As I was planing this post, what would exactly my first blog post be, many things started to roam my head, yet I always came back to one: What inspired me? Why such a love for Christmas?
I don’t know to give you the exact reason why, more like many reasons that were collected in one. To as ‘when,’ it started somewhere in childhood, and it’s connected to warm feelings of belonging and family. Yes, in Croatia, my country, we have had letters to Santa Claus, tree trimming on the Christmas Eve, fast until the dinner—then you broke that fast with spicy fish soup (paprikash) and fresh Mom’s homemade noodles. Oh, to remember it, I can feel all the feelings, smell every fragrance, and correctly recall the food’s taste. Every year, I am trying to recreate the same emotions, so one day, I will transfer that love to my children too. Twenty-five years ago, I’m thirty-four now; although the circumstances for my family weren’t still ideal as a consequence of war, I have had the privilege to be a child in a time where on December 24th, late at night, snow would start to fall. And by the next morning, on Christmas Day, all the chunky pines, houses, road, electricity poles, would be covered in a fluffy white blanket. Oh, my heart! It would sing the most beautiful frosty lullabies, just by the sight of the scenery. To me, that was the true gift of Christmas. Yes, gifts existed too–but to receive the snow on Christmas day didn’t have a price. I would watch little playful squirrels chasing each other on the cable cords that were illusionary running from a tree to a tree, scattering the snow from their cheerful path.
People ask me why such a love for Christmas. But you see, the answer is not only one. Along with all the reasons above, there was good parenting and mom’s love for details included in the answer. Under that tree, my parents always made sure that it is at least one gift from the letter to Santa along with delicious chocolate treats. My mom would trim the tree in such a magnificent way that it was always the most beautiful one to us–my sister and me. In the poorest of times, there was always Christmas in the house, no matter what. She would know exactly how to save, what to do, for us to feel the same warmth and holiday cheer.
And these are just a few things that made me fall in love with holidays. Those few precious moments, nostalgia for the same, marvelous scenes from Miracle on 34th Street, Grinch’s story, and many things more, gathered together in one wish, one dream–to bring those same emotions though a book to new generations of readers.
That’s all my heart desires, for you to feel the same, to get inspired, to breathe holidays throughout the entire year, not just one day.