(I love this time of year, if you didn't know.)
My attitude about the holidays is so different from when I was a little kid. Sometimes, I really miss it; I was so enchanted by mall decorations and Magic 107.7 playing holiday tunes on the radio, and putting the lights up around the house. It felt like entirely another world. Things are a lot different now that I'm out of the house most of the year, and that my brother isn't exactly little anymore, either. My parents drag us out of bed on Christmas morning.
However, I find a lot of joy in making Christmas enjoyable for others now. I love making things for other people, especially my specialty, baked goods. Picking out gifts for other people and using my own money to get them makes them that much more thought-out, and meaningful for me to give. I swear, I'm ready to be in charge of making Christmas happen for my own kids one day, if I have any (hopefully!). There's nothing I would love more than to get an enormous feast going for my family and friends and neighbors, and anybody who isn't getting something good to eat that night, and finding them things that they would like as a symbol of how much I care about them. It's probably a good thing to be this enamored by these feelings about Christmas.
Little realizations like this -- that I enjoy the giving at Christmas more than receiving -- all seem to help us move into growing up. So many of us in this world struggle with letting go of memories and the past, from those guys musing about what would have happened if they'd gone pro since high school football to those women looking at old pictures, wondering where their waistlines went. I think that the maturity that I've experienced even in just the past year or two is a gift from the Lord in ushering in the years to come. I don't have to regret that I'm getting older, because God designed us to age and He has new and exciting things for us to do at every stage in life. If I glue my eyes to Him, I will find that there is no other place for me than the place I am at right now.
I am a 20 year old, single female college student, because God deemed by birthdate to be 20 years ago, decided I would be a girl, and has blessed me with the opportunity to get an education and the freedom to wait for the right person to change that relationship status. This was His idea.
I'm sticking with it gladly.