Do you ever wish you could go back to a Christmastime from childhood? Not even Christmas day, just the holiday season in general? I do. The more I think about it, the more I wish I had a time machine.

Perhaps you have specific traditions with your family for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or another celebration. Maybe you can visualize a specific decoration your parents proudly placed in the home from one season to the next.

If you’ve been here before, you know that many of those warm and fuzzy memories for me are tied to the TV. My Rankin/Bass series I’m working on (you know, my favorite films featuring Rudolph, Frosty, Santa, and the like) has filled my mind with even more vivid memories. It’s like I can think really hard and see the covers of the videotapes I wore out. I can breathe deeply and think of yet another decoration I helped hang up. I can almost taste my favorite cookies (I suppose I could try making them, but I’m not the best baker).

I’ve written quite a few holiday articles for my freelance work over the last few weeks, and that brings back memories, too. I feel more motivated this year than last to rewatch Arthur’s Perfect Christmas and Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas. I see how instrumental Disney+ is in making certain Christmas movies more accessible to people who rely on streaming. I feel the urge to calm down all these whirring thoughts with a box of the cookies that I don’t feel like making.

The holidays are complicated, and they change every year. It’s okay to feel festive and a little sad all at the same time. Or maybe it’s one extreme or the other. Nostalgia is a mixed bag, and it can physically make you hurt for a day gone by. But, at the same time, it can be a comfort and a motivator for the work you do and the good thoughts you think in the present day.

As a Christian, I’ve always appreciated this season of Advent, even if I don’t always do anything specific to observe it intentionally. It is historically a time to look forward to the second coming of Christ as well as the tradition of the birth of Christ. I wrote a big paper on it in college. The older I get, the more my nostalgia encompasses every aspect of my life. It’s almost like this month is becoming a mental Advent calendar of all my favorite holiday movies and sitcom episodes. Some of those programs I’ll watch on the screen, and others I’ll just remember in my mind’s eye. That’s a more beautiful meditation than I realized. We are all connected in the present by the things we watched in the past. And this time of year is no exception. What brings you comfort in a time full of feelings?

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