It’s Christmas Eve, so naturally I’m reflecting on years past. The holidays can be kind of difficult, but I always try to remember and to remind others that the holidays can be what you make of them, at least if you try. Don’t feel pressured to have to “do” something. It’s hard, but you really can make it your own thing.

Over the years, Christmas has changed and evolved and sometimes devolved for me. I’ve enjoyed years in my childhood where the entire family would come together and we’d be cascaded with gifts, good food, and memories. I’ve had Christmases as a youngster where we were wanting for food and gifts and where we had very little. I’ve had Christmases where I was separated from my family by the state. I’ve had Christmases as an adult where I’ve had to work and I’ve missed the initial festivities. I’ve had Christmases as an adult where I’ve hosted parties, or gone to them with friends. I’ve spent Christmases with my significant other’s family and I’ve spent Christmases crying by myself in the dark with no money.

I happen to like Christmas best when it’s with family, and though that’s what I often strive for – I’ve also made due in those other situations especially now that I’m older. It’s so hard to get everyone together, especially with some people in the family being out of state and some people having passed on, and some people just busy in general. I’m thankful that I have a wife to share it with, but even if I didn’t – I’m just glad to see others happy. I really don’t care for Christmas much as an institution. My family has never celebrated its religious undertones. It’s basically just like Thanksgiving in that it’s just an excuse to get together, eat, and relax with each other.

So, that’s what I try to treat it as, and I don’t feel pressured if that makes sense. If I don’t have anyone to get together with, then I try to partake in everything else the holiday has to offer to the best of my ability. If I were single, I’d buy myself something nice. If I didn’t have much money, I’d at least make myself a nice meal or buy a nice dinner out somewhere. Or, just relax.

In any case, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone who partakes in the festivities. And, if not – that’s okay too. I appreciate you all.