The holidays are such a tricky time of year. The season tends to mean something different to everyone; starting with the fact that people are celebrating all different kinds of holidays. I grew up in a family that could easily be described as a sort of Leave It to Beaver cliche and as a young adult, I came to realize what a rare gift that is in our complicated world. When I come home for the holidays, I look forward to spending time with family, laughing with my siblings, eating too much peppermint bark, and scrambling for that last-minute present because I most certainly forgot someone on my list.
I look to others in my life and know that if those individuals were to illustrate with words the scene at their home for Christmas, Hanukkah or just “the holidays,” it might be more complicated or less idyllic. There might be family members not in attendance whose absence leaves a deep void. There might be fewer presents, if any, under the tree due to an unstable financial position. The list can go on and on and the only shoes we truly know are the ones we walk in day in and day out. I can’t begin to try and understand celebrating the holidays beyond the table I sit around every year because I'm simply not aware of anything else.
We were watching the CMA Country Christmas special on television the other night and many of the artists were commenting on the holiday season and their song selection prior to performing. The female singer of The Band Perry was asked why she enjoys singing Christmas songs. Her response was powerful in its simplicity, revolving around the idea that everybody knows the words and for those three-minutes, we all come together and live in unison.
As I look around at the environment between approximately mid-November and the beginning of January, I can say that I choose to see its beauty. The flowers, lights, bright colors, and shiny decor are begging us to smile and asking us to come together, if even just for a moment. We might all attach the holiday season to various meanings, some more positive than others, but hopefully we can all come together and agree that it is a time to try to find something in life to celebrate and be in awe of each morning. If the department stores, hotel lobbies or festive restaurants aren't enough to get you in the spirit, then at least conduct an Internet search on Clark Griswold and his fantastic display of lights.
Images courtesy of About.extension.org, Evolvingelle.wordpress.com
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