i have never had a snow day… despite the hundreds of feet of snow i played.froze.and built forts in in wyoming, and the wet slush i would trudge through on a thirty minute walk to class on campus in michigan. and i never got a snow day in the 60+ degree oklahoma winter weather either. but as much as i liked to complain about the cold weather, my pants being soaking wet, and constantly freezing, snow plays a significant role in my memories of christmas. because really, the majority of my christmases were spent in a winter wonderland. i don’t think anything can capture the pure beauty of a cold, quiet morning like looking out your frosted window to see the first snowfall. to see the snowflakes, so beautifully placed on the ground–untouched by human footprints.
there is something about snow that can make a moment feel magical.
but what i am trying to say is that you bring your own weather. if you want that snow, you find a way. and by this, i mean that the holidays are what you make of them. that you don’t need snow to have a christmas. that you don’t need all of the presents,wrapping paper, and boxes. that you don’t need to spend money you don’t really have. that when you take away all of that extra fluff, you might be surprised by what you find. create new traditions and partake in old ones. cherish the time you have now. right now. stop focusing on all of the distractions, and start remembering what you are celebrating and who you are celebrating it with. the best part about the holidays is that they only come once a year. make this one count.
in an effort to participate in holidays in a different way this year, the only thing i can say is that i am speechless. i didn’t intend to have the best october.november.december….but i did. i had a second annual pumpkin carving, carmel apple making halloween, and a first annual friendsgiving. i had failed attempts at apricorns and pinterest drinks and a night of laughing so much my stomach hurt. it wasn’t about the food, it was about the failed attempts in making it and the fun we had in making do with the disaster we created. i had a surprise thanksgiving visit to my brother and pumpkin pie making mornings, christmas tree decorating afternoons. and i’ve had a december filled with cupcake days, quintuplet dates of walking through the festival of lights, and a girls day of appreciating all of the city’s winter decorations. a night in baking with my mom. i’ve spent time finding the perfect gifts- and not out of obligation, but in celebration of a special day. gifts that do more.
do you remember that christmas joy? the excitement of the next morning, the not being able to fall asleep because you are so excited for a day of presents, favorite food, and visiting with family? do you remember using a butter knife to cut the tape on the wrapping paper with your brother in order to get a discreet sneak peak at all of your gifts? do you remember baking and decorating christmas cookies, cutting out snowflakes, and putting up decorations? and do you remember how magical it all felt?
if i’ve learned anything in the past month it is that you treasure today. and not just today, but right now. you spend time with your parents and you drive 30 minutes home just to say goodbye. you leave love letters scattered around for your boyfriend to find. because that clock is ticking and the seconds are going by way too fast. i’ve learned that you turn on christmas lights and bake with your mom while kicking your dad out of the kitchen to prevent him from snacking-even when you are tired and have work to do. and i’ve learned that buying gifts for someone can’t replace making memories with them. what i know is that people will touch your life for forever, even if they can’t be right here holding your hand. and so you find a way. and you say i love you now. you turn off your phone and spend time with the people who are in the room. you sit and talk. you love. and you love. and you love.