Photo by Danny Rozenblit
There is nothing more magical than sitting in your friend’s car with a warm, fuzzy blanket, driving to look at Christmas lights. Finding that gem of a house with so many light-up reindeers that the sight is blinding. We lament our fear of growing up and gossip about our classmates. I see her face, glowing with that pure, unadulterated joy I feel myself. I think, “This is happiness.”
We make plans for a single girls Valentine’s Day party as we pass a snowman inflatable. Our car blares Michael Bublé and pop renditions of holiday songs, our anthem for seeking the festive. I run my fingers along my blanket as we talk about how we’re both naive as hell, and what that means for our future. I still don’t know what it means.
I see a smiling Santa, and I cannot help but beam back. My only regret: not bringing us both a mug of hot chocolate. If only I could immortalize this moment, I would knock on every heartbroken soul’s door and say, “This is happiness.” Get in your car and experience the extraordinary for yourself.
For a single car drive, we’re two explorers unearthing the remnants of the holiday season. We’re champions of overpriced Christmas decorations. When we find the jackpot, a house with dozens of light displays, I scream like it’s my first time on the swings. Back then, I thought I was actually flying. I shouted to my grandma, “Higher, push me higher!”
Maybe this drive is my reminder that I can still soar if I just open my eyes to the charm. To the marvels and the penguin inflatables and the holiday magic. I look at my friend. Her beauty hits me in an unfamiliar way, like listening to an old song I used to play on repeat. I still know all the lyrics, and I sing to its familiar tune. I kick back to "Baby It’s Cold Outside," snuggle up in my blanket, and point, “Now that house understands holiday festivity.”