The holiday season is a time for some of my favorite things: friends, family, and food.
I’ve always been one of those people with a passion for the holidays, but some days are a little less cheery than others. During the holidays is seems that somehow everyone I know has magically gotten into a happy and loving relationship. There are days when it’s hard not to feel some jealousy when I scroll through social media and see engagement after engagement. There are some days when it’s almost impossible not to miss my own ghost of Christmas past.
Maybe it’s frowned upon to be sad or reminiscent during the holidays, but I think it’s okay. It’s okay to think about all the nights you used to cuddle by the fire with your special someone on a snowy night. It’s okay to chuckle at the idea of the two of you falling down ice-skating when you drive past the rink. It’s okay to feel a pang in your chest when your brother brings his girlfriend to Thanksgiving dinner and you realize that you’re there alone. You know what? It’s even okay to send that person a text wishing them a happy holiday. It’s okay to miss them.
There are so many people out there who will tell you that people from your past should stay in your past. I happen to disagree with that. I think it’s okay to stay friends with someone who once held your heart. I think it’s almost impossible to ever completely let go of someone who meant so much. I think that it’s okay to miss them, especially during the holidays.
This time of year it’s easy to cling to the good memories from years before, and you should. You should remember the time he put the star on top of the tree because no one else was tall enough. You should remember the necklace he got you that you swore you’d never take off. You should remember the nights spent walking hand and hand through the city looking at the lights. You should remember the laughter and the joy and everything else that made the holidays beautiful.
I have experienced so many years of incredible holidays, no matter who has been a part of them. Some years were filled with family and childish wonder, others were filled with friends and holiday stress, and some of those years just happened to involve a boy. Some of my best holiday memories involve a boy, and it would be a complete discredit to him to try and forget that. Yes, a lot of those memories make me sad and make me long for a time when things were easier and I was in love, but they also make me feel so much more. They make me laugh and they make me feel grateful for having lived such a full and loving life at such a young age. They make me smile and they make me hopeful for what’s to come for future holidays.
So yes, it’s okay to think about the year you two built an incredible gingerbread house. It’s okay to remember the way he looked you in the light of the Christmas tree. It’s okay to remember mistletoe kisses and romantic dinners and stargazing in the snow. These are the memories that created some of the best holidays you’ve ever had. These are the experiences that taught you about life and love.
This is the person who flipped your world upside down and made your holidays unforgettable, and it’s okay to miss them.