A lot of people tell me their favorite holiday is Halloween. Now, there is nothing wrong with that. Beautiful fall weather and one night of dressing like that ridiculous obsession you’ve been hiding for years is a hoot and a half.
But let’s get serious.
Christmas is the BEST holiday. Cheer in the middle of what could and possibly would otherwise be a cold and bleak winter? The celebration of love, and family, and a miracle so breathtaking that even if you aren’t religious you should appreciate its stunning power? And of course, the reincarnation of human generosity and kindness that stirs the innocence of childhood in one fabled, legendary, God-like figure (aka dear old Santa Claus). Still skeptical? Scoffing at my poor choice in a mainstream favorite holiday? Let me give you some reasons as to why Christmas is so great:
1) It’s Christmas day, people. Do you hear the people sing? Singing a song of angry men?–Wait, wait. Sorry, that’s Les Miserables. Which came out in theaters today, btw, if you’ve been living under a rock and didn’t know.
But still, you don’t hear people singing a song of angry men–unless it’s your drunk uncle going off on a political rant again. If anyone is singing at all (like I am) it’s got to be a Christmas carol. My favorite type of seasonal music, Christmas carols just set that cheery, loving atmosphere. You feel safe when listening to Christmas music. It brings people together. And somehow, no matter what genre, no matter who is singing the song (okay, so some people really murder Christmas songs, but let’s be forgiving for a moment–it’s Christmas Day, after all) the music always seems to embody that Christmas spirit. I love it! Besides, let’s be honest: when you only get a month and a half (maybe less if you feel sorry for Thanksgiving and want to make sure it gets all the attention it deserves) seasonal music becomes something of a wonderful novelty–like my father’s rice krispie treats, my brother’s curry, and my mother’s cooking in general.
2) Children’s excitement and anticipation. You can’t tell me that a child bursting with joy because “Santa is coming!” isn’t absolutely adorable.
3) Family. Okay, so I know this may actually be a dig against Christmas for some people, but you can’t deny that, for at least ten seconds, being home is an absolute blissful relief. For someone like me, who truly appreciates the fact that blood bond means my family will put up with my attitude no matter what, being with my family is a safe haven. Having learned at a fairly young age how quickly life can change and people can be taken from you, I live for the moments that I can sit and enjoy the love and company of my family and friends without thinking about the worries of today or tomorrow. Christmas is the perfect opportunity for moments like this.
4) The food. OH MY GOSH, THE FOOD. Okay, so Christmas is usually no Thanksgiving, but that makes it great. You get to enjoy the same rare novelties of feasting that you do on Thanksgiving, but without the inflexibility of a Thanksgiving dinner. What? You don’t want to eat a whole Chicken or Turkey for Christmas for the fifth year in a row? That’s okay, I’ll make ham.
5) Christmas lights. There is something magical about Christmas lights. I don’t know the tradition behind them, I don’t know why they have become such an intricate part of the holiday season, but I sure enjoy having them around. When I was a small child, I would sometimes climb under the Christmas tree and lay there, admiring the lights sparkling among the branches. It’s weird, I know, but there is something of a romantic beauty in just trying to fully appreciate the wonder of a dazzlingly lit tree. But, besides their beauty, they seem to have a deeper, truer, more simple message behind them then even holiday beauty. Christmas lights are a signal of the hope that underlines the holiday season. They are lights that shine brightly–magnificently–in the dark of night. In an abstract way, they represent the man at the center of the purpose of the holiday–Jesus Christ. Isn’t that totally awesome?!
6) Finally, of course I have to address the religious motivation behind the entire holiday season. And, even for those of you who are not religious, or are not Christian, I still think the celebration of Christ’s birth is something that anyone can appreciate and a definite reason for why Christmas is the best holiday of all. Advent has always been my favorite part of being Catholic–that anticipation in the count down to Christmas while recounting the story of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem and Jesus’ birth is so exciting and incredibly humbling when you think about how amazing that baby grew up to be. Even if you don’t believe that Jesus was anything other than another man, you can’t deny his mind-boggling influence on humanity, history, and–obviously–people’s lives. I find it incredibly awing, and I think it only adds to the magic of the holiday.
So there you have it. I could go on, and on, and on, about reasons why I love Christmas the most, but there are still more than a few hours of the night to celebrate. And when Christmas only comes around once a year, I don’t want to miss a second of such a wonderful day.
God bless us, everyone, and a Merry Christmas to you.