by McKenna Leaden ‘16, Staff Writer
Everyone has a different idea of how the holidays should be celebrated. From various family traditions to the annual uproar over when to start listening to Christmas music, every one kicks the season off in their own special way. My first step this year was listening to Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ station on Pandora, followed by my mom pulling our family’s Christmas decorations out of the basement.
While the holiday season may be a time for some to run around like Santa’s busy elves, buying gifts for loved ones and friends, or striving to create the perfect Christmas, I tend to find Christmas a time of comfort and peace. Sitting down underneath the glistening Christmas tree listening to Bing Crosby sing the words of ‘White Christmas,’ sipping a mug of hot cocoa, while being wrapped in warm blanket reminds me of the warmth the holiday season conjures- inside and out. As Madison Schettler ‘17 puts it, we can “finally spend time with family and see friends without the pressure of school or work or other responsibilities… [and] no matter what their motivation, people seem so much more willing to be kind and generous which is so nice to see.” This season is a time to renew yourself, or boost your sense of compassion and slip on your own Santa hat. Show kindness and try to brighten someone’s mood, instead of bringing others down.
Of course all of this may sound cheesy, but a major part of what Christmas means to me is learning to embrace “clichés”, such as: being thankful for family and friends, following your heart, baking cookies with your mom, and going to the town tree lighting. The fact that these ideas are universal and comforting is what gives the season such a warm-hearted reputation among people.
Take watching The Polar Express, Elf, or even more of a classic, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, as an example. For years families have been huddling around their television sets enjoying these timeless movies. My mom always shares how teachers would not assign any homework on the night that Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer was aired each year. The idea of people coming together and carrying out these annual traditions is what delivers the sparkle of holiday spirit which is much needed during these cold winter months. Also, there are classic foods we eat only during the holiday season like delicious stuffing on Thanksgiving, or your Grandma’s snickerdoodle cookies, which is what Kevin Sholtes ‘16 loves about the holidays. These traditions and our families are like the gingerbread slabs and sugarplums that make up a gingerbread house. They are the key ingredients in creating our visions of a perfect holiday season.
Finally, when many people think about the holiday season, they think of it as “a time of giving… [and] a time to spread cheer and joy” as Hanna Sato ‘16 shares. Therefore, my gift to everyone is in suggesting to check out the Hallmark Channel for the much needed clichés during this time, and you may just be pleasantly surprised. It is a big part of what this holiday season means to me.