I'm about to get real' mushy.
I am no longer a child. Family holiday traditions have evolved over time. I no longer look up at the December sky in search of Santa in his sleigh, being lead by the bright red light of a reindeer nose. Some family members may no longer be with us. Some unfortunate circumstances, with bad timing, may have us feeling...scroogey.
A phrase I hear a lot is, "Christmas just isn't the same as when I was a kid."
While these feelings are very valid and very real, I am here to bring you good news. There is a way to reignite the spark.
Treat your eyes and see all of the beautiful things that this season offers. Get festive. The cornier the better. Wear the damn ugly xmas sweater on a Tuesday and go caroling, even if your voice sounds like a deranged seagull. Make a serious effort to spend quality time with those you love. Get off your phone. Be in the moment. Reach out to people you have not seen or heard from for a while. Remember that giving is not equivalent to buying. Give joy by making others laugh. Give hope by serving others, being a kind person, and by simply caring about them or for them. Enjoy the gift of receiving just the same. Stop feeling guilty when others want to express that they were thinking of you. Nurture new friendships. Create new and meaningful traditions. The list goes on and on.
My coworkers, friends, guests of the inn, my family, and this island have given me immense joy this holiday season. The word "home" continues to evolve for me in the best way possible here, truly.
These people and this place are my world.
To sum it up, there is still magic to be found. The excitement and joy of Christmas is not dead. It is vibrantly alive in Ocean City, New Jersey.
Have a blessed holiday season everyone.
* Professional photography by the beautiful and talented Orangerie Greenbrook.