Christmas is one of my favorite times of year. Not just because of the campy holiday songs, cooler temperatures, classic movies, gathering with friends, or the presents (let’s be real, all of that is pretty nice!).
Christmas for me is a time of reflection and remembrance. Hopes and dreams begin to take shape or reshape themselves. It’s the time of year when I feel the closing out of the waning year and the rising of a quiet anticipation for emerging year.
Much of my reflection centers around the mundane process of unpacking the boxes that were carefully put away earlier in the year. One of my favorite little boxes to unpack is the one that has the accoutrements from the tiny little tree we put up in our apartment during our time in Seoul, Korea.
You see, in the mid-1990s, Christmas wasn’t widely celebrated and holiday decorations had a sparse availability. I can’t quite remember where we got our little 1.5 foot tree, but it was a step up from the poster board one we had in college. But we had one. And we somehow managed to get a few ornaments (mostly hand made) and lights. Garland was a bit more difficult to come by.
For the holidays, our students rallied together and made us a decent number of “lucky stars.” We learned that these cute little origami stars were a symbol of love and well wishes. I gathered these delicate little stars and made a lovely little garland for our tree. This garland has been carefully stored every year and has been lovingly displayed each holiday season.
When this particular treasure is unearthed, it’s as though the love and well-wishes are granted anew. And as I wrap them around my little tree, I return those wishes to those who gave them to me (wherever they may be).
As I wrap my lucky stars around my tree, I am ever so grateful for the gift that our time in Korea gave to us. I learned that travel, whether near or far, is every bit as magical as the promise of Ol’ St. Nick. There is a bit of joy and hope as one embarks on any adventure.
And with this I share the love and well-wishing sentiments of my lucky stars with you and yours. May we all enjoy the hope and promise of the season today and throughout the year in all we do and all the places we go.