When I was 8 years old, dad got me a 7th scale F1 RC car. I remember being so excited I could hardly contain myself -- and I didn't! The car was bigger than I was and I couldn't even pick it up! I think when you're a kid Christmas means so much more, emotionally and just overall on the holiday. I think, as we get older we sometimes loose the meaning of the holidays, but something I've never lost is that car. Even now that I'm 18, I still have that car in my bedroom. To me, it's inspiration. I hope to drive that car one day -- the real one that is!
Christmas has always been one of my favorite holidays because I think it gives you new perspective on the past year and inspiration for the year ahead. I spend the majority of my days away from home -- racing on the INDYCAR Mazda Road to Indy circuit -- and while my dad is at every one of my races and PR events, I don't get to see the rest of my family as much as I'd like too throughout the year.
I love the holidays for the pure fact that it's all about family. Hanging out watching movies, playing in the snow, EATING and just relaxing by the fire. I think this whole notion is even tenderer as we reflect on the events around the massacre in Newtown, Conn., recently. To think those families won't have their kids at home for the holidays and to those families who won't have the teacher-adults either is just gut-wrenching.
This notion that many families will be without their loved ones just goes to show that you never know when your time will be ending here. It reminds us that you have to appreciate your loved ones each and every day because you're just not sure how much longer they (or you) will be around. I know I'll take that extra step when seeing my grandpa and grandma to give them a hug that lasts a big longer and appreciation that is much stronger than it might have been before.
Much of that will be happening right here in Ohio. Given that I do travel so much, I'm lucky that our family is pretty close and we'll get to spend it right down the street without having to travel too far.
I've always dreamed of one day being in New York City to see the ball drop and maybe one day I will. One thing I'm really looking forward to is getting a new puppy. I'll be getting a Bernese mountain dog. If you know anything about them you know how big they get! I'm not sure what I'll name it just yet; I'll have to meet her first!
What are your plans this holiday and what are you most looking forward to? I'd love to hear from you and how you hope to be inspired for the new year!
Zach Veach is one of the youngest licensed semi-pro racecar drivers in the country. Named by ESPN The Magazine as a NEXT athlete in motorsports and among CNN's "Intriguing People" Veach is also the author of: 99 THINGS TEENS WISH THEY KNEW BEFORE TURNING 16. Zach is a contributing blogger for the Huffington Post. For more on Zach, go to www.zachveach.com.