Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas, Reality Check

So when you turn on the TV and you see all the Christmas commercials, do you notice that they all have a certain look? The square, colonial-style house with a chimney, snow all around, etc? That's become our Christmas imagine, but why? That's not my reality. For goodness sake, I'm from California, where it never snows and rarely freezes. But we do have the best malls. Forget the snow, all I need for a good Christmas is time off from school to waltz around South Coast Plaza.
Christmas always seems more magical when you're younger, doesn't it? Somehow when you're 3 feet tall, your Christmas tree seems all the more gigantic and crouching at its base, you truly feel like you're in the middle of some great forest. And of course, the multitudes of presents seem endless when you're smaller. All the wrappings come off and litter the floor in a sea of colors. When you get older, and you actually have to buy presents yourself, somehow the magic chafes under the stress. You grow older, your tastes become more sophisticated, and yet there remains little to keep you jittery with excitement until the big day. I for one was really into those Play-Mobiles: I had the castles, the forts, the ships, the mansions...I had my own universe. What child doesn't love to create her own world and stand in the middle of it? My favorite Christmases were when I was a kid. I remember one year, I was maybe 8 or 9, and we went to Keystone for the holidays with my uncles and aunts and cousins. That was the first Christmas where I actually experienced snow. Then for awhile we went to Santa Fe. New Mexico in the winter is especially beautiful. Now, as a young adult, the greatest part of the Christmas holiday is not having to wake up for 8:00 classes - not having classes at all, actually. When did the greatest part of the holidays--or just the greatest part of my life--become the ability to sleep in?

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