I love Christmas. The decorations, the lights, the joy that seeps into everyone’s souls, all of it. I love the joy and happiness, the season’s greetings, and the well wishes. I love the scent of fresh pine needles, the warm glow of the fire, the twinkling of Christmas lights, the sweet sounds of carols playing in every store. Most importantly, I love how the holiday brings people together. My favorite part of the holiday is Christmas Eve. My family gets all dressed up and goes to 6 o’clock mass. Afterwards, we come home, my dad lights the fire, my mom sets the table with her good wedding china and her Waterford crystal candlesticks. My brothers and I watch a movie or some Christmas special on TV while my parents finish making dinner. We all then sit down and enjoy a wonderfully delicious meal. Afterwards, my siblings and I help clear the table and then disappear to our rooms to finish wrapping presents. We all reconvene around 11pm and, even though we are all older, ages 21-12 to be exact, we sit around the living room and take turns reading The Night Before Christmas. Then, all of the kids go to their rooms for the night. It is such a wonderful evening.
The presents are my favorite part of Christmas. Not receiving them, although that is nice, but giving them. I love giving presents. The thrill of looking for something that you know will bring a smile to a loved one’s face is so amazing. I search and search to find the perfect gifts to give my brothers, parents, and friends. I can’t shop too early for them though, because I am terribly impatient and cannot wait to give them their gifts.
The past few years however, since I have been in college, I have found myself focusing less on the physical gifts I give and more on making the memories and spending time with the ones I love. Only after moving 2 1/2 hours away did I realize how much I cherish the time spent hanging out with my brothers. Even simple things such as sitting around the dining room table blasting music from our computer and talking have taken on a new meaning now that I am not home everyday to experience them. The greatest gift, I have learned, is simply the gift of time. Time spent with loved ones. Time spent not doing much at all, but doing it together. Time that could be spent in our respective rooms, on our electronics, talking to our friends. So, this Christmas season, I am going to make a real and conscious effort to simply spend more time with my family. They say time is the greatest gift of all, and time spent with the ones you love is never time wasted.
I hope you all consider simply spending time with the ones you love this holiday season. It is something that may seem insignificant at the time, but will surely leave a lasting impression on all those involved. Merry Christmas!