Christmas seems to change more and more as I grow older

Published 2:11 pm Friday, December 23, 2016

Over the last few years, “Where are you Christmas?” from How the Grinch Stole Christmas has become one of my favorite Christmas songs. I think it captures the way that Christmas changes as you get older and this is becoming more and more apparent to me each year.

The song starts with a question: Where are you Christmas, Why can’t I find you, Why have you gone away?

The singer has noticed that this Christmas feels different from the years before, but as the song goes on the singer realized that Christmas hasn’t left, the way it is felt and experienced has just changed.

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The song then transitions from question to answer with a statement about life at the time of the song: My world is changing, I’m rearranging, Does that mean Christmas changes too?

As I have gotten older, I have started to realize how much Christmas has changed for me and even though it is different how much more important it is. There are still presents, but they lack the foundational importance that they used to have.

I don’t live at home any more. I talk to my family a lot, but don’t get to see them that often, especially now that my sister has moved to Indiana. The distance makes the times we can all come together that much more important. Christmas is also one of the few times of the year I get to see my Dad’s Dad (he is a snowbird that winters in Florida from New York) and most years I get to see my cousin, cousin in-law, Aunt and, starting last year, my baby cousin.

This year, we weren’t going to be able to see my cousins and Aunt for Christmas, so my sister concocted a grand scheme to do a mini Christmas last weekend. My parents were already going to be by my cousins’ in north Georgia, so we planned for me to drive up and my sister was going to “skype” in from Indiana.

What my parents didn’t know is that my sister had changed her flight and was flying in Friday night. It was going to be a grand surprise, but then snow in Chicago and ice in Indianapolis delayed her arrival until Saturday afternoon. It ruined the surprise, but it didn’t matter (ok, I was a little upset if you have to know, we’d had this planned for a month) because we were all together.

It was then that I learned something else about how Christmas has changed. Outside of the religious aspect, which is equally important, the date really doesn’t matter. What mattered is that my family was together. We exchanged a few gifts (we’re all older now so everyone got towels) and had Christmas dinner, albeit a week early.

As I’ve gotten older Christmas has changed, but it means so much more now because it is about my family more than the presents. As the song says: Christmas is here everywhere, oh Christmas is here, If you care, oh If there is love in your heart and your mind, You will feel like Christmas all the time.

Merry Christmas.

About Brandon O'Connor


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