[Emily Alvarenga | Contributor]
Then: “September 3rd? Oh my god! Only 114 days until Christmas!”
Now: “Oh god. Three essays until Christmas? I’m never going to make it.”
As the holiday break fast approaches, I know I’m not the only one who is counting down the days until I get to go home for Christmas. It’s the time for family, presents, lights, snow and so much more. Christmas has always been a magical time of year, but we can’t deny that things have changed a bit since we were kids. As we grow up, getting into the ‘Christmas spirit’ just isn’t the same, but sometimes that’s for the best. We begin to realise that Christmas only comes after you survive all the assignments. The anticipation is still there, but instead of it being for the holiday itself, it becomes more for the break we all desperately need from our studies.
Then: You write lengthy letters to Santa, asking for your dream toys. You’re on your very best behaviour so that you stay off the naughty list.
Now: You send your mom a detailed email, linking each gift you want so that she doesn’t go rogue… again. Then you go on the hunt for the perfect gift for each of your relatives.
When you’re young, presents are the best part! Now, because I’m old enough not to want the entire toy store, I can finally appreciate the gifts I’m given, partly because they’re usually things I actually need. And it’s the best feeling to actually be able to return the favour. Showing your parents that you appreciate them just as much as they appreciate you, instead of it being such a one-way street. It can be the same with other aspects of Christmas as well, such as the decorations.
Image: Flickr – Kevin Dooley
Then: You look forward to decorating the entire house from top to bottom, including the tree. Your parents help you place the ornaments, even lifting you up to put the star on top of the tree. Then you get to help wrap presents, or at least hold the ribbon.
Now: You get home to a decorated house and have a lot more presents to wrap.
When you leave home, participating in holiday traditions doesn’t come as easily. It’s unlikely that you’ll be there to pick and decorate the tree, which will probably be hard at first. But it’ll make you cherish those traditions even more. When you’re young it’s just expected, you don’t even think about it. Eventually you’ll adopt your own traditions and you’ll never take them for granted again! I’ve realised Christmas has a much deeper meaning than material goods and that the littlest gesture generally means the most.
Then: On Christmas Eve, you put out cookies and milk for Santa and go to bed as early as possible. In the morning (crack of dawn), you excitedly wake your parents up so you can open your presents.
Now: On Christmas Eve, you’re grateful for the time to finish wrapping your presents as the clock hits midnight, munching on the snack your sister has left out for you – how thoughtful!
With school and work becoming more important each year, you end up spending less time with your family. So over the holidays, more than any other time of the year, and you are able to make up for all the time you’ve missed.Growing up allows us to discover the true meaning of the holiday season and really appreciate it. So be thankful for all the wonderful childhood memories and remember to savour all the little moments this Christmas.
Tell us what you get up to over Christmas with your family! Tweet us @TridentMediaUK with the hashtag #Home4Xmas