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.