8 Reasons Why I’ll Always Love Christmas

For whatever reason, I feel like more people have been bitching about the Christmas rush this year than usual. I totally understand that not everyone gets all “holly jolly” during this time of year for various reasons; but when those reasons include things like “not wanting to spend money” or “it’s so stressful finding the right presents,” it’s hard for me to muster up any sympathy. Seriously, if you’re complaining about spending time with extended family members or picking out the right presents, then consider yourself effin’ blessed. Oh, and if you get “stressed” just thinking about all the presents you need to wrap, then send them my way – I LOVE wrapping presents and used to wrap them for charity organizations when I was in elementary school. And I freakin’ rock at it.

Ever since I can remember, Christmas has always been my favorite time of year, and I’ve always found a way to enjoy the Christmas season – even when crap arises and people try to f*ck with my happy. When I was a kid, I was lucky enough to always depend on December to be a good time of year; and these are just some of the reasons why I’ll always love Christmas.

I love my Christmas traditions.

Aside from the years when I lived in London and NYC, I always loved going Christmas tree shopping with my dad. He would give me a height limit and budget, but then I’d find the “perfect tree” that was slightly above what he mentioned, and he’d buy it anyways. This year was no different.

Another Christmas tradition of mine is finding one special ornament with my mom to commemorate the year. Sometimes we find more than one, but our tree is literally filled with gorgeous trimmings that date back to the year I was born. It’s like my own special time capsule, and I know that no matter where I go or end up in life, I’ll always have that ornament collection with me.

The Christmas music.

I don’t know how anyone could despise Christmas music when they only have to hear it for a month or two out of the year. I have the best memories of performing Christmas songs onstage – from my “musical debut” as Mary in my Christmas pageant at Kailua Baptist Preschool when I was three, to singing for a dinner show at the senior center in London during college and having an old man interrupt my “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” solo by screaming for more mashed potatoes.

Watching classic Christmas movies.

The Hallmark Channel totally overdoes it, and they seriously need to come out with more movies with a person of color as the leading role (we’re more than just the “funny best friend,” damn it). But movies like The Polar Express, Home Alone, White Christmas, Love ActuallyElf, ALL the Santa Clause movies, The Muppet Christmas Carol, Miracle on 34th Street, and A Christmas Story will never get old.

The possibility of Christmas magic.

I’m not some Pollyanna who thinks anything special will happen to me, just because it’s Christmas (New York City did a good job in sealing the deal on my cynical side a long time ago). But I always find myself being just a LITTLE more hopeful around this time of year. In other words, I get to slip in to my Miracle on 34th Street “I BELIEVE” mood. It also gets me thinking about what I really want for Christmas – aka “what I really want out of life” – and it’s always a good reminder. Because if I focus on what I want, I’ll remember to do whatever it takes to make it happen. That usually gets lost throughout the hustle and bustle of the other months.

SIDE NOTE: I’ll never forget my most “magical Christmas” when I was 9-years-old. I had been studying classical piano for years, but was playing on a little keyboard my brother had bought me two years before, because REAL pianos are expensive as hell. Right before Christmas, I got sick and was hanging out in bed all day when my dad woke me up in the afternoon and told me to come into the dining room. Wearing my footy pajamas, I remember walking out to see the most beautiful black upright piano sitting there, waiting for me to play it. Over 20 years later, that’s still the piano where I practice and compose my music.

All the Christmas splurges.

I salute you health nuts who can keep to those clean eating plans during the holidays, but I’m not one of them. The holidays in my family have deep seeded culinary roots (plus, my parents were both professional cooks), and I make no apologies. Granted, I’ve been more mindful this year and have kept my holiday weight gain to under five pounds since Thanksgiving. But I love how this season revolves around the concept of enjoyment. Have a Christmas cookie or two. Drink a spiked eggnog or seven. Lord knows I’ll be wearing stretchy pants during my family’s traditional Christmas dinner of prime rib, crab, and my signature Christmas trifle.

Giving to others.

If you don’t use this time of year as a great reminder to give back to the world in some capacity, then you’re seriously missing out on one of the best things about Christmas. Every year, no matter how broke I’ve been, I’ve always made my list of organizations and causes to contribute to – either financially, or time-wise. I’ll always love Christmas for the sole reason that it inspires people to help those in need.

Forgetting about the stupid sh*t.

I’m sorry, but if you find Christmas to be stressful because you don’t like buying presents for people who expect them, then you’re doing it wrong. This is a time of year when you let the petty subside, you put a hold on your ego, and you let what really matters sink in. Maybe I’m just fortunate enough to come from a family that doesn’t put so much value on the materialistic, commercialized aspect of things. We always do gifts (not gonna lie – we have four stockings hung by the fireplace every year, and they’re all mine); but that’s not what we focus on. And when times are tough and there’s less presents under the tree, nobody cares. If you don’t have the means to buy presents, then don’t. And if you’re buying presents because you feel obligated to, then you’re doing it for the wrong reason. I know from experience that even a heartfelt card can mean the world to someone. I promise.

Remembering the reason for the season.

I don’t tout my “Christianity card,” because I’m highly embarrassed by most people nowadays who claim Jesus is their homeboy. But in all honesty, I think the main reason why I’ll always love Christmas is because I’ll always know the real reason why I, personally, choose to celebrate it in the first place. I can’t speak for others, but I’ll always consider this a season of giving, belief, forgiveness, and – above all – love.

So with all that said… Merry Christmas to all. And to all, a good night. ❤