Week Twenty-six: Amanda Kasper


What does the holiday season look like for you and your family?

It’s strange to me. I started blogging in 2009, and I never once have written about the holiday season. I’ve participated twice in #Reverb, or reverberations, 30 days of prompts to close one door and open the next, to celebrate days gone by and open heart to days to come. I’ve reflected, I’ve mourned, I’ve wished. But on the year (past or future), not on the holiday season.

To me, the holiday season is and always has been the week of Thanksgiving. Each time I have written about developing an attitude of gratitude, I have felt in my heart the changing of the tide, the cooler air wisping around and the sentiment of family gathering closer. For most of the last decade, the days between Black Friday and New Years day have been a whirlwind of working retail, finishing assignments, taking exams, packing, traveling, baking, resting.

Although my family is Jewish and celebrates the lighting of the Menorah (regardless of when it falls on the American Calendar), we enjoy the sentiments of the holiday season as well. As a child we used to drive through a specific neighborhood that always went really big with their Christmas lights. My brother and I used to share a blanket and a box of mini candy canes in the back seat of my parents minivan as we drove around with our windows down, listening to the holiday music accompanying the life-size decorations. It always seemed so magical.

This year, the holiday season looks like light, and life, and a little bit of a break. I took the first vacation I’ve been on in years, and even though one of my nights away was spent in urgent care, I had an unbelievably wonderful time. This year, I’ve survived without a doubt the most physically and emotionally painful days of my life, and so I’m down to toast one extra time to life, to life, lchaim.

Whatever your holiday season looks like, no matter where and with whom you’re sharing your traditions new and old, I hope you find it in your heart to be here, to have survived, to be celebrating.


Amanda Kasper is a writer, reader, quote lover, CASA advocate, and non-profit believer, seeking space as a lifelong learner, passionate lover, and irreplaceable friend. Amanda tweets at @AKasper513 and blogs over at “& this I believe”


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