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Why May Christmas Feel Different This Year?

Updated: Jan 2, 2019

You feel yourself abruptly awaken. With hazy eyes dusted with weariness, you dig through your sheets in search of your phone. Light leaks into the bedroom from the small crack in your curtains. After a frustrating 37 seconds, you find it, and check the time. It reads “8:33 AM” of December 25, 2018. With slight, yet brief hesitation, you fall back onto the warmth of your blankets, burying yourself under the covers and pillows. The day goes on.

“9:57 AM” the phone reads, and you finally rise to the sound of voices. A decadent smell fills the air. Begrudgingly, you crawl out of bed and stroll down the stairs. Everyone sits in the living room, listening to covers of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “Last Christmas” on repeat. It feels familiar, but lacks the mood that it brought years before. But maybe it’s because the situation hasn’t been registered yet.

Maybe that’s what some Christmas’ are like. Sometimes, the day doesn’t feel as special as it used to be. You don’t feel the same giddiness that coursed through your veins four years ago, the same fervor that allowed you to wake up at an astonishing 6:30 AM. But why is that?

As we age, we learn different things, about ourselves and well… life. The traditions that once made us jump out of bed at the crack of dawn have lost their shock factor, though this does not apply to all. As children, we were taught to appreciate family, friends, and the roofs above our heads. But honestly, we all thought the most important thing to us kids were the presents under the tree.. Something about opening a box wrapped in colored paper sparked something within, a something that is not as easily lit up anymore. Life was simple, because what most children sought in their life could be bought. Having the newest toy, or getting the coolest video game was all that mattered. But as time passes, interests change. The same boy who wanted a train set for Christmas in 2002 doesn’t need, or even want, it anymore.

Children are the purest of human beings, and their innocence deserves to be preserved. But there is only so much time before they begin to realize things, and feel emotions they never fathomed to be felt. The materialistic things they once needed no longer satisfies their wants. People become more complicated, leaving behind the dinosaurs of their pasts. We want more. We want to feel love, to beloved. We want to make others happy, and to be happy. Nonetheless, these are things that cannot be bought. These emotions must be earned through facing heartbreaking, gut-wrenching events that test the durability of our relationships with others. After all, you must go through the worst of times, to know what it is to live through the best of times.

Preceding to the main point of all of this, as we get older, we learning to appreciate things we once viewed to be less important. It is because of this that Christmas has lost the interests of the older. The problem is: many have learned to associate the holiday with the exchange of gifts, and not with the feelings correlated with said actions. People should not give gifts because it’s their so-called obligation, but because they feel the need to express their love for another through the deed. But do not misunderstand these words, and assume that presents are the only way to express how you feel toward other individuals. The gesture is kind, but the motives behind it are far more important. The materialistic object itself has no meaning. It is the action of giving it to another person that assesses the true value of the gift.

Most of us go through certain stages of the Christmas season as years fly by. When this time of the year would come, nothing made us happier than the thought of having thousands of gifts from friends, family, and if were good enough, Santa Claus. The joy from that alone kept us occupied and excited for many years. Soon enough, we would reach the age of having to spend our own money to afford gifts for others, a process far more stressful than our parents made it out to be. Slowly but surely, more and more responsibilities would pile up, making us neglect the true meaning of the holiday. It’s because of this that I find it necessary we all take a minute to acknowledge our surroundings and the things that we are lucky enough to have. With this brief pause, I hope that everyone can begin to appreciate what the world has to offer.

Overall, many of these factors may play a role in the loss of appeal of the holiday season amongst those of older age, but clearly not for all. Personally, the holiday still brings to me the same excitement I felt years ago. Decorating the Christmas tree while festive songs play never fails to make me happy. But again, why is this? Is it because I’ve managed to understand the true meaning behind the seemingly superficial holiday, or because some of my innocence has managed to remain intact? Whatever the reason may be, I hope I remain allured by the charm that Christmas has to offer. The day is not known solely for bringing people together, but for making people realize what is most important in life.

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