By Kenyon Stronski
Christmas for me and I’m sure many others has always had one main concept at its core — family. Now it’s not always been about getting together on Christmas Day, opening presents and stuffing our faces with the delicious food my grandmother always prepares, but also about the month and days leading up to Dec. 25.
My grandparents take Christmas very seriously, and that gets showcased in the insane amount of work they undertake to put up and take down decorations each and every year. In their yard, you can spot a plethora of blow-up decorations, including Santa’s sleigh or a corgi and a present. In years past I’ve helped set up the decorations, and it’s always nice to get together with them and take some of the work off their shoulders; however in lieu of that this year my girlfriend and I stopped by to decorate dozens upon dozens of cookies.
I’m lucky to have as close of a relationship as I do with my immediate family, and as such Christmas doesn’t become as much of a ‘see family I haven’t seen in a while’ time of the year, but more like an experience we all go through together and I think that’s important. To me, family is the number one most important thing in the world and even if you don’t see them a lot, cherishing the time spent is always imperative.
There’s been plenty of years where I haven’t been able to spend Christmas Day with my family for a variety of reasons. My mom might be working, or someone else may have caught a shift that falls either on Christmas Eve or the day itself and there have even been times when we haven’t all been able to be under the same roof until January.
For my family and I — and I’m sure plenty of others — Christmas isn’t simply just about cramming ourselves under one roof on the 25th for a few hours before giving our salutations, but it’s the experience along the way. And for me, I think that’s where the ‘spirit’ of Christmas is for me. It’s a culmination of the events leading up to and after that make it so special, and I think that’s something important to remind ourselves of in these tough pre-COVID times.
Inflation is at a peak we haven’t seen before, and just the cost of simply living is starting to feel more like ‘surviving’ than living. It’s not fair some of us need to cut out small things just to make sure we can put food on the table, and it’s just as equally not fair that some of us may not be able to spend Christmas with our families this year. But hey, at least gas prices have gone down.