The Goddess Speaks
Christmas fun grows with age
As I get older, I'm more excited about everything Christmas and New Year's. I appreciate people's extraordinary visions for decorated lawns, lights strung and stockings hung, and my yearly holiday treats with anything peppermint in them.
It's worth the extra pounds I gain because as I get older I feel I am reliving my childhood. As a kid, I felt like I carried the world atop my shoulders, and now as an adult I'm free to fully embrace all the wonders of the holiday season. This is a perfect year to celebrate the thing about the season that makes every day feel special and forces me to see things in a new light.
Last week as I was driving in traffic, with the rain pelting my windshield, I noticed that the reflection of the streetlights had turned the surface of a puddle red and green. And I wondered why during the rest of the year I never noticed this. Why is it that only during Christmas I start to live my life as if every day is magical?
Last year I felt grateful compared with those who had less than me, but this year my gratitude is of a completely different magnitude. It's for all I've gained this year -- great job, good friends and an upcoming wedding. But it's also for all the things in life that suddenly seem like small miracles, that I hadn't been aware of before.
This year I am able to see gifts in ordinary events. Going out to dinner and being surrounded by kids in awe of a Christmas train filled with starry lights, Santa Claus and carolers. Or sharing a car ride with friends while listening to Christmas songs and passing beautiful displays of decorated lights.
It's the singing at the top of my lungs, happy in a crowd of people, dancing with wild abandon and feeling as though my partner and I are the only two people in the world. It's the long, deep exhale in appreciation of life, of living just for today, celebrating beginnings and letting go of things past.
It's being stuffed so full of gratitude that you feel you'll burst, because everything feels so completely right that it becomes overwhelming.
These are the memories that I long for and hope for during the holiday season. Not things that can be wrapped up or measured by money or even by time -- but the feeling that life is more than just getting by. I know that it is in these rare moments that I will feel totally alive.
Brandi-Ann Tanaka is copywriter in Mountain View, Calif.
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