It’s that week again, that dreaded time between finals, last day of classes, and the mountain of work keeping us from winter break. Especially with Thanksgiving and Christmas being close together this year, it seems as though there is not enough time to stop and smell the hot chocolate and peppermint. There is something about this time of year; something magical in the first snow -white flurries softly falling from the sky and the warm glow of twinkling Christmas lights beckoning me to get through the end of the end of the semester.
As a child everything was electric and exciting near Christmas. I remember hearing the upbeat Christmas songs crooning from the radio on B101, decorating the house with shiny golden garland, deep-red poinsettias, traditional nutcrackers and an endless array of snowmen figurines. I would stare in awe at the sparkling glitter snow globes and wish for a snow day.The house looked inviting and warm- although bordering on Santa’s workshop. The main event was carefully hanging ornaments on the tree with everyone gathered in the family room, with “Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree” and other classics to capture the event. Each ornament told a story.
It was not as magnificent as the Rockefeller Christmas Tree on TV with its star studded event and Swarovski Crystal tree topper, but looking at the tree glowing in the dim of the night was something to be seen.
We would watch holiday movies together. A must- see was “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” Even though I know all of the jokes it never seems to get old. I watched the Nutcracker Ballet on TV and was mesmerized by the beautiful gossamer, graceful dancing and shell- pink satin pointe shoes. The snow scene with the gorgeous white tutus swirling in the snow falling from the theater was magic.
Unfortunately, the magic may fade and people are consumed with their own lives and stresses to admire the beauty of the holiday. Black Friday shopping became a Thanksgiving night event. The season does surround gifts and presents wrapped in shimmery boxes with crimson bows, yet people should not be wrapped up in spending. New clothing, glittering jewelry, fancy perfume and electronics are nice, but there is so much more.
In the end no one remembers all the stuff that they got; presents are merely things and the memories stay forever.
Joy, excitement and warmth exude from Christmas songs, and everyone can learn from the lyrics. It is a time to spend catching up with family and friends and relaxing. Indulge in sappy holiday movies, belt out “All I Want For Christmas Is You” when no one is watching, bake snicker doodle cookies, cozy up to the fire, take a walk outside to look at all of the Christmas lights, play in the snow and dance as it falls down.
It is also a time to laugh and remember fond memories from the year and be grateful for getting through it when drama and school seemed too much, and hoping for the New Year. When the clock strikes twelve, glasses clink together, the mirror ball drops and golden confetti falls down, anything is possible. It’s the dawn of a whole New Year, new goals, and new beginnings.
New Year’s can be marred down in the status quo of lofty resolutions that can never seem easy to keep. Still, focusing on being happy and adding a bit of Christmas spirit and magic to every day is the best thing to strive for. It is the hope, as bright as a flickering candle in a frosted window,the gleaming lights swirled around a Christmas tree or the diamond-like sheen on new fallen snow. As the Coldplay song “Christmas Lights” sweetly sings: “Those Christmas lights/Light up the streets/Down where the sea and city meet/May all your troubles soon be gone/Oh Christmas lights, keep shining on.”