For the past 25 years I never really got into holidays. As a teen they usually were filled with an irate parent wreaking emotional havoc after dinner. This was such a constant, that when I got older I always thought it would be better to spend my holidays with people whom I didn’t know all that well or alone. I loved doing something crazy and a little different during the holidays — they became a time of exploration and self-reflection instead of a season filled with wrapping paper and long-held emotional baggage.
Some of the things I did during my holidays in years past included sitting quietly in a cafe reading or knitting, scuba diving in Bali, climbing an active volcano at dawn or chilling in a hot spring in Okinawa. All things that meant that my holidays, while fun for me, were times when I was alone.
This has all changed during the past couple of years since Doug and his family really like to celebrate.
I had forgotten the anticipation of the holiday season. How it could be fun — that people can actually enjoy themselves. Spending time with Doug’s family was really a change. Kids get so excited about things, family can gather together without yelling or tears. Traditions can be passed down from one generation to another. For the past 2 years Christmas has actually been fun. I find myself becoming less jaded about the season. Holidays now have a meaning.
Now that I’m expecting, I find myself looking forward to holidays, wanting to share them with Doug and Alex, hoping that they will become a time filled not just with traditions and presents, but also with reflections on what life truly is about.
Thanks to Doug, the holiday season for me has no longer become a time filled with cynical dread but rather a time when I realize just how much I have to be thankful for.