Surround Yourself with Joy

Winter is and always will be my favorite season. I don’t mind the cold, and the holidays always make me feel nostalgic.

When I was growing up, the holiday season was a big deal in my family. It wasn’t even about the gifts. It was a time for togetherness. We’d put all the distractions from the rest of the year aside and spend real, quality time with one another, which can be difficult when you come from a big family.

I remember Christmas was my grandfather’s favorite holiday, and he’d always want to get a jump start on decorating—which is probably why I put up my tree mid-November. He’d go all-out: the whole porch, backyard, and every room of the house was covered in Christmas. The house almost felt straight out of Whoville. It felt so warm and welcoming. I loved it so much.

Now, every year when I decorate, I think of my grandpa. I feel him smiling down on me—though probably thinking I need to add something here or adjust something there—and it fills me with joy.

As I’ve gotten older and moved out of my parents’ house, of course, some of our holiday traditions have faded. I’m at the age where I’m starting my own traditions, though, and no matter how old I get, no matter where I am, winter will always be a time to celebrate with loved ones and surround ourselves with the joy and warmth of the holiday season.

Stay safe. Stay joyful.


Kayla W.