The presence of constantly baked goods? Check.
Pretty lights everywhere? Check.
An excuse to eat and drink excessive amounts? Check.
I mean who doesn’t love a room filled with the aroma of a fresh cut balsam fir tree, that is covered in tinsel and decorations, and filled with the people you love? The holiday season is hard to dislike… Or is it?
There are so many aspects to the holiday season that I undeniably love, but there is also a few that I can’t help but absolutely dread. Those baked goods you inhaled after dinner, ya those are going to come back to haunt your hips later. Not to mention, that one Christmas song you keep hearing everywhere and is constantly running on a loop through your head.
Or is it the way it feels to show up to all the holiday parties and festivities alone and answer the same questions every time, “no date this year?” or “what happened to so-and-so?” I just walked into the room alone, and probably already answered this six times, isn’t the answer obvious?
Worst of all, though, it’s the way the holidays have changed since I was a child. I remember every year growing up, I would participate in the local food drive with my school. Every member of my family would fill up a shoebox with gifts for a child in need and we always sponsored two kids from a third world country.
I’m not bringing this up to brag about the generosity of my family, but to emphasize the ways in which I have let my parents and all those kids in need down. Every year for the last few years, the holidays have become a reminder to me of how selfish the world can be, and how selfish I can be.
Tons of students out there struggle to pay for their education, but what about those kids who will never have the opportunity to even start an education? Parent’s struggle to surprise their kids with the new x-box they want, but what about those who are struggling to put food on the table?
The holidays are a reminder of the people we are, and the people we want to be. Sometimes it hurts to wake up and realize that you haven’t been as generous or as kind as you should have been. I know I hate feeling guilty or like I have let someone down. The part I do love, though, is how it drives me to become better.
This year, I want to wake up Christmas morning and know that somewhere out there, there is a person smiling because of me. I want to forget about the trivial and insignificant problems such as being single or gaining/losing a couple extra pounds, and make sure that they don’t consume my thoughts. The holidays are a time for giving, and it’s about time we got back that mentality. We need to make sure we fill our minds and hearts with thoughts of those who need it most and only then can we stop and enjoy the lights, food, and the company of our loved ones.
This year, I’m going to give someone else a reason to love the holiday season instead of myself.