Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What the holidays mean to me.

With all the gift guides and decorations, I really wanted to reflect a bit on what the holidays really mean to me.  Based on my own beliefs, part of me wants to shun the Christmas season.  I sometimes feel hypocritical celebrating a holiday that is founded on things in which I do not believe.  Upon further contemplation, I have decided the holiday season is really about what it means to me. 

Well, what exactly does it mean to me?  Let’s make this thought-provoking post a little bit simpler:

-Spending time with friends and family – so often I don’t want/enjoy traveling down to Georgia, but I actually look forward to it around the holidays.  I definitely feel lucky to have such a long break as a teacher that allows me to enjoy my time more.

 [MPK loving her gifts last year]

 [We got to enjoy a white Christmas in Georgia last year]

-Being merry – I have found this a bit difficult this year.  The school days are creeping by, and the students are acting out.  Nonetheless, there is something about twinkling lights, a warm house, and eggnog that brightens my spirits.

[Garfield Christmas and Home Alone :: My two favorite holiday movies to curl up with D to watch]

-Giving – I absolutely love gift giving.  I adore searching out the “perfect” present for everyone in my family.  There is something that is so fun about it.  This year, I’ve been into homemade gifts which add another element of pride to gift giving.  I love for recipients to have something that lots of time and love was put into making.  Gifts are a way for me to show those that I really put thought and effort into something I hope they will love.  It's a way to say thank you or I love you.  Unfortunately, D and I waited a little too late to get a student from my school to sponsor, but the season definitely makes us give to charity/help our community more than we do through out the year (which isn’t necessarily a good thing, but better than never giving I suppose?).

 [Gifts under our tree]

-Food – It’s funny how some of my favorite foods/dishes are cooked only once per year.  What better reason to look forward to a season than for food you only eat once.

 [Sweet potato souffle, mac-n-cheese, stuffing, turkey...yum]

Are my reasons superficial?  Yep.  Regardless of what you believe, I think we can all agree that the original “reason for the season” has long fallen by the wayside.  You have to make the season about what it means to you.  We have to make that special point to celebrate and remember the reason for the season, if that's what we believe.  Create your own traditions.  D and I have made our own traditions, and I look forward to celebrating those holiday traditions that are special to us.  

 [Christmas 2008 - we may have retired the tree but we're still going with artificial + the same ornaments, add a few]

 [2008 - Torturing Dressing up our cats in the same Santa costume...we're doing it yearly and it never gets old!]

 [Since 2005, we celebrated by spending Christmas night together.  A good ole steak meal was our homemade meal of choice in 2009.  We've made new traditions since moving to NC.]

 [Traveling with the dogs is a new holiday tradition!]

With 7 days until we head off to the Bahamas, who knows, maybe we'll make a tropical vacation a new holiday tradition!  

No matter what you believe or what holiday you celebrate, I hope that you are able to get past the commercialization that the season has become.  Enjoy this time to curl up with someone and watch funny holiday movies.  Try something new (like crafting a holiday gift or decor for your home or cooking)!  Laugh with family and/or friends.  Be kind and thankful.  Give to others who you normally would not give to and thank those co-workers who help you get through.  Find a new, special way to celebrate your religious beliefs with those close to you.  Build new traditions and take lots of pictures :)


WannabeRunner said...

Nice post. :) That screen cap of Garfield makes me smile!

Joanna said...

I like this post because those things are what does it for me on the Holidays. I love gift giving, too and I put in a lot of effort to find that perfect gift. This year, I am also doing homemade gifts and I am thinking of doing cookies on a nice dish. I know I enjoy getting food :)

One of my favorite things is also celebrating with my students. This year I actually have an amazing class (probably my best class ever. I've usually had the ones that are crazy hyper.) so we will probably do some fun things! Can't wait.


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