I grew up adoring the month of December and have written here before about the cosy feeling, traditions and quiet moments it brought. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve often struggled with this month and really struggled with what Christmas is (or isn’t).
Perhaps it’s because I’ve been in a new house or new city each year, or maybe it’s because I don’t have family (related or not) near or maybe it’s because of something else I’m not even aware of. Whatever the reason, there’s a lot of moments in December where I’m not sure where I fit in or how to feel about it all.
This year, however, was different. Two major differences was that I began working with Direct Relief, a non-profit that provides urgent and ongoing medical aid both in the US and International. 1,100 clinics receive medical supplies and prescriptions for us (so if a poor or uninsured patient needs a $150 inhaler but can’t pay, they get it free because of Direct Relief). Internationally, we’ve been providing aid in Haiti (and helped rebuild a hospital), the Philippines and we’re doing incredible work in Africa for maternal and child health (like providing Midwife kits so women can have safe births).
The second difference was that because I hadn’t moved in the past year, I was able to connect with people locally more. I found family – family that invited me to spend the holidays, that I had to buy gifts for, that I could laugh and relax with. That I could wake up with and toast to the holiday over mimosas.
Those two things weren’t actually things. They were really what the holiday is about; giving, enjoying, thinking about others, connecting, joy. This is also really what hygge is about. And having (realising) that has been the best gift a girl could ask for – even better than a pony.
I realise and so completely understand if this holiday you find yourself alone, or without family, or in need of something and for that, all I can do is offer this: there will be a time when that will be different. Just keep a little hope, a little faith. For isn’t that also what the holiday is about, too?