Christmas was always a holiday I looked forward to as a kid.
If I was good, I increased my chances of receiving a bounty of beautifully wrapped gifts under the tree.
Each year, we exchange gifts with others as a symbol of love.
We enjoy food and time with them to rejuvenate our souls for the impending new year.
This year I bought my first Christmas tree. I never thought that something so simple could give me so much joy.
I suppose it's because I have not enjoyed Christmas the last few years. At least not as much as I used to.
I was not unhappy. I was... elsewhere. I was unsure how to enjoy the holiday when I had conflicted feelings about my year. I was always optimistic. I just had a lot on my mind.
I did remain focused. I pushed myself to find the joy, the right kind of enjoyment that I was seeking.
I am grateful to have this moment to reflect. I have so many things to appreciate in this time.
...and I always have.
Though this year, it is different.
The joy I was seeking is before me, in the simple, sparkling, plug-in tree by the window. It is in my table covered with red, green, and silver ribbon and other craft supplies. It is in spending Friday night on the couch at home recovering from a week long cold. It is in my sweetheart's warm eyes. It is in the smiley emoticons and messages from mom and dad.
It is here.
Here, at home.