As some of you may know, 2014 has been a very difficult year for me both professionally, and especially personally. Despite these hardships, I've been looking forward to winter and christmas more than I ever have. This longing for the holiday season has made me really think about what I truly love about Christmas, especially when it can feel like everything is collapsing around me.
Family traditions, more valuable than any gift, are what make christmas for me. Traditions such as watching old holiday specials I've seen since I was a kid, listening to old christmas music, and especially viewing christmas lights and decorations. I can remember the very first christmas I spent in Los Angeles after moving from Hawaii almost 10 years ago. No decorations. No music. No holiday specials. Just a small plastic tree I picked up from a drugstore where myself, my sister, and her boyfriend opened presents for about 5 minutes. While we were all making good money at the time, I wasn't able to take off work to see my parents back in Hawaii. Now, I have almost my entire immediate family here with me to enjoy all the traditions we created in the islands. Sure, you can put a price tag on an XBOX One or an Ipad, but not on watching a christmas boat parade on Balboa Island, Montrose main street lights, L.A. Live's spectacular christmas light display and ice-skating rink (if you don't skate), and even more holiday events that I have yet to hear about. Now, we just have to start watching our holiday specials before the big day this thursday.
So what does christmas mean to me? Family. plain and simple. None of those activities I explained earlier would be any fun without my family to share it with, and who understand how sacred these traditions are. I hope that the rest of you enjoy those special traditions you have with your family this week, and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!