Another year goes by and I'm far from home. Today was Christmas, yet it felt like just another lazy day with nowhere to go and no one to see. In America only the 25th is a national holiday and this year it fell on a Sunday. In Poland you get two Christmas days off and things begin to slow down the day before. We have our traditional family dinner on the Eve and this is when we exchange gifts looking out for the first star. Another holiday season in the States goes by. Yet, I don't feel lost and lonely come Christmas- it really feels like Thanksgiving is more celebrated as a holiday although the media can make you think otherwise. Turkey Day always falls on a Thursday so that guarantees a four day weekend and with the two festive occasions being only a month apart most people only decide to go home once picking one over the other. It has always seemed to me that Thanksgiving is the American equivalent of Polish Christmas Eve- a day for togetherness. While Gainesville was a ghost town a month ago this time around many people stayed behind. Yes, the buses weren't running and the restaurants were closed, but I get used the idea of popping something from the freezer into the microwave and I know I'll see all my friends on Monday. A lot of my friends are criticizing how commercialized the holidays have become. I find it strange, religious context aside, that we need certain days to feel or act or do things in the first place. My friends say things like love and family time should not be represented my things you can buy. I say, those are the things we should experience all year long. Give, feel and share, regardless if it's Christmas or Valentine's Day. Because to me a family Christmas is a state of mind. Wherever I go I'll always take it with me.