Most wonderful time of the year

December is upon us, meaning Christmas time is here once more. I always look forward to this time of year. I love everything about it, from getting to spend time with loved ones, to listening to Christmas music unreasonably early, to buying Christmas decorations and much more.

In recent times, the over-commercialization of Christmas has become so ridiculous to the point where stores start selling decorations in early October. A lot of people cite this as the reason why they do not enjoy Christmas. However, this has never personally affected my enjoyment of the holiday.

There are a lot of Christmas traditions my family cherishes that make the holiday my favorite time of the year despite all of the commercialism. Every Christmas Eve, my family and I go to evening Vigil Mass and afterward, we go eat seafood gumbo and open presents at my grandmother’s house with my dad’s side of the family.

Whenever I think of Christmas, my mind instantly goes back to these celebrations. I have fond memories from my childhood of being at my grandmother’s house on Christmas Eve, playing with my cousin and anxiously awaiting the arrival of the next morning.

For me, Christmas is the embodiment of the kind of childlike wonder and innocence that made me believe a fat man in a magic sleigh delivers presents to every child in the entire world all in one night. It reminds me of a time where my only care in the world was being good enough to receive the abundance of gifts that I requested.

Christmas makes me reflect inwards, not only on religious events, but on these warm childhood memories. I go back to a far simpler time where the world was exciting and magical rather than cynical and unforgiving. While my childhood is over and my innocence is gone, Christmas reminds me that there is still joy to be found in this world.

New Year’s Day, in contrast, does not produce similar feelings or call for cherished traditions, such as the ones I experience during Christmas.

New Year’s Day has always felt like an afterthought to me as compared to the fun-filled Christmas season. My family doesn’t really do anything for New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day mainly because we are still recovering from all of the festivities from Christmas.

Sure, I may take some time to reflect on all of the events that have transpired in my life during the year, but it is nowhere near as exciting for me as Christmas. There are some years where my family does not even mark the occasion with any sort of celebration. Last year for New Year’s Eve, we spent the night packing for a trip to Disney World and we spent all of New Year’s Day on the road.

Some people may mark the occasion with fireworks or bonfires, but these traditions are not exclusive to New Year’s. Also, these are nowhere near as important or cherished by our society as the traditions during Christmas time.

At the end of the day, there is simply no way that New Year’s can compete with the most wonderful time of the year: Christmas.