We’re told as children that there’s a man, also known as Santa Claus, that comes down our chimney to give us toys. I always wondered how he got inside my grandparent’s house, since they didn’t have a chimney. I also wondered how he knew where I was located each year for Christmas. He was never in my grandparent’s house and he didn’t know where I was, because Santa is a figment of our imagination. I still admire my imagination, but it’s no longer the type in which I can imagine and have no realistic worries.
As we get older, our excitement for Christmas clearly fades away. It’s the “norm” to be happy and cheery during the holidays. Stores are filled with decorations and gifts. Television commercials are all holiday related with over-joyed people. All anyone hears for music are the jingling of bells and different descriptions of Rudolph. It’s about how society portrays the different holidays.
When December hit, I was stressed. I made my list of presents I needed to buy for friends and family members. I’m a procrastinator, so of course I waited until mid-December to really put my list into action. As Christmas came closer, I decided that I wasn’t excited for it. It’s just another holiday. Sure, as a kid I was ecstatic, because it was all an illusion. Now that I’m older, I find the holidays to be bittersweet.
Christmas reminds me of my grandparents, and especially my grandma. As a kid my family and I would go to my grandparent’s house for Christmas in Massachusetts. My grandma would be in the kitchen the entire day on Christmas Eve. She was Italian and would make her own ravioli and sauce for dinner. My grandpa would help me write a letter to Santa and leave him cookies for his visit. My brother and I shared a room in my grandparent’s study. We would stay up and wait for Santa. He would quiz me on basketball players and basketball shoe names. I’d wake up in the middle of the night and sneak downstairs to see if Santa had come yet. He had. He was the coolest guy I had never met and I believed in his existence.
Christmas makes me miss my grandparents more than ever (both passed away three years ago near the holidays). My brother no longer spends it with our family but now with his wife’s family. I no longer find myself becoming excited and joyful around Christmas time, but rather stressed and angry.
Today, Christmas Eve, I woke up and decided not to be angry about the holiday, but instead to be thankful and open minded. Thankful for the family and friends that I do have around to spend time with. Open minded about how everything could always be worse. Some people may be alone on Christmas and others may not be able to be with friends or family. Sure, I could complain and whine about my missing certain people, and spend my time sad and depressed, but will that make me feel any better? Fat chance.
We all need to remember what the holidays are about. Christmas is about giving back and volunteering. It’s about ridding away the bad memories and making brand new ones. Let the children believe Santa’s coming to town. Let their imaginations run wild until they crash into reality.