How was everyone's Christmas? Mine was really, really great. Maybe one of the best Christmases ever. I was able to go home for a few days to spend time with my family. Despite my parents still having some shopping to do on Christmas Eve, everything was very relaxed. Everyone was in a good mood (very little squabbling, which is a Christmas miracle all its own) and we spent the days watching our favorite Christmas movies, exchanging gifts, and taking naps.
Christmas is far and away my favorite holiday. Really, it's one of my top five favorite things in life (below Harry Potter, above pajamas). There's just something about it, you know? The music, the twinkling lights, a buzz of anticipation everywhere you go. There's a camaraderie of sorts among strangers. Sure, gift-shopping can get a little hairy, but in general people are good to each other at Christmastime. Everyone shares in the joy and excitement. It's the closest we get to real magic, if you ask me.
At Austin's Trail of Lights in Zilker Park, there is a giant Christmas tree made of lights strung from the top of a moon tower. For some reason, when standing beneath this tree, everyone has a sudden urge to spin around–literally everyone. There were children on their parents' shoulders, elderly couples laughing, middle-aged men spinning as fast as they could. Each person anchored themselves to another, threw their heads back, and spun until they became too dizzy (or fell), cheered on by strangers and friends.
Moments like these–these "love actually is all around" kind of moments–are what help me to remember that, despite how bad things can seem, people are mostly good. Life is mostly good.
I hope you had a very merry Christmas. Here's to the new year!