Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The low-down on holidays

I'm thankful for holidays... and the good times that come with them!
It's safe to assume that I'm posting this primarily because my Thanksgiving Break just started, which makes me very happy. I suppose that's the first thing that makes holidays so great... they give us a break from school. Which, sometimes, is much needed and is always greatly appreciated.

Holidays also give us something to be excited about, something to celebrate, something to bring us together as friends and family. And some holidays are really fun to decorate for! :)

The "bring us together" part of holidays is probably what I like the most. That's what makes Thanksgiving and Christmas so great. They're wonderful family-time holidays. It makes me a little sad that I'm not going home for Thanksgiving this year. It will be my very first Thanksgiving away from home. However, I still have wonderful people here in Utah to spend my time with. (Love ya Tammy!)

Holidays are all about traditions though. My family's Christmas traditions are probably my favorite... we have them scattered throughout the month, not just on the actual holiday. I actually kinda like our Christmas Eve traditions more than our Christmas Day traditions, truth be told! We always go over to my maternal Grandparents' house on Christmas Eve for a light dinner. We read the Nativity story and sing songs. We make hot chocolate. We keep an eye on the Santa Watch website so all the cousins can see where Santa's at in the world. We go for a nighttime walk around the neighborhood, which is cool because all of the houses in the area put white paper bags along the curb, fill the bottoms with sand, and then place a lighted candle in each one. My siblings and I often help my Grandpa set up bags on the block and light them once it becomes dark. It looks pretty cool. We also started a tradition this past year where we do our own version of the Advent Wreath. My Grandma tweaked it a little to fit our religious views, and I like it. We do a new candle on the wreath each Sunday, and then on Christmas Eve we add the final candle and switch all the candles from colored (last year we used pink, I think) to white.

The streets lined with lit-up paper bags

The thing about holidays is that people tend to be more focused on the material part of the holiday than what the holiday actually stands for. Christmas is the biggest example of that, but it happens with Easter quite a bit too... and the 4th of July. It's about our freedom, not fireworks and barbecues! All the celebrations and activities and presents are fine... we just need to keep in mind the real meaning of holidays. Keep in mind why those days are holidays in the first place!

I'm thankful for the holidays that serve as a reminder to me about important events or concepts in my life. I'm thankful that holidays provide me with the opportunity to spend time with my amazing family members. I'm thankful for the precious memories that I've gained thanks to holiday experiences. Thanksgiving is just a few days away... have you stopped to consider why we celebrate it? Why we're out of school, why we get work off? How about other holidays? Take the time to think about it. You may make some fun discoveries.

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