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The Meaning of Christmas

The weather is bittersweet cold outside. Strands of lights are strung around the edges of houses that light up the night. Christmas trees are being put up in front windows, and family stockings are being hung above the fireplace. It is that time of year; it is Christmas. It seems like the only thing that is missing is snow, but if you take a deeper look into this holiday, all these things are just decorations. The real meaning of Christmas is a lot deeper than decorations.

When I sit down and think about this holiday known as “Christmas,” I begin to think about what it means to other people. I believe that it is about remembering what you’ve lost and cherishing what you have.
I have a very close friend whose life was changed not even a year ago. My friend’s father was in a car accident. On May 12, 2005, she had come home from a long day at school, still going through the process of meeting new friends since she and her family had just moved to New Orleans four months prior. She remembered that her dad and older brother were going to Mexico for the week, so she gave her father a giant hug and kiss before he had to leave. Her dad was out of town a lot for business, so it didn’t seem like such a big deal. She had no idea that hours after she gave him that last hug, her life would change forever.
When her brother and father were on their way to Houston, a truck hit their car. Her father wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and was thrown against the steering wheel and then into the backseat. The first night he was in the hospital he suffered major brain damage, his left eye was severely punctured and had only a 5 percent chance of living. That night, the doctors decided to perform a surgical procedure that consisted of removing the left side of his skull because his brain was so swollen. Because of that surgery, his life was saved. He was in the Intensive Care Unit for Head Trauma for two months, and in August, things began to change when he was moved to a rehabilitation center.

Her father is truly a living miracle. Once he arrived in rehab, he took each obstacle with a positive attitude and put so much effort into regaining his strength to be able to walk again. His recovery made such an amazing impact not only on my friend’s life, but on all of those surrounding them. It’s been more than six months since the accident, and my friend has realized that what is most important is having unconditional love for each other and appreciating life to its fullest.

There is a different feeling when you have that person that you almost lost and you can hold their hand, look at their face, lay next to them and talk about anything. She always talks about her father as if he is her world. Father and daughters seemed to always have the special bond.

Christmas is a time of year where families come together and soak up the holiday season together. Whether this year is a different Christmas for you because of certain circumstances or just like every year, keep in mind what it’s really all about- remembering and loving the ones you have.

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