and other of this, I managed to keep saying it.
And this year, Christmas has been different for me. I think that in a way, the tweet I read spoke the truth. Childhood memories have a certain magic that belong exclusively to when you were a child. As we grow up, we lose that perspective and so the magic disappears. But we can still hold on to it and work with our new perspective. I realized that Christmas was still truly my favorite holiday because it wasn’t just one day, it was a whole season where the world around you changes. The holiday spirit is everywhere from malls, school, to your house. The weather gets chillier (in most places) and you can now justify a perpetual craving for hot chocolate. Everyone’s mood just gets at least a little bit happier. Yes, exams are coming up but winter break, family and friends time, and the start of a new year are also coming. It’s time for caroling and it’s time for joy. It’s more than just a religious tradition, it’s a time in which people share happiness with each other even if it’s just a bit, for a whole season. Despite it being a classic, I had never read Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! before. I had seen the movie and I knew the basic plot but I had never read so I decided to read it after my mom informed she wouldn’t be putting any sort of decorations in the house because we were going on a trip. I’d felt heartbroken and I had immediately compared her to the Grinch (mature for a 17-year old, I know). But I was changed when I read it.
And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so?”
“It came with out ribbons! It came without tags!”
“It came without packages, boxes or bags!”
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.”
“Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
I don’t know, maybe you already knew all of this and I’m just explaining the obvious but I think it’s important to try to keep a certain appreciation for Christmas or some holiday because they do posses importance. Dr. Seuss remarked in an article about writing the book,
“I was brushing my teeth on the morning of the 26th of last December when I noticed a very Grinch-ish countenance in the mirror. It was Seuss! So I wrote about my sour friend, the Grinch, to see if I could rediscover something about Christmas that obviously I’d lost.”
That was exactly it for me. Though it saddens me that I won’t have decorations, a tree or dinner, Christmas, as cheesy as it is, lies in my heart, giving me and others happiness.