As you get older the best things about the holidays are not presents or family or food but those ephemeral yet inevitable feelings that seem to surge in the collective human heart every year.
The softening towards each other, the sudden rise of empathy in your gut, because you realize how precarious your position in this world is. Nostalgia wraps it’s gentle and sweet hands around your throat at night, and your dreams are suddenly flooded with 2 years ago, 10 years ago. You are 5 years old and opening up the present you had spent the past month wishing for. Our childhoods rest heavy this time of year. You wonder if you and he could have been friends, if things weren’t the way they are and that bridge wasn’t embers.
And then the New Year, and we all take a breath. The ghosts everything we have been trying to shed the past week with booze and cookies rise up like fog over the last few merrymakers make their way home, tinseled and sequined, a sprinkle of stars in the first night of the year, and the last of last year. That first morning feels so fragile, the first time you wake up with someone new and you are shy and hesitant in the sunlight. In those soft and gentle hours we are more hopeful than we’ll be all year. It’s the time of miracles and we all, secretly, are hoping for one.