Christmas this year was not the same. I worked both Christmas Eve and Christmas, the same old giddy feeling I got as a child was missing – but that’s okay. The spark seemed to be gone, and at first, I felt empty – like maybe the Christmas spirit is something you only get to enjoy as a kid, and now, as a new adult, I won’t ever feel it again.
And then Christmas weekend came. My parents drove the four hours down to see me for only two days because they knew it would make me happy. When I drove through the Dunkin Donut’s drive through for coffee Christmas Eve morning, the lady infront of me paid for my coffee. At work, a resident gave me a hug so big I thought I would melt, and told me he loved me simply for giving him a second milkshake when he asked for it.
Maybe I’m not sitting around a Christmas tree with my family at 5 AM, which I miss, but the spark isn’t gone. Christmas for me has never been about presents. I like giving – seeing the excitement on a friend’s face as they open a gift you gave them, getting hugs and kisses, and the warmth family brings. But receiving has never been what it’s about for me. I’m also not super religious – so Christmas for me has always been about the spirit – about everyone caring and giving and being. The spark is still here.
It lives in the Facetime chat with my family this evening where my niece blows me kisses and my grandparents laugh at the funny filters the phone puts on their faces. It lives in the Christmas lights on cars driving down the Highway, and in the stranger who wished me a Merry Christmas this morning in her Santa hat as I walked to my car. It lives in Secret Santa at work where co workers smile knowing someone thought of them.
Christmas is a feeling, and if you open yourself up to it, it’s not a feeling that can just go away. So don’t lose faith. You’re growing up. Things are changing. But that spark you felt as a child, waiting for Santa and being so giddy you couldn’t sleep – that feeling isn’t gone. It’s still there inside of you. It’s just waiting to be coaxed out.