It's glancing out windows at the streetlight as if they're some sort of shooting star. It's plugging in Christmas lights and decorating the house just for the spirit of it. It's lying in bed at night and realizing that it's going to be Christmas day. I'll look at the sparkling star on top of the Christmas tree, whiffs of evergreen catching under my nose, and I'll taste the scent of the holidays on my tastebuds, and I'll hesitate. If this is Christmas, then why doesn't it feel that way?
Driving down the highway looking at tail lights like moonlit memories. It's always this drive, two hours in the car with the moon and stars as our only guide. It's country music on the stereo when we pass down those country houses in the middle of no where. I know this road; if I close my eyes, I can map out the distance from here to my home. I know where we are, the intersection of that school we never see students leave and the corner where that woman and child sell fruit. It's the same every time we drive by, only now, a single streetlight casts golden rays onto the intersection. In the distance, something twinkles.
The country houses on the hillside are covered with lights. From the typical red, blue, and green stringed lights to sparkling snowflakes, they decorate the houses, illuminating them in the night. It never felt much like Christmas to me this year, no matter how much I tried to fake it. I would hang golden ornaments and garlands, place a tree in my room with a red star that can't stay up, drink hot chocolate by the dying fire, all for the idea of it. To me, it didn't feel special. Yet, I look at those sparkling icicles and I feel the excitement burst within me. For the first time this year, I felt that burst of the Christmas that I thought I had lost. For the first time, I felt like everything would be alright.
Strings of lights decorated the fences of those country houses, running alongside us as we drove by. They chased us through the night, shining on us smiles as we passed by to the next. On that night, we would point out the houses with the best lights, oohing and ahing into the night air. In that cramped car with our luggage in the back and Christmas music blaring on the stereo, we looked at Christmas lights.
My father drove us through the ins and outs of town, pointing out the brightest houses for us. We took a detour from home, ending up at the opposite side of town. We drove from the courtyard of mansions to the narrow bumpy roads, staring at the houses in wonder. Decorated Christmas trees peeked from their windows, waving to us with their bright lights as we laughed in the car. Looking at them, I was reminded of a time long ago. I was reminded of the wonder I saw in those twinkling icicles, those smiling snowmen, those winking stars; I was reminded of that Christmas spirit that I had lost.
It's glancing out of fogged up car windows at Christmas lights as if they're what will make this year alright. It's plugging in the Ipod to the stereo and listening to Christmas songs. It's sitting in that backseat and realizing that this is what Christmas is.
Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it! And if you don't, happy holidays!! I hope everyone has a lovely day full of smiles and merriment!