Ah, the first day after Thanksgiving, and the official start of Christmas season for most. The nights become most important. Settings that we are all used to become are now bathed in fake pine leaves, strands of lights, and a feeling of love and generosity. We bundle, we lounge, and we reflect on the year and who is most important.
My Christmas season used to be routine, when I was a kid, but every year since has been different. Now I don't have an exact script to look back on and think Christmas, but I have a feeling of love to cherish, and that is most important.
One exact event that could be labelled as my favorite Christmas memory was when my family went to Santa's Wonderland in College Station. It was spontaneous from my perspective, which is a rare thing for my family. I was surfing the computer, as usual, when my parents told me their plan. I was stoked. My siblings and I got our yearly Christmas pajamas that night (complete with slippers) and quickly changed into our snuggly uniforms. We were each given a variety of snacks, including popcorn, chocolates, Reese's Pieces, and our own drinks. (mine was hot chocolate, a personal favorite of the season) We grabbed our blankets and rushed to the car after taking a very Christmasy photo. Once we had climbed in, instead of watching a movie like usual, we read the story of Jesus's birth from Luke. Since the story was longer than the drive, the rest of the way we talked and enjoyed each other as a family. Because it was so late that night, the kids dozed off until our arrival. I remember there being traffic, but it wasn't significant in the memory. I do however remember the lights. Thousands of lights. Possibly even millions. Making rivers, houses, forests, skies, art, and memories for other families like ours. No need to get out of the car, we cruised through all snuggled in warmth of blankets, pajamas, and love. The night was perfect, and the air around it was the exact feeling I look for every Christmas. So thank you Chris and Maren Eberhard for giving me that feeling last year. (If you plan on it again, make sure it's spontaneous like last time(: )
And that's what I hope for every person during the holiday season. Not Black Friday deals, or the best lights in town, or even unplanned light surprises. I hope for the feeling that I gained from a loving family.