Mason%2C+Ashley%2C+and+I+%28refusing+to+acknowledge+my+brother%2C+Kasey%2C+in+the+background%29+on+our+way+to+Central+Woodlands+to+go+sledding.

Momma Dantuma

Mason, Ashley, and I (refusing to acknowledge my brother, Kasey, in the background) on our way to Central Woodlands to go sledding.

When everything was replaced, this was irreplaceable

The holiday season has been losing it’s pine-scented touch over the years.

Replaced by alternative supplements, the pill that is excitement for the holidays sits idly by in the cupboard under my sink. This list is including, but not limited to, exams, Panera Bread, holiday shopping, and a nagging fear of final grades.

Nonetheless, one of my favorite holiday traditions is planned for Christmas Eve: me and Mason’s traditional, yet unplanned, every year, gift exchange. It doesn’t sound like something that would take very long, or should even be considered a tradition, yet it is one of the biggest staples of my holiday season.

I always hated Christmas Eve for the single, simple, and selfish reason of chasing a Christmas morning. Since me and Mason began our seasonally-informal hangouts, Christmas Eve is now one of the things I look forward to most for the holidays.

He always has cookies at his house (with the good frosting), and we head downstairs and turn on the T.V. We exchange gifts and, by that point, I usually insist on making microwave popcorn. It’s nothing special, or exciting, but it feels like home—I always know, and rest reassured, that it is going to be there.

In a year where so much was taken from us, I am incredibly lucky to have this one constant as a beacon of light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel—a reminder of what normal felt like. And, although the season loses its spark with more and more years lacking the promise of Christmas snow and winter cheer, this tradition acts as an anchor for me throughout life itself, especially the abnormal ones we are living right now.

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