I decided to return home to New York for Christmas. Well the actual story is one of my friends had a wedding in Cancun, since I was travelling off island, I figured why not take some time out and head to the east coast. Originally I thought it was a good idea, friends, family, and holidays, of course that would be great! However, once I got a real good feel of the east coast winter cold I suddenly started to rethink that idea. Well it was only for a second, to spend time with my closet friends and family was well worth me putting on a few extra layers. To see the people who know me best, while spending time sharing extra special memories are moments that can never be replaced.
During the last week of my east coast travels I ended up back in New York. The place where my journey began two years ago before moving to the other side of the world. And let me tell you, every time I return the city is exactly as I remembered it. I feel as if I never left. My favorite places are still the same, the subway still provides a daily dose of NYC entertainment, and Christmas in the city will always be my most loved NY moment. Even though the temperature is frigid, Christmas in New York will always give me the true feeling of the Holiday season. I still love Honolulu but, 80 degree sunny days, great surf, and warm summer-like nights, just doesn’t say Christmas as much as ice skating, snow flurries, and the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.
Last year I spent Christmas in Honolulu with newly made friends, this year I spent Christmas in NY with family. While spending time with family it suddenly hit me that the meaning of Christmas changes greatly as an adult. I am not sure when that shift happens, all I know is now the feeling is different, more mature. I remember times as a child waiting with my older brother for Santa to come bring us our gifts on Christmas Eve. We would sit excitedly by the window of our room looking out and thinking that every moving star in the sky was Santa with his reindeer. He was own his way to our house with the gifts we wanted so very much. It brought great joy to wake up early to open our new toys (that we already knew we were going to get) and finally have the opportunity to play with them. My parents put all of their energy into making sure we were happy on Christmas morning, leaving no room for disappointment.
As an adult, there are no more naive thoughts of Santa, no more waking up early to rush to play with our new toys. As an adult the tone is serious yet loving. Happy not for what we receive, but happy for the time that we get to spend with each other. As an adult I have come to realize that as we all get older in age the time, and memories that we all spend with each other is limited. As a family we should enjoy each moment that we spend together. Tangible objects no longer provide the happiness but, time and being near family during the holiday season is the present that we all want, and that brings the happiness.
As an adult, time becomes of the utmost importance. Last year right before Thanksgiving my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. My mom was frantic because in the early stages of his diagnosis doctors were not certain as to how serious the cancer actually was. In March of this year another tumor was found in his brain. The cancer had spread. Fortunately after surgery, months of chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and continuous medications the cancer now appears to be in remission. However, the toll that this illness has taken on my dad is noticeable. From speech impairments to the limited movements, the superman dad that I knew as a child on Christmas, the dad who would stay up late to assemble my toys is no longer around. As an adult, life becomes a little more serious, and Christmas with family becomes a lot more meaningful. I don’t know what the future will bring for my dad, or for my family, the present is most important. However, I do know having the opportunity to again spend Christmas in New York with my family is one that will leave an everlasting memory that will forever define the way I feel about Christmas.
Merry Christmas to all!!!!