I have a Secret
Growing up, I had a number of private holidays that were all mine. Nobody even knew that they existed (till now).
Let me start at the beginning, I can't see very well. (see living with extreme myopism). I could never see very well, and as I grew up my eyes got worse over time. ( I am legally blind now, but wear glasses and it isn't so bad). Some of the greatest days of my life, I think and refer to them as a holiday, were the day as a child when I got a new pair of glasses.
If you were near sighted as a kid then you know what I am talking about, and if you weren't then you will never truly understand. (That isn't going to stop me from trying to explain it). See, because of the progressive nature of my condition, things would get increasingly fuzzy as my glasses would get outdated. However, this would happen very very slowly, so I never really noticed.
But it hard to describe the wonder and joy that I felt the day that I would get a new pair of glasses. The entire world was sharper and clearer. It was the greatest feeling I can remember just to ride in the car and watch the leaves flow by over head. I had even forgotten that trees had leaves. Sure I knew they had leaves, but I had forgotten what they looked like. The sight of every blade of grass was endowed with its own special glee as I watched them move independently.
I was like a god. I could catch the ball, and I could read signs, and the totality of the surprises and beauty of everyday life elevated me to a place that is very hard to even think about now.
And the greatest thing was no one but me understood. Christmas (though I am Jewish) is a special time, but it is special for everyone. Everyone gets gifts and it is collective. Birthdays are all about you, but it is all mixed up with awkwardness, and embarrassment, and the spectacle of ritual.
This on the other hand was subtle and unique and overwhelming and me alone and at peace with the newfound glories of the world.