Christmas: The most wonderful time of the year?


Christmas: The most wonderful time of the year?

  • Mindy Wilson

    Mindy is a lover of travel, deals, ice cream and long walks on mountain tops. She is an esthetician by trade, and can be found at Sensibilities day spa providing skin care and waxing faces, (and...

Christmas Ornament. Flickr: Nick Amoscato

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Eddie Pola and George Wyle wrote it best in their Christmas classic about parties, snow, and all the other garbaly (word i just created) goo that warms our heart during this time of year. Christmas is one of my favorite times. Some people love choosing the best Halloween costume or going to see their families for the Thanksgiving Holiday, but the one I look forward to is Christmas. Planning parties, wrapping gifts, and decorating the tree gives me an oh so nostalgic feeling.

One of my favorite memories growing up was going to my grandmother's on Christmas Eve to get the house prepared for my small family's arrival. I would stay over the night before and would've probably stayed the night before that in order to wake up early and start preparations for all the presents I would get to open. Tasks included getting out my grandmother's "nice" card table (the one where the vinyl wasn't torn to pieces) and covering it with a cheap Christmas vinyl table cloth—the kind with the polyester fuzz on the back. The table would be used for the extra seating during meal time, when we'd chow down on my aunt's famous yeast rolls and stuffing and my grandmother's green beans and corn and dry turkey. We couldn't forget the punch bowl that came out once a year for an appearance. Grandma would suds it down in the sink, as it had "enough dust to plant a garden," as my grandfather used to say. It was then filled with a mix of ginger ale and frozen cranberry juice. Asheville mixed drinks have nothing on this concoction.


Just writing about this time in my childhood gives me the warm fuzzies. Yet over the years, as the family has grown apart, family members have passed, and people move in and out of our lives, I struggle to find the "good" feeling, the feeling that everything is all right, the feeling I had during this time of year. This is the beauty of being a child: living in the moment, and thinking time would stand still, unchanging. But then I grew up, became obsessed with social media, pending doom in our country, absolute irritation with drivers, customer service and retail workers, and it makes me question who I've become. Why I get so focused on things that are unimportant, and lose focus on things that are. Why does dread have to be my first emotional reaction to every small problem that happens, instead of appreciation that my stressors are so small?

So as I trudge ahead I must think about being the child I once was, full of hope and awe. That is the best gift I can give myself and others, this year and in years ahead.