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It's strange because Christmas is a little different for me.


For some of my friends, Christmas is going home to the snow each year, sitting with their grandparents after sledding all day. They speak their own language and enjoy their traditions in the cold north.


For other friends, Christmas is a time to travel. They go to Bali, Thailand, and the Bahamas, just to feel the warmth after the despair of wintertime. It's a time to be free from life and just enjoy each day as it happens. 


For me, however, Christmas is my family. It's when we all sit around the living room with my dad's too-bitter hot chocolate while my brother and I stir in some extra sugar, while we watch a Christmas Story for the millionth time. My dad and I have memorized every line, and we laugh the whole time. Christmas is dancing to "Last Christmas" while my brother tries to turn the song off because I never stop blasting it each December. Christmas is calling up all my family around the world to wish them a happy holiday and thank them for the presents (because that's what Christmas is about). There might not be anyone under the mistletoe this year, but I'll remember to put it on the wish list next year.


It's not about staying warm by a fireplace with roasted chestnuts and snow outside the window - sometimes all you need is the hearth of your loved ones to get you through the season. 

Hearth - A Story

BY Leena Wahaj


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