Christmas. A festival of light amid the darkest days of the year. We try to push away the dark and bitter cold by surrounding ourselves with light. Hundreds of thousands of years ago, that’s how we made it through the night. Today, that’s still how we make it through the night. Christmas is a time of togetherness, with our own sources of light: our families, our friends, and our special others. Two years ago, I went out with my friends the night after Christmas, and today, it is still one of my fondest memories. No wonder why Christmas music is always so cozy and welcoming.
Christmas. A realization of childish joy and fascination. Do you remember staying up late in the living room, with the Christmas tree all light-up and looking spectacular, trying to catch a glimpse of Santa Claus? I do. Our tree was so small that we had to prop it up on a table so there was enough room for the gifts. And the entire time, a question was nagging at the back of my mind: how was Santa going to get in if we didn’t have a chimney?
Christmas. An embrace of the little things. Time normally passes too quickly to fully appreciate our fortunes. That’s why Christmas is a time of gift-giving. Gratitude only becomes real when we take the heart to reflect and pay it back. Like gift-giving, we have other rituals that bring comfort. It takes time to put up the lights, set up the tree, and meticulously hang each and every ornament in its right place. Walking through the neighborhood or entering the living room, seeing those lights shimmering like stars and snowflakes, makes the moment real. As ambitions soar and I mature, it’s becoming more important to remind myself to slow down and enjoy the view.
Christmas. A holiday that means so much to so many people. Yet, everything I have said only applies to the Northern Hemisphere. For those in the South, where the moon shines upside-down and cyclones rotate backward, Christmas has a whole other meaning.