I've always had a thing for winter. Some sort of odd fascination. Maybe it's the transition from dead and withered nature we experience in the autumn to the ruthless kiss of winter. A deep contrast between shades of gold and auburn and blinding, iridescent white. I've always thought of winter as the teased little sister. The one that begged for approval from their older brother. She's misunderstood so she puts a lid on her emotions. Until, one day, she cracks.
Or perhaps it's the deafening silence that sets in once winter arrives. Creatures seek shelter. Every day is a new shot at survival. Kill or be killed. That's the number one law in the unwritten code of nature. You either adapt to change or die trying to do so. But that's the animal law. A continuous cycle of life and death that people should not meddle with. It's not our battle to carry.
Out of all winter months, December is the closest to my heart. Is it because December marks the beginning of a new era? One where cold, snow and frost dominate everything in plain sight. Nothing compares to those nights where you cozy up next to the fire with a good book and cup of hot cocoa in hand while winter plots its revenge against nature just outside your window. But sometimes you can find beauty in terror and the unknown As the wind blows against the glass, placing a deathly kiss upon the surface,it leaves a glazing trail behind. The trails intersect, the ice metamorphoses languidly into an intricate spider web like pattern.
As much as nature fascinates me, it's not the main reason why December makes me smile like no other. My family instilled the holiday spirit in me. I was taught to be grateful for what I have been offered because I realized that most kids weren't as privileged as I was.
I'm not going to be a hypocrite and admit it, I was a snotty child. I had everything and it still wasn't enough for me. I don't think that's ever going to change. So I would make use of innocent schemes to talk my parents into getting me what I want. That sounds like a nightmare child, right? It so happens that I am an only child. Therefore, I got away with it every time. Whatever I wanted, no matter how crazy it sounded, they still made sure I had it.
Growing up, I came to the conclusion that Barbies and dollhouses aren't everything in life. In fact, they are as insignificant as they can get. Children in poorly developed countries have scarce amounts of food while the average human being buys everything in bulk, out of greed and ends up tossing more than he consumes. As for today's generation, children choose iPhones and iPads, over classic toys such as dolls and remote controlled cars. This is partly parents's fault as their heavy consumerism influences their children negatively. I can only imagine the look on a poor child's face if he got a small metal toy car or a rag doll with pretty hair. Not having much gives you the opportunity to see things in a different light, become more appreciative of every item you own.
I remember looking forward to Christmas time every year. I loved to help my mom with the preparations. While cooking wasn't my forte, I was completely enamoured by the Christmas tree. I would marvel at how something so big could make a small person like me so happy. We started the tree decoration tradition with natural pine trees but we ended up choosing artificial ones because it would get harder and harder to deal with the shedding with the pine needles. That meant I had to say goodbye to the intoxicating scent of real pine which made me a bit sad.
When I was little, my mom wouldn't let me play with the Christmas ornaments and line them up the way I wanted. That responsibility fell into her hands. But for me, the most special thing about decorating was the tree topper. The cherry on top of every Christmas tree. I had the honor of placing that beautiful shiny thing up there. As years passed by, I eventually got a small tree to decorate to my liking.
Essentially, holidays are not about who gets the bigger or the most expensive present. They're so much more than that. You learn to appreciate the time spent with people you love. You give out of the kindness of your heart. Because sometimes it's better to give than to receive.