Being the baby in my family has always meant that I am the center of attention, especially on Christmas. I always get a few more presents than my older siblings, and even if I have less, the ones I do receive are bigger, like a bike or a Fisher-Price kitchen. Now that I am older and an introvert, I’ve begun to resent this factor. However, as a little girl, special attention was my kryptonite.
I used to conduct musicals on the platform that divides my kitchen and living room, and so when Christmas came each year, the presents I received were like roses thrown on stage after a magnificent performance. Everything had to be unboxed the second it came out of the wrapping paper, pink tutus with floral confetti combining with my pajamas to create an offbeat ensemble.
As time slowly dwindled by, I started to realize all the other ways in which I adored Christmas; I loved my stocking embroidered with my first and middle name, my nutcracker collection that had amassed a solid ten soldiers, and the garland that meandered its way down our banister. However most of all—during those years of purgatory between one Earth-shattering event and the next—I loved the fact that everyone was there.
Things were changing as we all grew in age, but Christmas was becoming the one day where everyone was under the same roof, and that meant the world. Sure, we had our presents strewn out over two days and two households, and there were at least two fewer people sitting around the tree, but the laughs were fuller and the thanks more significant.
Though I can no longer sit crisscrossed in the middle of my living room floor and scream with each piece of wrapping paper pulled from the box, I can most certainly look around me and feel the same emotions those nostalgic moments bring. Traditions cannot and will not last forever; it is the new ones that we must hold on to.