Sunday, November 23, 2008

Holiday Spirit?

Thanksgiving is coming up in just a few days, but we've been hearing Christmas music and even seeing Christmas decorations go up all month long. It's hard to believe that "the holidays" are here again, it seems like they come faster each year. Christmas and Thanksgiving have always been my favorite holidays. There's nothing quite like that "holiday spirit" that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It's a shame it takes a holiday to get you in that mood. 

I was driving in my car recently and of course Christmas music was on the radio. The same songs they play year after year, sung by the same artists. I love Christmas music, even before Thanksgiving, but listening to it this year, I realize that the music doesn't have the magic it once did. It doesn't get me "in the spirit." The more I reflected on this, the more I came to realize that the holidays don't really have the same magic they once seemed to have. As a kid you start thinking of Santa Claus and all the gifts you'll get and everyone being in a really good mood and it just makes you happy. But something about getting older makes that magic fade a little bit, kinda like when you go to Disney World as an adult. The holidays begin to "sneak up on you" and before you know it you're making comments like "Wow, is it Christmas already? Where has the year gone?" -- typical "adult" comment. The holidays can even seem like a burden or something you have to "get through." 

This is still my favorite time of year, but for different reasons than it used to be. Now I look forward to the holidays because it brings the family together and you get tons of great food. Starting with Thanksgiving, my family begins what I've come to call a "holiday marathon" of parties, get-togethers, and just lots and lots of eating. I'm blessed to have a close family that genuinely enjoys being together often. Our favorite holiday activities include arriving late, eating, eating more, taking a group nap, eating more, then sitting around the living room talking about anything you can imagine. Then we do it all again the next day, and on like that for about a week or so. 

And of course I'm able to better understand and really take in the significance of Christ's birth, which is what we really should be celebrating. My favorite Christmas song is "I Celebrate the Day" by Relient K. I think it best sums up how I feel about this time of year:

Here's to friends and family, good food, and a real reason to celebrate!


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