I am grateful for HOLIDAYS.
I've loved Christmas and Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember. It is a pretty magical time at any age, but I especially have felt the wonder and magic of Christmas the past couple of years. In the eighth grade, I was having a kind of rough year ... until Christmas. I pulled on some holiday themed clothes, listened to Christmas music way more than I should have, and devoured Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel. I had never really gone ALL OUT for Christmas before, but then I understood the appeal. I was happy. I felt peace. I wasn't really as religious as I am now, so I don't think that this peace I felt was the spirit or anything ... It was really refreshing to be focusing on others and celebrating life.
This manic obsession with Christmas has continued to this day. I still listen to Christmas music way more than I should and watch Christmas movies like nobody's business. I'll admit -- sometimes, I am tempted to skip Thanksgiving in the hullabaloo, but it holds a special place in my heart as well. I love being with my family, eating delicious food, and having a good time in general.
I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR HOLIDAYS THIS YEAR. I can't even emphasize that enough. I would probably not be as happy every day if I didn't have them to look forward to. Christmas this year will be spent at the MTC. This is something that is so unreal and superb to me that I can hardly handle it. The opportunity is a gift in and of itself. Also, I am going home for Thanksgiving! And it's not even JUST for the holiday -- it's for a legitimate week. I can't shut up about it. People ask me my plans for this week and I always mention that I am flying home. I'm just a little stoked.
My visiting teaching partner for church, Maria, said, "She is just glowing. She is going home." It's true! I'm on top of the world! Homework and stress doesn't phase me because I will be eating delicious turkey and yams with my family in just over a week. My mission shopping isn't bugging me anymore, either. It's awesome. Being away at college has definitely helped me to appreciate the little things about home. It has taught me to love the holidays even more (I did not know that was possible). I can see this enthusiasm catching on with my little brothers and sisters and it makes me even happier when I just experience this joy for myself.