Happy Jolly Christmas.
Holidays are strange, ever notice that emotions seem to be running high come December 1st? Something about Christmas. Emotions that come to mind or that I have observed in the last month: nostalgia, excitement, anticipation, stress,an acute sense of loss, and an overwhelming sense of gratitude.
Nostalgia, sometime between Black Friday and December 24th an onslaught of traditions are relived and remembered each year. Every Christmas season most people follow the same cookie-cutter routine that they followed the year before, and the year before that. Repetition can be good and bad, it does not necessarily produce the same outcome regardless of how closely you follow the "recipe". Perhaps the gifts you chose last year were more heartfelt, or maybe the dinner turned out better, or any other reason you can think of...regardless of doing the same activity each year the outcome can be very different. I am convinced this is fact, not insanity. Which is why I have come to the conclusion that the holiday season regardless of the variety of time tested traditions we revisit each year, can fill us with a sense of nostalgia and longing for a distant place in our memory where the outcome was a bit different. Perhaps, better suited to the fairytale memory you constructed that year.
Anticipation and excitement is to be expected. The Christmas songs that dominate radio stations during the entire month of December, the extended store hours for your shopping convenience, the assortment of holiday foods: all attribute to this build up that continues to escalate until Christmas day. A whole month dedicated to one day, how could there not be some sort of static excitement in the air?
It is the acute sense of loss that I discussed above that has really struck me this holiday season the most,not only in my own life, but in the lives of my friends and acquaintances. Being a teller gives me an opportunity to have semi-lengthy conversations with a wide variety of people: for better or worse. I hear about people's financial success and troubles, along with numerous other unrelated topics. It is AMAZING/SHOCKING what some people tell the person depositing their paycheck. This Christmas however, I have really gotten an idea of how much pain the Holidays can bring to so many people. With holiday nostalgia comes a longing for the times when loved ones who have passed away were there to celebrate with us. Not having all the people you love with you for the holidays can make a seemingly joyous occasion, painful for so many people. I have nearly been in tears at work quite a few times this month after hearing the pain that people are facing during the holidays, which has caused me to hug my family a little tighter and be exceedingly grateful to have the ones I love with me this Christmas.
Oddly enough, when Thanksgiving was here I was in quite a funk. For some reason I had the selfish misconception that I did not have a great deal to be thankful for. I look back now, and I am completely disappointed in myself for being so blind and taking for granted all the things I have been immensely blessed with.So I'll end this exceedingly long post with a list of things that I am grateful for, a little late...but as they say, better late than never:
A family who loves me without condition
Friends who do the same
The ability to afford and go to school(and only having one year left!)
A savior who continues to bless me, in spite of my ingratitude
Times of refining, and the beautiful outcome they produce
Goals(achieving those goals!)
And so many other unspoken blessings in my life
Tune it next time for: NEW YEARS resolutions!
Thanks for reading if you did...
Merry Christmas Eve!