Winter Through the Eyes of a Holiday Bystander Shaina Selvaraju

We watch those who wish to bundle up and trudge through the biting cold through the glass of our windows. In fuzzy socks and sweaters, we witness the empty spaces left by the leaves of fall become filled with colorful lights and other things that glitter. Doors become decorated with wreaths, window ledges become home to menorahs and lawns an expression of holiday spirit.

For some it’s the presence of family, for others the flavors of foods that only comes out during the cold to be indulged in, or perhaps the many gifts that will cause the floors to be littered with many shades of wrapping paper. Despite the many things that people associate this time with, I suppose it is most commonly known as ‘the holiday season’.

There is Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, New Years, and many other holidays in between. While at least one of these events is a day to celebrate for most, for me, they pass like any other day. While others are off spending time in warm embraces and loud laughter until the odd hours, I will be with a book on my bed. Though my existence seems pretty dull in the eyes of others, I’d say it isn’t too bad being a holiday bystander.

I get to indulge myself in the pies, jams, and hot chocolate without too much noise and can fill my arms with sale and clearance items without thinking about too many people as most of it will be for myself. As others have to deal with their family, the good members and the bad, I won’t have to do more than my once-a-month phone call. There is no reason to constantly keep my room neat or to fix the decorations on the wall, and when the season ends, I won’t have to take all of them down.

I won’t have to deal with the withdrawal symptoms as it takes quite a while for most people to get accustomed to the world without all the ornaments and sweets that could be eaten without guilt. Even with the disappearing cheer, I find myself feeling indifferent to this change as the middle of January nears. Like the colors of leaves changing at the end of summer or the withering flowers at the end of the spring, though I found beauty in those things while they lasted, I find myself simply wandering on as if nothing had happened at all.

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