Photo by Stephan H. on Unsplash

While it is true that I may not be able to celebrate Christmas with my family since I am in prison, I find ways to celebrate that bring joy to my heart. One way is by decorating my cell with various Christmas-themed decorations. I have a Christmas tree, a snow globe, a snowflake, a Santa Claus in a pickup truck, and a Rudolph. I also watch all sorts of Christmas movies and listen to Christmas music.

I like to be in the Christmas spirit. I try to be cheerful despite my circumstances. I believe that by doing this it lifts the spirits of those around me.

I grew up in a town called St.Charles in Missouri. In St.Charles, there is the historic Main Street. This is a popular tourist destination. To say that St. Charles celebrates Christmas would be an understatement.

I have such fond memories of Christmastime in St.Charles. There would be garland along the different stores, wreaths put up on the doors of the shops, Christmas lights along Main street, and a Christmas tree. 

There were six different Santa Clauses.There was an Uncle Sam Santa, a French Père Noël Santa, mountain man Santa, Father Christmas, Sinterklass Santa, and the American Santa. There was also Jack Frost, the Russian babushka, elves, and reindeer. There were also roasted chestnuts.

As a kid growing up seeing this every Christmas was mind blowing. It felt like I was living in a movie production. To be able to walk out my front door and step into this Christmas wonderland was so amazing. As I look back on these memories, I realize how lucky I was to be able to have those experiences.

I look back on these memories and I feel such joy and happiness. I feel so lucky to be able to reflect on these memories whenever I wish to. Christmas was, is — and always will be — my favorite holiday.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

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Lexie Handlang

Lexie Handling is a transgender writer who is actively learning more about herself and what it takes to be a strong trans woman. She is incarcerated in Missouri.