What Does Christmas Mean To Me?


People have varying reasons for celebrating Christmas, but for me, if it wasn’t for the purpose of family coming together, I honestly wouldn’t celebrate it. This day is nothing special to me, except that I get to see family that I haven’t seen in a while. There are some family members that I can’t catch up with, because I’ll never see them. Other than that, I’ll spend time with cousin and their families.

This year, I was able to see a cousin that I haven’t seen since she was five. She’s fifteen now so I wanted to talk with her for a little bit. Although it was a short time, I was able to sense that  she was an amazing person that was ready to do some amazing things. I had also spoken with a few other male cousins. We had a couple of important heart to heart conversations, clearly a needed session. Although we see each other regularly, Christmas just happened to be the best time for THAT conversation — of course, I can’t share the content of our talk.

This Christmas was kind of light considering we have as many as forty people in my Grandma’s three bedroom rented house. She had made some chili and clam chowder and part of the family grubbed in the living room, while the others grubbed in the playroom. This is what Christmas is all about, at least for me it is. It’s not about fancy gifts, long lines or self behavior. It’s about getting the family together and enjoying the greatest present of all –each other.

Christmas is a magical time in my life and it’s also one of the staples in my life. Even though we may see each other outside of Christmas, either before or after, I like to see them during that specific day. When I had to work on Christmas day, it made me hate the holiday. It was a hard day working in the restaurant especially when everyone is expecting quick and fast service. Okay I know that’s the same for all restaurants, but I figured this would be different. I thought maybe the people would be a little kinder than usual that day, but only some people were nicer, others were mean.

I guess what really burned me up was the fact that I didn’t spend Christmas the way I did before. It was a normal work day and I had to work a job I really didn’t like. Even though I was in Sacramento, I didn’t feel like I was home. When I worked on Christmas day in Seattle, WA, I felt homesick for the second time. I was working at Hollywood Video as a clerk. Some huge movie had just come out, I think it was X-Men and the line was so long that I couldn’t see the aisle in front of me. I kept working even though at that moment I just wanted to walk right out of there.

Probably one of the hardest Christmases was when I was in prison camp. In fact, that was the hardest. Looking back, it wasn’t a bad experience, but I had to spend time with people who I was cool with, but weren’t my family. That year I had to spend the day watching a movie and writing, but I wasn’t home. That day, I second guessed everything in my life. There was an intense disconnection from the human race and I felt lonely. My family did send a massive email with Christmas wishes and I was even able to speak with some of them over the phone. These things helped minimize the pain. As you can imagine, the first Christmas home was probably the best Christmas ever. I got to have the Christmas I wanted, the way I was use to having it. It was a true reason to celebrate that holiday season.