What the Holidays mean to me..

When I think of the Holidays there is so much that comes to mind; family, happiness, unity, laughter, new beginnings, bittersweet ends, friends, appreciation and so much more. Although there are so many different emotions and feelings that come with the Holidays there are three that I love the most. Those three are family, giving back, and bitter sweet ends.

Family is the most important aspect that I value during the Holidays. My family is not large in number but large in love. I like to say that it's not about the quantity but about the quality. Although my life tends to get busy during school, the Holidays are my chance to spend quality time with the people that mean the most to me. I am blessed to have loving parents, a loving brother, a loving nina and uncle, and a loving set of grandparents. I never take any of these relationships for granted because I know that at any given moment things can happen and I want to make sure I showed them and told them how much they meant to me. I am also appreciative of the friends who are like family that I love to meet with and catch up with during the Holidays. Not only is it a time to simply spend time with your loved ones but it is also a time to tell them how much they really mean to you.

As I have gotten older, I have realized that the Holidays aren't all about presents. In fact, my family and I decided to ditch the presents this year and use that money instead to go on a family trip together. I always like to remember the reason for the season which is God and appreciation. This time of year is a time to be with loved ones, give back, and most importantly to be thankful for the amazing year you had regardless of the negative. The negative can always be looked at as a positive because it too contributed to your growth and I am sure you were able to learn something from it. As much as this time of year can be the best time of year for some families I do realize that this can be the worst for others. Many families have lost loved ones and their Holidays will no longer be the same without them. Many families struggle to afford presents for their children. Many families in general are struggling financially and dread this time of year. Many families are even spending this time of year at the hospital because of a loved one that's sick. So, as much as I love to be grateful for the people in my life and the blessings in my life during this time of year I also love to give back. Whether it is volunteering during this time of year or just simply helping out a family that needs it. I definitely encourage you to do the same. There is nothing more humbling than the feeling of being able to help others. My family and I have actually decided that from now on every Holiday season we will be adopting a family through a church in Los Angeles and buying them their gifts and necessities instead of buying one another gifts. As we get older it's harder to think of things to buy one another, so why not use that money to make a difference in a families' life that really needs it?

The last part that I love about the Holidays are bitter sweet ends. Specifically, the bittersweet end of another year of life. Regardless of the good times and hard times I have faced throughout the year I still look at is as an important time in my life that allowed me to grow as an individual. The Holidays symbolize a closure of that past year and the opening of the New Year. A new year to capitalize on your goals and ambitions and to continue learning, growing, and making a difference.

The Holidays signify many different things to others but to me they simply symbolize family, giving back, and bitter sweet ends.

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