The holidays can be tough for a number of reasons. Maybe you can’t see your family over Thanksgiving or Christmas, or maybe you can… but wish those celebrations weren’t so long.
Choosing a university halfway across the country has cost me the past five wishbone pulls and day-after decorating, but it has opened my eyes to other traditions. I’ve been welcomed into four homes for the famous feast since 2010, letting me in on celebrations from families near and far.
For the past two years, my extended family has ditched gift-giving in place of sending boxes of necessities and treats to active servicemen and women. I’ll be missing Christmas this year as well, but I know from last year, the change was much welcomed; no hard feelings or disruptions from the once a year catch-ups to unwrap something we don’t really need.
What I’ve learned from these two changes from the norm is, no matter where you are, people care about you. When I can’t be with my family on the holidays, other people are willing to reach out to me. And when our military men and women are away, my family does our small part to help them feel close to home. It’s hard being away, but in a sense, it’s easier to experience the real meaning of the holidays: expending love toward one another.