Julianne Byer

Well it looks like that time of year again: When the average American will gain those five merry pounds and then proceed to try and lose them for the following 365 days. It’s the same routine every year: Christmas decorations up at Halloween? Check. Non-stop carols to haunt us 24-7? Check. The mad rush to find the perfect gift before you DO realize you had 11 months to find it, but the holiday somehow crept up on you once again? Check, check.

            What could possibly make 2005 any more festive than last year? How many times will we have to watch “Charlie Brown’s Christmas” and realize that he WAS lame to pick that tree! He deserved to be teased, who in their right mind picks the ugly tree? Oh Cynicism, the window to adulthood and the telltale sign of a fleeting childhood…

            Not that everything we believed in as kiddos has to vanish before our very eyes. Santa can still creep into our houses at midnight loaded with goodies, but he better bring batteries, chargers and USB ports. Remember when the bigger the box the better? Not anymore. Now if it is small enough to fit in your pocket its worth waking up earlier than noon to sit around in your pajamas while your parents take blackmailing pictures of you opening it. The elves must really miss making dollies and airplanes, now they practically have to have a degree in computer engineering to even get hired.

            Looking back, I never understood why the holiday spirit wasn’t enough to change the world. Advent calendars are every kid’s dream as they count down the days and anxiously wait. Know we use our calendars to budget time and money to stand in long lines, develop a new form of road rage and swear to ourselves that next year will be different. Next year I will have all of my shopping done by Black Friday and homemade cards will be uniquely crafted by Yours Truly, as I sip on eggnog and merrily spend the holiday season with a smile plastered on my face. There is a New Years resolution for you. It is too bad that Christmas, for those who partake, is the biggest holiday of the year, and yet is so often the most stressful and un-spirited for some.

            Where along the way was the holiday cheer lost? What happened to buying gifts for the spirit of giving, versus racking our brains to give one that is as good as the one they gave you last year? Disbelieving in Santa shouldn’t take away the holly jolly feelings you are supposed to feel this time of year. Just because we know that our loved ones are the ones eating the cookies and milk in the middle of the night, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still have that sense of awe and wonder. We as adults should be able to take what we gained as kids and use it to enhance the holiday season; because we have the resources to make it special for someone else and search to find joy in the little things, not see it as a money-guzzling and stressful 30 days.

            For as much as I know now, for all that I have learned, and for as many Christmas experiences I have endured, I would take it all back to have Santa creep down the chimney once again. For stores to not seem so crowded from the height of 4 feet and to dream about what could possibly be behind all of that wrapping paper, and for the song “Joy to the World” to actually seem like a goal within reach. So I don’t know about all of you, but finals and the rest of the real world can wait, I’ve got fudge to make.


Happy Holidays!

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