Cheers to the Paradoxical Nature of the Holiday Season

The holiday season is complex, to say the least. There is an influx of joy for some, a reminder of loss for others, a pressure to perform for many, and an excuse to cozy by the fire for some. I find that every year the holidays feel a little different for me. There was a holiday season I spent away from my loved ones, all while two important people were stuck in the hospital (give a wild guess of which year this was). This year, I am embracing the holiday spirit (decorations and all) and I am actually looking forward to hosting loved ones for Christmas.

Beyond the duality of cheer and loss, I also dance between the best holidays in the world (Puerto Rico!!!) and the allure of the quintessential American Christmas. I have to play my dad’s holiday music while I make coquito with Don Q, but I still enjoy Christmas carols while sipping on hot chocolate (maybe with some Bailey’s). We’ll bake a honey ham but have arroz con gandules and tostones as the sides. These seeming paradoxes make up who I am today. There are also new experiences that help shape our traditions today and for years to come. I can’t wait to see the holidays through my niece’s joyful eyes.

No matter where you are in the holiday celebration spectrum – whether you are obsessing over moving the Elf or sitting in solitude – I hope you find time to breathe and practice a little gratitude. Whether it’s being thankful for a strong wifi connection so you can FaceTime your loved one in the hospital or feeling grateful for a warm home to welcome all your guests, there’s always something to be grateful for. 

¡Feliz Navidad!

  
Whether you are on top of a snowy mountain or basking in the Caribbean sun, I hope you are all happy and surrounded by loved ones. That’s what it’s all about, right? 

Focus on what you have today and cherish it. Take a moment to let those far away know you are thinking of them. Enjoy every second, even if you are in your pj’s watching tacky Christmas movies. There’s no place for hate today, let’s keep that living on. 

Happy Holidays!!

Christmas Morning

In the midst of the sweet chaos that coming home for the Holidays entails, I wanted to take a second to be cheerful and cheesy. I love Christmas time, it’s really the best time of the year (besides my birthday, duh). I love seeing everyone come together, if only for a day.

I love seeing people go out of their way to come together in celebration, but most importantly, I love the magic it brings to life. I don’t even dare say what we know to be real or not, because on a day like today I like to believe that all of us believe a little more that we care to admit for. My little sister with special needs has already been told where the presents come from, but still, she left her letter with cookies as she did every year. I don’t think I’ll ever know what’s truly in her mind, if it’s pretend or not, but seeing her this Christmas morning made me very happy. She was sleepy and grumpy, but for a second we were all there in the floor opening presents together and it felt as magical as I always remembered it to be.

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