"This is why Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. It's not just a season of giving or a commemoration of a religious figure—it's a celebration of life."

It's the cliché seasonal activities that make me all giddy and psyched for the holidays—from the parties, putting up décours, shopping for presents and curating the holiday menu to the small things such as the carols played in the malls, special desserts and getting to cuddle up in a fluffy sleepwear until Christmas afternoon while sipping hot cocoa with my favorite people in the world. In the same spirit, I'd like to open this post with a clichéd greeting: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Mid-Eastern part of the world!

As I'm putting this post together, Christmas day is nearly ending and I'm having to use every little grain of restraint not to open yet another bottle of red wine, and truth be told, spend the rest of the day with a good book, my journal and an unhealthy dose of social media. Today, I scroll through my feed that's usually covered with consumerism, overhyped issues and negativity, and it's refreshing to see something different; to see people stand on common ground, united by a holiday tradition. 

It's heartwarming to see how people spend their Christmases with their families and the people they love. What's more heartwarming, however, are the people who are not lucky enough to be with their families this holiday and still try to find happiness through the littlest of ways and to convince themselves that there are plenty of reasons out there to be grateful for: one of my best friends shared a photo of her standing next to a sparkling tree captioned that even she's far away from her family, it's still a happy Christmas. She told me how she will celebrate the holidays alone with her family on Skype. Another friend of mine lost his father last year and their Christmas family photo was the first thing I saw on Facebook this morning—him, his sister and three brothers and his mom clutching his dad's framed photo with both arms as if she doesn't want to let it go. They were all smiles, my heart broke into pieces. 

And that's where it hit me.

To see several different angles of how people celebrate the festivity in diverse ways and in different cultures and countries, all consolidated with a twofold motive—to give and to remind ourselves of the many reasons why it is a sweet life we're living—it got me thinking, this is why Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. It's not just a season of giving or a commemoration of a religious figure; it's the perfect excuse to step back from all the usual frenzy, get off the hamster wheel and relish the life and people we've been working hard for. It's a celebration of life.

Mango playsuit;
Nine West shoes;
H&M necklace

Marsa Malaz Kempinski 
Doha, Qatar 

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