What the Holidays Mean to Me

Christmas is over and the New Year has begun, does this mean that the Holidays are over? Is all of the celebrating coming to an end? That all depends on what the Holidays mean to you.

For me, the holiday season lasts all year. The holidays are not about the presents or the food. It is all about spending quality time with my family. Many years ago when I was a child I watched my family enjoy so many special times. Those times were not just around Christmas.

My grandparents were always a huge part of my life while I was a child. My father’s parents lived very close to us all through my childhood, and my mother’s family was only an hour away. This truly is a huge blessing that is so often overlooked by many people. Lots of children grow up with grandparents that live across the country or several hours apart. As a child I did not realize what a great advantage I had to have my grandparents so close to me. Sure, it was awesome spending time with them and seeing them so often. But as a child you don’t see that others are not as fortunate as you in this way.

Sadly, my grandparents are no longer with us, so now I have to look back to those times I had with them and remember to pass on that love to my children. Those times of looking back is what has given me so much perspective into the true meaning of a holiday to me.

There are so many holidays that the United States celebrates each and every day of the year. You can find holidays for everything from the major celebrations, all the way down to the most mundane occurrence. Most people immediately think of Thanksgiving and Christmas when they think of the holiday season. Not me, I think of each and every time I get to be together with my family. Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Independence Day, if there is a holiday, then we are celebrating it.

If I ever start to get frustrated with the running and business of any holiday, I take a moment and I think back to my grandparents’ faces. I remember the look they had in their eyes each time I was with them. I could tell they loved me when I was young, but now that I an adult I can look back and see more. I see behind the smiling eyes. I see the pure joy, and pleasure that they had in every moment with their family. Even the times when I was probably driving them crazy, they loved every minute of the time they had with us.

This is what the holidays mean to me. I do my best to surround myself with family on as many occasions as possible. We have a large family, so there is at least one birthday to celebrate in every month of the year. Not to mention all of the major holidays to celebrate as well. My grandparents always tried to make sure to celebrate all of these holidays with us. They even got the extended family in on a few of those holidays. My childhood is filled with memories of holidays surrounded by the love of my parents, sister, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and so on.

I hope that my children will realize this importance sooner than I did. I want them to see and enjoy this before many of their relatives are just a memory. They already have to look to those memories for some family members, and some family has been nothing but a story and a photograph for them. But those stories, memories and people are what make a holiday.

Holidays are about love, family, and the fleeting moments in life that will one day just be someone’s memory.

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