I absolutely love the winter holidays. Right after I finish my last piece of pumpkin pie and leftover Thanksgiving turkey sandwich, I am pulling boxes of Christmas decorations out from the crawl space and attic. I don’t know if it’s the Christmas music, the lights that illuminate the street, or the feeling of joy that overcomes me and everyone else at this time, but there is just something about the holidays that I adore. The month of December means eggnog, countless Christmas parties with unlimited alcohol, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” on repeat, Christmas TV specials, and presents! What is there to hate about the month of December and the build up to the best holiday of the year?
I have to admit that my love for Christmas stems back to my childhood (duh). The Garrity home movies consist of me flipping out over every single gift I received (a Fisher-Price table and chair set being my favorite present of all time) and raising my hands in the air, thanking Jesus and Santa and my parents all in one breath. I was the kid who slept underneath the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve just hoping to get a little glimpse of Santa. I was the kid who put on her snowsuit when there was about half an inch of powder on the ground, making snow angels in what was basically mud. I was the kid who ate all the chocolates from the Advent calendar on December 1st. All I have are fond memories of ornaments, ribbons, and stockings filled with presents, which could explain my love for the holidays as a twenty-something.
The holidays are amazing when you’re a kid, but it’s even more amazing when you’re a young adult. Omit the part about being single with no one to kiss under mistletoe or at midnight on New Years or the fact that you have to buy presents for people with the money you get from Unemployment, and it’s true! Being an adult during the holidays is a blast. Four words: Ugly Christmas Sweater Parties! Who doesn’t love to put on a tacky sweater with literally all the bells and whistles and drink yourself into a drunken stupor? The holidays are also the time when everyone heads back to his or her hometowns. So if you’re in college, away from your friends from high school, and itching for a taste of home—the holidays are there for you! Everyone is reunited! It’s also a time for seeing old family that you only get to see maybe once a year. In my case, that family is my cousin’s on my dad’s side that I adore and never see as much as I would like to. We play cards, drink beer, and reminisce about the good ole days. The holidays just make everyone feel good—warm and fuzzy, bright and bubbly. I can’t stress enough the glow of loveliness that flows through my body during the holiday season. I smile more. I laugh more. I bake cookies. I whistle as I walk down the street with my hands full of bags filled with presents for my loved ones. It’s just the holly-iest and jolliest time of the year, and I must gush!
As a twenty-something, we’re constantly being told to grow up and get with the program. We’re getting full-time jobs, signing leases on apartments, getting into serious relationships—we’re becoming adults. And we’re not supposed to believe in Santa Claus anymore or the spirit of Christmas or the magic of the new year and the fresh start it brings, but I call bulls**t on all of that. It’s okay to be a kid at Christmastime. It’s okay to bake cookies with your mom to leave out for “Santa” and to lose sleep on Christmas Eve, waiting to open presents with your siblings. Christmastime brings back all the memories from our childhood’s past that shaped us into the people we are today. I live for those memories, and those memories are why I love Christmas. The carol-singing, parade-going, Christmas list-making memories that I will carry with me through young adulthood and into “real life.” The memories that I hope to pass down to my children so that they’re Christmases will be just as wonderful and joyous as mine were. So Happy Holidays to you all, and I hope you let the kid inside you shine for the next couple of weeks.
Katie is finishing up her undergrad at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. She enjoys wasting hours on Facebook and tweeting things no one cares about. When asked the question, “Do you do marathons?” She promptly responds, “Of course! Which show?” Follow her @KatieGarrity! Or read her personal blog where she talks incessantly about Ryan Gosling and hummus here!