There are those of us who believe that Christmas is all about giving. There are also those who believe that Christmas is all about receiving. However, to many of us including me, Christmas is all about the experience. It’s the spirit, the music, the lights, and of course spending time with those you love is what truly matters. Although, it’s the little things that make each holiday season special.
This year I was fortunate enough to be able to provide my family with thoughtful gifts and I myself received great presents. Although I am ever so grateful, that was not what made this Christmas season unforgettable. This was my first holiday season living in Manhattan, where the spirit surrounds you. Everywhere you go there are shining lights, music playing, and smiling faces… well at least from children and tourists. Though the city is known for the shopping, sightseeing, ice skating, and music around Christmas; once again, it’s those little things that fill our hearts with spirit. There is nothing like spending an evening in with friends, having a few drinks, telling stories, and of course, admiring the city’s view. This is what the feeling of Christmas is all about. Being surrounded by those that you not only love, but those you love being with. Though I cannot go into specifics, these kinds of nights are what make our friendships closer. They give us more memories, more stories to tell someday. Now that is a Christmas gift too valuable to put a price on.
Though spending the Christmas season in Manhattan is quite the experience, going back home is truly where you will find the greatest gift of all. Your old memories and the opportunity for new ones to be made. When you spend a lot of time away from home, it is important to revisit the people or places that mean a lot to you when you come back. There is no better feeling than reuniting with the ones you’ve missed. Sometimes it feels as if you missed out on a whole world; and other times it feels as if nothing had ever changed. Perhaps the moment when I felt this the most was when I went back to my old high school just days before Christmas for the winter chorus concert. As a choir alumni, it meant a lot to me to go back and see my old friends both in the choir, other alumni, and of course our wonderful choir teacher. At the end of the concert, we did our annual tradition. Both the choir and former members sing the Hallelujah Chorus and this is where once again, those little things come into play. None of us cared that we were all on stage and had a massive audience, we all hugged, laughed, and said stuff like “omg bae I missed you” to our long lost friends. Though we try to squeeze in as much social time as possible on stage, the real bonding happens after the show. One thing I always feared is being forgotten or ignored. I was afraid that my old friends would forget me for some reason or not be as interested in talking to me anymore. Thankfully my fears were not a reality. Everyone was so happy to see one another whether they haven’t seen each other for months or minutes. One of my friends invited me to come out to dinner with him and a large group of our friends afterwards; that night was hands down the highlight of my Christmas season. Forget the nights you don’t remember at the clubs, or insane parties, there is nothing like being able to sit down and talk with friends you have not seen in ages. The stories told are stories I will never forget and the laughter, love, and memories from that night were definitely my greatest Christmas gifts of all.
It’s the little things that make us smile, that we love, or brighten our days, that are the most valuable Christmas gifts anyone can ask for. Laughter, friendship, and memories are too valuable even for the highest of price tags. Therefore, it’s those little things that will always be at the top of my Christmas list from now on.