Christmas is a time when life feels peaceful, and everything just feels right. I think it's because it's familiar. No matter which side of the continent I'm on, what size house I'm in, or what the weather is like, Christmas still feels like Christmas. Every year it's the same tree, the same annual shopping weekend, and the same songs on the radio. The only thing I wish I could change is how many people can make it to the table. Some years it's my mom's side, some years it's my dad's, and a few times it's been just us. That's what you get when everyone is just so far apart.
Growing up with half southeastern coastal roots and half southwestern desert roots makes it confusing sometimes. Didn't we go to Arizona last year? No, we stayed home. That was two years ago. When was the last time we visited Florida? I don't remember... maybe Thanksgiving? There's only a limited amount of holidays, one of me, and thousands of miles between my family.
It's cool to be able to experience different types of Christmases, with getting to learn new traditions and be in different areas of the world. I love learning about all the diverse ways people celebrate together. Some families participate in silly activities such as elf-on-the-shelf and the Christmas pickle. Other people like more spiritual traditions like the Giving Manger and Light the World. My family likes to use the holidays as a way to give to others, so our traditions consist of writing cards and delivering cookies to neighbors.
No matter where I am or who I'm able to spend it with, Christmas is still Christmas. I still love the scented candles my mom puts out and decorating the tree that is definitely older than I am. We still watch the classic holiday movies with hot chocolate in our hands, and if the climate allows it, we try to build as many snowmen as we can. When the house is constantly changing, I've found that it's the holiday season that really feels like home. "Home is where the heart is," and my heart is in December.