I realized this holiday that I didn't need my camera to see Christmas lights in "bokeh". I don't even have to squint, I just have to take off my glasses. The young girl in me was at once excited at this new superpower I had developed and disappointed that it was kind of useless. As the saying goes, He can give, and He can also take(th) away, and as I was allotted this one seemingly meaningless gift, someone who meant very much to me was taken away. 

The holidays suddenly became a mix of cold and warm, in that funny way where the chill of losing someone you love is balanced with the warmth of being surrounded by the heightened kindness of others. A funny feeling, for a very unfunny situation calls for something new. And that's where the seemingly unspecial gift came in handy. While removing my glasses generally leaves me in a blurry world -- as if I was seeing my surroundings through a plastic bubble -- thanks to all the Christmas lights and decor, all I see is light. Generally, where both darkness and light swirl together and become one big blob, I now see constellations. I see a symphony of color, full of reds, blues, greens, yellows and even pink. It now serves as a reminder of what was, what will be and what has always been the connection between loved ones, whether they are there in person, or in spirit. It adds a new meaning to Christmas, and family, and life, because they can all happen in a blink of an eye, and if you're not careful they can pass you by without so much as a nod to tell you they're on their way. 

This holiday was full of cookies with sticky syrup, staring up at Christmas trees way longer than I probably should, long-distance phone calls, studying by a fake fireplace and looking for ways to add or find a bit of Christmas into everything I touched, smelled or heard. Whether that meant going to the orchestra, to hear the timeless rendition of Handel's Messiah, or listening to the soon-to-be timeless mixtape "Merry Christmas Lil' Mama" from Chance the Rapper. It was full of surprises, both good and bad, but in the end I guess that's what the holidays are all about.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


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