In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Getting Seasonal.”

I wouldn’t say that I miss the holidays when they are months away, but I do look forward to them. With bright lights, warm delights and merry greetings, what’s not to like? However, the holidays in Minnesota are a sign of bitter temperatures, hours of darkness, and immobilizing snow. Yet, without the cold, the heat wouldn’t seem as warming; without the blanket of white, nothing would shine as brightly; and without the weather forcing us together, we wouldn’t be as close as we should be.

The holidays begin with the crisp smell of leaves in the air that leads into mornings that are made better by ho ho mochas from a favorite coffee shop. They are then followed through with the scent of pine and scotch infusing homes and nights curled up by the fire with swirling wine glasses. These are the moments I long for all year. And don’t forget paid holidays! Being with family and friends when we would usually need to be at work might be my favorite part of the holidays.

And oh, the gifts! Who doesn’t like gifts? The one thing that almost ruins them for me is the gift exchange conversation. “You got me a gift? Then I need to get you one!” I want to give gifts to people close to me because I know they will cherish them, not because of what I get in return. I enjoy the experience of finding that perfect present for someone – and getting a deal at the same time is good, too! My sister and I discussed not exchanging gifts this year (her idea) so we could spend more on our parents. We both ended up finding gifts we “had to” give each other so we exchanged anyway!

I know the holidays can be hard for many. With family or financial problems, what should be happy times can instead seem stressful and overwhelming. It’s only the day before New Year’s Eve, and I’ve already heard so many people say how glad they are that the holidays are over. I want to tell them “Hey, we still have one more! Don’t ruin it for me!” I do start to feel sadness as the holiday season comes to a close. Without any planned days off work or a warm vacation, what’s there to look forward to? I think that’s why the holidays are an important time for us all to remember what we have and recall why we’re thankful. As 2014 comes to an end, I will try to keep my holiday cheer all next year.

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