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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Opinion: Remember Christmas?

Photo by Chris Swann/The Battalion
OPN Christmas

Remember when Christmas was fun? Like nauseous-from-excitement, not-sleeping-a-wink fun?

You were lying in bed on Christmas Eve, alight with nerves, your eyes flying open every few seconds when you thought you heard the faintest noise from the rooftop. Creeping up to the tree before the first rays of dawn to see which brightly wrapped packages had your name on them and whether Santa had taken to the cookies.

It wasn’t just the gifts that excited you — a whole day with no school and the whole family together, visiting with extended relatives and even more free time to look forward to before the new year.

It was an excitement that lasted for weeks before Christmas Day. How about Polar Express day at school, with watered-down hot chocolate in tiny styrofoam cups and those nameless sugar cookies with the frosting? And those Advent calendars with little chocolate figures for every day of December? I can taste them now — slightly stale and with that plastic topnote.

Santa’s magic was real in a way not a lot of things were, and even though we didn’t have any white Christmases in my part of Texas, the holidays were always holly, jolly and full of cheer.

Christmas used to be fun. Pure, ephemeral joy, one day out of the year.

What happened? Life, I guess. The inexorable march of Father Time dragging us into adulthood, with all the apathy and real-life responsibilities that hang onto his coattails.

The sad thing is, I don’t even remember the last year I looked forward to Christmas so much that the mere thought of it sent flutters of excitement into my stomach. I didn’t know it was the last time. You never do.

That goes for everything, I suppose. I used to be so excited for school field trips that I’d lay out the clothes I was going to wear days in advance and barely get a lick of sleep the night before.

When was the last time you looked forward to something that much?

The truth of it is, we’re never going to get that back. Pure, innocent joy is hard to come by these days. You can get a sense of it still, if you’re in the business of looking. Like when you ace a test you thought you were going to fail, when you meet a really cute dog or when you frolic through a field like in the movies. Y’all ever frolicked? There’s nothing like it, really.

Losing that childlike wonder and excitement is all part of growing up, and it’s true that we’re never going to feel the same way we did back then. But that’s not to say that Christmas can’t still be fun — we just have to find new, different ways to get there.

Whoever said Polar Express days had to stop in elementary school? I say you fire that bad boy up on your TV and invite all your buddies over for hot cocoa and a movie night. It’s a great respite from the stress of finals, and I guarantee you’ll enjoy the somewhat horrifying uncanny-valley animation style much more with friends.

Cheer is contagious. Decorate your apartment, even if it’s just candy canes and little cutouts from the dollar store. Blast Mariah Carey from your car with the windows down. Bust out those ugly sweaters and wear your Grinch pajama pants and Santa hat to your final. I’ve seen stranger things on campus.

I don’t know about you, but as I’ve grown older, giving gifts has become more enjoyable than receiving them. I don’t know if there’s anything better than seeing someone’s face light up and hearing the words, “You remembered!”

Things have changed for us, and sometimes those childlike feelings are hard to come by. But if you really want them, and you really try, maybe Christmas is a day you can find them again.
Charis Adkins is an English junior and opinion columnist for The Battalion.

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Charis Adkins, Opinion Columnist
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