Okay, so, yes, I am an unabashed fan of this time of year. Gushing, sentimental, nostalgic, etc. I am all of these things and I am unashamed.
The thing about it is: I don’t feel that my love for this season is the same as when I loved it when I was young. For one, when I was a kid, I loved waking up to stockings and presents. Nowadays, I am entirely more focused on the following:
102. wine and eggnog and spiced seasonal beers
103. every december evening spent with friends and family over all these foods and wines and eggnog and beers
104. christmas eve dinner with family and all those people who don’t have anywhere else to go
105. a languorous christmas morning brunch of abundance with sisters and parents and dogs and loved ones.
And the truth is, when you get older, Christmas becomes real. Yes, there is a lot of running around for presents and parties and obligatory events, but there is incredible joy in the food, the drinks, and all the gatherings over huge meals. You forget about the gifts, and think more about the feeling of the time. More so, there is a spirit of hope and renewal that makes this season, and all its accompanying work, worth it.
“Oh, Holy Night” sings “a weary world rejoices.” And it couldn’t be more true. We are a tired people coming into this season. Another year has gone, and while we are expectant for the new year, we are still weary and bleary eyed. And yet, there is hope in the advent, and in the manger, and there is hope with January 1. And at the end of day (or the end of the year) this is why this season is important: it gives us time to reflect on what was, and give hope for what is to come. We don’t need to be completely enthusiastic about Christmas, we just need to be prepared and at rest. And also, perhaps, we need to learn how to make some kickass eggnog to go along with it.