Christmas. It’s my favorite. I love everything about Christmas. I love the lights. I love the smells, (particularly cinnamon). I love the kindness. I love the music. And this year... I love the garbage truck with Christmas lights on it that plays Christmas music so loud I can hear it in my bedroom.
This year I was ready for Christmas early. Generally I have a strict “No Christmas before Thanksgiving” rule. But this year was different. About a week before Thanksgiving, I pulled out my iPod and pressed play. As my favorite Christmas album filled the air I was flooded with memories of boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations. Hours of singing and dancing around the house as we filled it with holiday cheer. I decided that day to decorate my bedroom. I bought lights and glitter-covered snowflakes and got to work.
For weeks I have listened to Josh Groban, Michael Buble, Amy Grant, Celtic Women, 98 degrees, and my personal favorite: Point of Grace. For weeks the sight and sound of Christmas has filled my heart with excitement and joy. Until last week.
The week before finals is always stressful. But this year was especially hard. On Saturday afternoon, I spent all afternoon in my bedroom. (I do not recommend this). From the time I woke up, to the time I went to bed, I was in my bedroom with the exception of 1 trip to the kitchen for food, and a few trips to the restroom. It was an emotional day. After spending nearly 12 straight hours on homework, I made a to-do list.
Please note: I am taking 19 credit hours this semester. I work 13-15 hours a week. And I have tried to maintain some semblance of a social life.
I counted 9 exams that I needed to take. And then I counted 4 papers I needed to write. At the bottom of my list it said “Pack.”
I burst into tears. For the fourth time that day.
This time it wasn’t out of frustration, stress, or exhaustion. This time it was because of Christmas.
My parents are in the middle of a divorce. I love them both very much, and I know that they love me. But I don’t feel like I have a home. I realized in that moment, it would be my first Christmas without a family. I sobbed. I sobbed until the tears wouldn’t come. I sobbed until I couldn’t breathe.
I don’t know what it will be like. Quite frankly, I’m scared to find out. But I learned something special this year:
"I think I can" becomes "I knew I could" as we work hard and never give up. Adversity is unavoidable but the way that we face our adversity determines the outcome of our experiences.”
This Christmas, I think I can.