Home For the Holidays

By Alicia C., Age 19

Halloween has passed and November has just begun. This of course means that the holiday season has officially commenced. Ads on television already begin to advertise the perfect holiday gifts, stores and shopping centers are decorated with extravagant displays of lights and pine and the emphasis on family coming home for the holidays can be seen everywhere you turn. I’ve always loved the holidays. In my family, we never really had large holiday gatherings. Our house was filled with only with immediate family members. It was great to have just a small group of people to share these times with and to enjoy the company of people who truly cared about you.

As the years have continued to progress, however, the number of people coming to my house for Thanksgiving and Christmas has gotten smaller and smaller. And with the passing of my grandfather this past January, the only people who I will see on the holidays will be aunts and uncles.

When I think about going home for the holidays this year, I have mixed emotions. Sure I’ll be happy to see my family and friends but for me it is not the same as it used to be. But having one less chair around the table and one less person to greet seems to drain some of the joy out of the holiday season. Perhaps it will all just take some getting used to and perhaps I need to get used to the notion that I’m growing up and death is a part of life but it’s hard to keep my thoughts from wandering about how different things will be this year than they have been in the past. However, it is certainly important to remember to be grateful for what you have this time of year and to cherish the memories of what you have lost. I know, at least for me, it will be difficult to do this but at the same time I know the future will hold great things and, even though the holidays will not be the same, the changes will make way for many good things to come.