I could tell you the exact reason and the exact year I decided I hated Christmas but that’s not what this blog is about, and truthfully, that is a blog I will never write, for my own reasons. But it’s important to note that for a while in high school and even into college, I was very vocal about my distaste for the holiday. I wanted nothing to do with Christmas.
I remember one year around this time, sitting in my bedroom playing the “Where are you Christmas?” song from the Grinch on repeat and crying for reasons I couldn’t even pinpoint. I was not good with the holidays.
Then in the winter of 2013, I made a conscious decision to try to be positive about the season. I was going to give it my best shot and I was going to be positive throughout the entire month of December.
During that winter break from college, I took a seasonal job with UPS as a drivers assistant – meaning I sat passenger and chatted with my driver as we drove through the ice and snow in a truck that – with the constantly opening and closing doors – never quite seemed to warm up. The driver I was most frequently paired with worked a lot of businesses in the industrial park which meant heavy boxes – and lots of them.
Even just running sometimes upwards of 75 pound packages to residential houses through snow and ice was tiring. It was by far the most physically exhausting job I’ve ever taken – especially given the weather conditions during that month.
Still, I loved that job. I loved riding around on top of the world and making small talk with my driver. I loved seeing how quickly we could load and unload our truck and I loved that we quickly became the quickest pair, flying through deliveries like Santa Claus himself.
My favorite thing, though, was driving through the residential neighborhoods after sunset and seeing our own private light shows each night with decorations and cheer and light snowfall. It was stunning. And as I went door to door on Christmas Eve, dropping off last minute presents, you could see the relief on the faces of tired parents or anxious girlfriends hoping that their procrastination wouldn’t have failed them completely on this holiday season.
And it was fun. And I let myself love it. I told myself that Christmas could be beautiful and I made a conscious effort to enjoy the holiday season. That Christmas, my entire immediate family (brothers and parents) were under the same roof for the first time in two years. I was able to earn extra money working a job I loved. I helped decorate and I even listened to Christmas songs outside of “Where Are You Christmas.”
I know the holidays can be tough for a lot of people for a lot of different reasons. And that’s okay. You’re allowed to struggle with a day, a time, a season. That being said, you can’t let cynicism or hurt or your own pain shut you off entirely to a day or a time or a season.
There will be things that are always hard for you to overcome, but promise me that you will at least try. Give it a chance.
It just might surprise you.
Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza, and make the most of this holiday season – however you spend it.
Love, peace, good tidings, and cheer… always,