by Abbey Knupp
It’s that time of year again. The time of year when snow coats the world, lights twinkle around the rims of houses, people shop like the world’s gone mad, the air constantly smells like cookies, and the entire world is filled with a sense of…wonder. When I was a child, the holidays were all that I looked forward to. Nothing was more exciting than receiving presents or decorating the household; after Halloween, I felt nothing but anticipation. This year is quite different.
I am completely bereft of holiday spirit. While I assumed it was just something that was occurring within myself, I quickly realized that I am not the only person who is experiencing this strange phenomenon. Holiday cheer has completely dissipated from much of the population at Bellbrook High School. This year, people are not excited about holiday movie marathons, people are not chatting about their holiday plans, and not a single holiday song has been hummed. The complete loss of holiday spirit is intriguing, if a little disconcerting.
What is different about this year? Why have people lost their holiday excitement? In some ways, especially in ways pertaining to our school, I think it is due to a preoccupation with other problems. Students are worried about exams and college acceptance. Adults are worried about work and the state of the world. Everyone is preoccupied with something else, leaving no room for holiday spirit. It is because of this overwhelming stress level that the holiday season is especially important; the holidays should be used as a time for people to set down their outstanding duties and take a moment to live for themselves and their families.
Though the lack of spirit seems a little disconcerting, it could also be a positive thing. Almost everyone that I’ve asked this year desires nothing for Christmas; everyone’s wishes have already been filled or they are the type of wishes that cannot be filled with money. Over the years, people have become cynical about the holidays, attributing much of the spirit to consumerism, though this year’s trend may prove that idea incorrect. While Black Friday still consisted of heinous crowds and the stores are seemingly sold-out of many hot-ticket items, I think the lack of desire for physical things is spreading and I think it is a good sign.
Perhaps, the spirit of the season isn’t gone, merely shifted into a different form. The things that I am excited about this year are not the type of things that I have been excited about in years past. While the lights, cookies, and holiday festivities are still wonderful, I am mostly excited about the downtime that I can spend among family and friends. I am looking forward to reconnecting with people who have been overshadowed by my duties. It seems like the holiday spirit has dissipated, since people are so used to the holidays coming in many other ways, but I think the true meaning of the holidays are finally being expressed. People are less concerned with materialistic things and are more concerned with finding peace and reconnecting with loved ones.
So maybe it’s not beginning to look like the holidays in the way that I would anticipate. After all, it’s beginning to look less like presents and more like peace.