After successfully eating far too much food yesterday and continuing to munch on leftovers throughout the day, there’s nothing quite like the holidays.
We all have our own traditions, like decorating the house for Christmas the moment Turkey day is over, or filling the house with Christmas music a little early because it’s never too early to get in the holiday spirit. Whatever it may be, I’m starting to see these things change as I get older, understanding what it means to “come home” for these holidays.
Getting older means changing things we ask for from what we want, to what we need.
Getting older means trying to catch up with the friends you’ve missed, the number of them back in your hometown for the holidays dwindling every year.
Growing up means working for the holidays, adding extra hours to pay for the gifts you want to buy your parents because they deserve it.
Growing up means coming home for the holidays because believe it or not, you don’t really live there anymore.
I’ve been waiting for the holiday spirit to catch me, for the need to play Michael Buble’s Christmas album all day long and put up holiday lights in my room to come back this year. Thing is, every year, I feel it just a little less. Does that mean that I’m not a big fan of the holidays or I’m Scrooge, so to speak?
No, I don’t think that’s it, I just think our priorities change with time.
For the second year in a row, Cal Poly students have had the week off for the holiday to come home, eat food, and spend time with our families. As much as I’d like to say I’ve done a lot of sleeping and hanging out and movie watching… I haven’t, not a ton. Because we have finals coming up in two weeks, prep week a weekend away, and there isn’t a ton of time to relax.
If anything this week break has really just been more time to study and be productive while we have the ability to do so.
Now if you ask me about Christmas break, the 4 weeks we get off this year after finals, I can guarantee you I won’t be getting any more sleep but not because I’ll be spending my time productively.
As time goes by, I’m learning to look back and appreciate the time our parents put into making holidays special— they decorated the house on their days off from work, helped us make gingerbread houses that tasted a little off, even just to plan ahead in time to make our annual West Indian Christmas cake, even when they had a lot of other things they needed to be doing. Slowly things have changed, but I am happy to say, that last tradition is still going.
And my parents, well, I think they’re about ready to pass the torch. Soon enough it’ll be our turn to always be reminding them that they’re important or that they deserve to be showered with gifts; even if they just get lots of socks. I mean, think about it, it’s hard to shop for people who never make a list. It’s the effort that counts right?
One way or another, the holidays are here and with it comes a reminder that it’s not all about the gifts or the material side of things. It’s about the family, the time, the faith, and the love we have to share with each other. Because, whether I believe it or not, I guess being nineteen technically makes me an adult now, and the title comes with more responsibility with our own lives every year.
Yet, when it comes to this time of year and learning to appreciate where I’m at right now, I’m okay with taking that responsibility on— studying for finals and all. Because like I said, there’s nothing quite like the holidays.
Happy holidays everyone and I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Here’s to what seems to be a very blessed holiday season 🙂