Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Why we keep in touch--Happy Holidays

A week ago, walking around Rome, I said to myself, “Thank goodness I have kept in touch with so many people in my life…For if it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t have had a place to live in Rome for the month of December, I wouldn’t have made the connections here that I have made, and I wouldn’t have followed through with making a leap to another country.”

And then last night I received the two most wonderful Christmas gifts that were wrapped up in words as a Facebook notification. “Sam Ojih tagged you in a video” “Hannah Brencher posted a video on your wall.” Sam and Hannah are friends that I have made only recently—and when I say recently, I mean not within a year, but within the last six months. They are two people that I have shared passions and hopes and dreams with. They are people who aspired to go to New York City. They are people who I have come to love dearly, and they are the two people who have made my Christmas away from home even extra special this year…they are the two people who this week have made me realize why keeping in touch is so important, even if you haven’t known people for all that long.

They both left me words of encouragement, words of thankfulness, words of love for the holidays, words of memories, words of what I can only call gratefulness and wonderfulness. They left me messages that I will carry with me this holiday season and that I will be able to go back to endlessly. Their words won’t be taped up to the wall above my pillow—but rather taped to the wall of my Facebook for me to return to again and again. Their gifts are timeless.

And I think that’s what the holiday season is about—giving people something timeless, something they can go back to, something they can read or watch or see over and over again that will make them smile—or cry (tears of joy in this case). The holiday season may be built up in every place in the world around the chaos of Christmas festivals and gift exchanges, but I think it is about much more than that—much more than bows and ribbons—much more than candy canes and Old St. Nick—much more than the physical things that we can hold in our hands. It’s about what we can hold in our hearts and what we can put in the hearts of others. It’s about reaching out to someone whose hand we may not physically be able to curl our fingers between but who we can touch in some other way.

Maybe we haven’t spoken to a good friend in a year…two years…or five years. Maybe a sibling has gone astray—or we have lost the ability to get along with our parents, our exes, or our childhood enemies. But I can assure you that keeping in touch—or—getting back in touch—could be one of the best gifts you wrap up with your heart this year…It could get someone through a holiday…It could get someone through it all.


  1. Beautiful post - I was working on a letter for my friends to send them on Christmas Day, and this captures the sentiment exactly - new friends (within the last 6 months) have come into my life and become like FAMILY. It's so important to keep in touch with those people :)

  2. You are wonderful. As if I don't tell you that every single day, I would let it play on repeat if it were possible.

    Making that video was fun! Maybe I have a jeans in my future...

  3. Emily-- I agree so much. Family, friends, sometimes it doesn't matter who has the same blood lines...sometimes their relationships become so strong that you can't help but be extremely grateful for them. I love it.

    Hannah--I think you definitely have jeans in your future. Have you been practicing?