Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Holidays

I've always loved the holidays. To me, it's a joyous time when you get to celebrate with your family. Holidays make people happy, make people merry.

However, as much as I don't want to admit it, the holidays always have an underlying blue streak to them. Thanksgiving and Christmas are like beautiful, cool, 70 degree weather days in which you are having a lovely picnic on the lawn with your favorite people. Every now and again, when you least expect it, a chilly wind will blow by and give you goosebumps. It makes you stop and rub your arms, even if you are laughing and the sun is kissing the top of your head.

I look forward to the preparation of the holidays. I love Christmas movies and songs, decorating the house and buying and wrapping presents. I am giddy over decorating a Christmas tree, and over hanging stockings on the mantle.

But then- there's the stress of traveling. And being fair to both sides of our family, and knowing that right now there's a lot out of our control. It might not be possible to be fair. A nagging sensation in the back of my head reminds me of my aunts and uncles, my friends from Baylor and people like Dr. Willis who gave us so much support. If Christmas lasted a month, it might be possible to reach out to everyone and make them happy. But one of the joys of Christmas and Thanksgiving is it is only 2 days. Any less, and it would be too short. Any more, and it wouldn't mean as much as it does.

I suppose part of it is my own personality. I do get very excited about any sort of holiday, and love to celebrate it. I was even giddy over the Thanksgiving party at work, and asked some women if they were excited. They glared and rolled their eyes at me. "Why should we be?" they asked. "We do this every year." It as as though an elephant sat on my chest. I felt hurt and disappointed. I may be an annoyance waving my Christmas movies about and demanding to watch them, but at least I care. At least I don't view Christmas as an opportunity to drink beer and watch football.

The whole premise behind Thanksgiving and Christmas is to be joyful and grateful. We are told to cherish what we really love and what we really care for. Too many people are jaded and bitter, including now. Whatever happened to Santa Claus? Just try to imagine, for one second, that snow could burst from the sky any minute. Dream that you will find a way to visit all your family and take long walks with deep conversation.

Bring the magic back. Holidays are wonderful because they hold this enchantment. Things happen on holidays that don't happen in every day life. For a month, we're able to celebrate this event, whether for religious or cultural reasons. Suddenly, things begin to twinkle and sparkle. The air becomes cooler and shops begin to bustle. Everyone is full of cheer and merriment as they scurry about. Now, people look at holidays as an inconvienance. They have to stop work, stress to buy presents and decorate with huge sighs of disgust. Bring the magic back!

Bring back the joy, bring back the wonderment! Bring back giving just to give, without trying to get a tax write-off. Bring back the wonderment you had as a child, the whimsy of a holiday. Imagine that an elf might pop around the corner, or take an impulsive trip to see your mother across the country so you're there Christmas morning. Throw logic and worry to the wind! If logic and worry dictate your life, what kind of life is that? A life without magic and wonder is no life at all. It's just......there.

So bring back the magic. Enjoy your holidays. Even though I wish we could see my husband's family, I know we will be holding them in our hearts. And that is what will make me enjoy mine.