It’s the darkest time of the year, but it’s also the season of light- a time for reflection and peace. When I was little I found magic in Santa Claus- the milk and cookies I left out for him that would disappear come morning, a letter in their place. The glittery lawn and chewed carrots from his reindeer. The pile of presents from the north pole under our traditionally, and almost impossibly large Christmas tree.
It’s also a time for appreciating the friends and family who are with us, and honoring the memory of those who are not. One of these people is my grandpa Hank, who was a central part of Christmas in my memories. Although he is no longer with us, his enthusiasm for the holiday and a ridiculously large tree has stayed. In fact, the trees have just gotten taller. My memories of the past ones are skewed because I was so little, so now that I’m (a little) taller the tree is bigger than ever. Other traditions live on, like incessant classic Christmas music, wrapping presents for stockings on Christmas eve, stollen bread, buying presents for yourself (it’s okay they’re from Santa), and vases of irises. We continue all these traditions to recreate Christmases from the past and to keep that spirit alive.
As I’ve grown older the magic of Santa has faded away, but I’ve discovered that you can find holiday magic at any age. In the smell of fresh Christmas trees, apple cider, and baking cookies, the laughing and chatter of family and friends, and the excitement of wrapping up presents to give to them.
The holidays are a time for giving. Giving light, hope, warmth, cheer- giving presents wrapped up and carefully tied with a bow. Whatever holiday you celebrate, however old you are, take some time this season to give and be a light in this dark (and sometimes cold) time of year.