How to find the spirit again…

Fall is finally upon us, and my favorite holidays are coming up.  I loved the fun, carefree times at school when we would dress up for Halloween parties.  Halloween recently has be filled with other excursions, scary movies, football games, and of course handing out candy.  It is crazy to think about how much holidays change as you grow up.  Stuffing yourself with food has been replaced with hectically cooking and travelling, and the gift receiving has become shopping through the crowds for that perfect sale.

I remember the biggest worry used to be “Is there enough time to go to all the houses?” when I was trick or treating, or if it was my mom’s holiday or dad’s holiday for Thanksgiving or Christmas celebrations.  Lately life has been filled with funeral arrangements, grieving family, and a lot of stress thinking about what is going to happen during Thanksgiving and Christmas, not to mention the craziness of work.  I feel like the magic of the holidays sometimes easily drifts away as we grow older, and our worries become more all-encompassing.

This year I was so excited towards the end of September to decorate for Halloween and as I sit here typing, that excitement has really dwindled because of adulthood.  Fall means football, cool weather, and everything pumpkin related, and this year it just hasn’t been the same.  This realization is extremely important to keeping the spirit of the holidays alive.  Instead of dreading the hectic holiday season approaching, look for the meaning in your traditions, whether it revolves around food or other family traditions.  I know this is so clichéd, but it really is easy to get caught up in everything except the “reason” for whatever the holiday season.

Halloween was carefree and filled with parties.  Friends are no longer close by, but that doesn’t mean I can’t share in the fun of Halloween in a different way…I am making sure that I get to hand out candy to my neighbors.  Thanksgiving is going to be different because of the recent death in my family, but that doesn’t mean we won’t create new traditions that will continue until life unexpectedly changes again.  I think a lot of time, as we get older, we look for others to provide the spirit because we are all just so tired….instead do your best and create your own spirit for family traditions during the upcoming holiday season.

Spirit and passion are tightly intertwined, and I think we need to remember to bring that to the mundane actions that seem to accompany the holidays.  Always bring passion into your cooking/baking, gift giving, meal sharing…whatever the tradition is, because it will not only make it more enjoyable for you, but it will spread like wild-fire and help those around you find their own spirit/passion during the next few months.  I know that I am guilty of focusing on the stressof the holidays, but I am going to try to do better.

You should try too.

Taryn Anthony

Taryn is a 27 year-old Physical Chemistry PhD. Candidate at Temple University. She loves watching and playing sports, advocating and educating people about Crohn's disease (Crohnie for life since 2008), hanging out with her family and friends, and most importantly talking to new people about anything and everything! Her attitude about how to look forward and stay positive was really fostered at the University of Scranton, where she actually met HKP. Taryn absolutely believes a strong community can help you through anything.

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