Although the word nostalgia can be used to express a bittersweet longing for some pleasant remembrance of one’s past, it is safe to say that this is the time of the year when it is virtually unavoidable to drift into a sustained sense of nostalgia and where its experience is most intense. This is a time when our minds go back to a younger version of ourselves: to the sights and the sounds and the smells of our mothers’ kitchens, and the excitement and anticipation of opening gifts for Christmas.
I suspect, however, that there is an even deeper meaning to this palpable experience in Advent and Christmas. I recall feeling a deep sense of longing for something in the past one Christmas evening when I was about nine years old. Once all the relatives had gone their separate ways and my mother had stored the last morsels of the feasts and restored the remains of the day and had finally gotten off her feet, a wave of reflection swept over me. How much looking back can a nine year old do, after all?
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