If you’re my age, then you’re in that awkward phase in life of being an adult and a kid at the same time. Parts of you are still holding onto your inner child and other parts are molding and preparing you for the next chapter in your life.
Christmas has always been one of my most favorite times of year, as is for a lot of people. But as each year passes Christmas becomes a little different. As a baby you have no idea what the hell is going on. When you’re a toddler you become curious, asking yourself “where do these presents come from?” “Who puts them here?” And then the Santa seed is planted in your head and blooms in your wildest imagination.
Peak Christmas age for me was age seven to ten. It was the best four yet and this age is truly precious (I know that now). I was fully aware of who Santa, elves and reindeer were. I felt the magic as I struggled to sleep with butterflies in my stomach, eyes wide open and thoughts of Santa landing on my rooftop. I dreamed of catching a glimpse of him and his sled full of gifts. Finally, what always seemed like the longest night ever was officially here. Waking up the next morning seeing the cookies eaten, the milk gone and shiny gifts wrapped with love, signed by Santa.
Then what happens? We all come to that horrible age when we discover the truth. I always wonder to this day how that magic can ironically “magically” disappear in a matter of seconds. If you have younger siblings you can feed off their excitement, it’s still fun but not as fun. It’s almost like your magic is still there, you’re still hopeful. But by the time everyone is grown, it’s hard to find that spark again. Christmas after this point never seems to be the same.
The holiday’s are tough on a lot of families. As a kid you don’t fully understand the value of a dollar. At that time I knew we didn’t have a lot of money but I also didn’t know what that meant exactly. As an adult you most certainly do (or you should). The amount of hours I realized my parent’s worked to give me the best memories I probably will ever have is priceless and is something I can never give enough thanks for.
At twenty-one it’s actually harder for me to grasp the concept of Christmas, especially now. Unfortunately, society has molded what used to be a celebration of family and faith into who can spend the most money, it’s nearly become a competition. There is a reason why we feel disconnected during the holiday’s and it’s because we’re replacing people with objects. Hasn’t anyone learned by now that buying “things” is a temporary fix. When I go shopping for new clothes it feels great for about 48 hours and then I’m quickly off to get the newest item. Things cannot and will not love you as much as people do.
The only way to find Christmas is to believe in Christmas; not in the Santa and elves kind of way, but in the way that we still live in a good world with good people. Besides the presents, even as a child I just loved being with family. Seeing my cousins, eating a lot of food, listening to Christmas music on repeat, and endlessly watching Christmas movies, that is what I remember most; and unlike Santa and presents, those will never go away.
As we keep changing Christmas will keep changing with us. Our magic never disappeared, it got lost. We have let society choose what is more important. When you find your true holiday meaning, then maybe your magic will find its way back to you as it did for me.