Submitted Date 12/23/2018

Every year as the holidays approach, I am reminded of a specific feeling. It’s the feeling I got in elementary school on the last day before the holiday break. But with each new holiday season, comes change… and a lot has changed since I was in elementary school. I may not be able to relive those times, however, when the holiday season comes around I still look forward to that feeling. There is a word for this feeling: hope.

You may be in the Christmas spirit, or you might be feeling like Grinch. Odds are, it all depends on your past holiday experiences. No matter your relationship with this time of year, having hope can make things brighter. Be hopeful that this year's celebration is as good as last year. If previous years were dreadful, you can have hope that this year can only get better. Most importantly, take this time to reflect on the past year and look forward to what the future will bring.

I may not be as cute and innocent as I was in elementary school as I got off the bus with melted candy cane all over my face. Maybe I will never be as excited as thirteen years old me on Christmas, surprised with tickets to a Broadway show. Each year will be different, but this change always brings us something new to be grateful for. Ask yourself what that it is. Next year, you will look back on this time and have hope for the new year. Appreciate this holiday season, because it is one of kind. And always believe in joy it will bring!

Replace intimidation with curiosity. Be your authentic self with everyone you meet, so you make authentic connections.

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