Finding Warmth in the Winter


Makiah Parris, Co-Editor in Chief

I go through my day-to-day life, step by step. There are very few days where I actually remind myself to stop, look around and enjoy where I am at the moment. When the holiday season begins and the cold weather hits, it feels like time stops. People start spending time with their families, start pulling out the skis and sleds, and no matter how cold it gets, I still feel all the warmth from the community. 

I’ve always disliked the cold weather. Snow just never was my thing, from wiping it off my car every morning at 6 a.m. to frantically turning up the heater in every room I entered. I didn’t like the bitter feeling the cold brought me, and I definitely didn’t appreciate the goosebumps either. That cold feeling I’ve always hated changed when I moved to Salida. To me, Salida brings me a different type of cold. Not the one where I’m running for a beanie and a jacket, but the kind where everyone gathers with friends and family to have a cup of soothing hot chocolate. 

Here in Salida, as the year goes on and the days get darker and colder, more and more lights pop up all over the city. Those little lights don’t seem like much, but they give me the warmth I’m constantly searching for during these cold times. Growing up, the cold told me that snow and the holidays were getting closer and closer. Coming from a small family that doesn’t celebrate holidays, I didn’t find that much excitement in the celebrations like Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas. To me, they were just like every other day. So on top of being cold, I also didn’t have anything to look forward to. 

Most kids during these times are only looking forward to the days where presents start going under the tree, and all the homemade food goes on the table. And during all of that, the stressed parents are frantically trying to get their last minute gifts ordered and wrapped while everyone else does the same thing. That’s what cold means to me: constant rush and last minute planning to make the best of the holidays. 

I could never see where all the excitement came from during the winter. To me, it just looked like a lot of work and money, whether it was covering every square inch of your house in string lights, or spending countless hours wrapping box after box. I used to ask myself, “Why do people do so much just to take it all down?” But if I’m being completely honest, I’m glad they do. I’m glad they decorate and put lights up because even though I don’t do the same, I still enjoy seeing the excitement others receive from it. People enjoy following all the yearly traditions. Seeing people happy brings me joy, without me even having to do anything. And of course, I don’t mind looking at all of the pretty lights driving by house after house. 

If I’m being honest with myself, maybe it wasn’t the cold I always grew up hating. Maybe it was being the kid without the annual traditions and big family reunions during the holiday season. Either way, Salida gave me a bigger family, and brought me that warmth when the days got shorter and shorter.