Small Town Christmas Celebration

Last night I went to my rural town’s Christmas tree lighting. It’s the type of event I loved as a child and one that I thought was too small town as a teen. In 2019, I celebrated Christmas in Vietnam, where it was warm and raining and only the big touristy hotels had Christmas trees. I sorely missed the traditions I’d grown up doing.

The past two years were small celebrations. In 2020, people were determined to cancel life and in 2021, I just wanted to skip past everything.

This year, I have decided to firmly root myself in the moment. To drink peppermint hot chocolate out in the cold and sing carols along with my neighbors while we wait for the town’s tree to light up. I watched as children wrote letters to Santa and placed them in the mailbox at the base of the tree.

This isn’t just for the holiday season. I want to fully live in the moment. So often, I’m looking to the future. To spring, when the days grow longer. To summer, when leaving the house requires little planning other than a water bottle (no hats, scarves, gloves,etc.) I’m going to try to find the joy in daily life.

For now, I am enjoying the celebration of my small town: the holiday lights on the buildings, the dark, cozy nights that lend themselves to reading a good book or writing a story, and finding the joy in this season.

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