‘Tis the season?

Let’s face it.

The holidays aren’t the same anymore, and they haven’t been for a while now. Each year it seems that the rushing excitement that surrounds the holiday season is drowned out by the stress and pressure of everyday life.

The gradual decline in holiday spirit signals this feeling of emptiness during a season that’s meant to make you feel warm and fuzzy. You may think to yourself, “Perhaps there aren’t enough lights out, or Santas in shopping malls. Maybe an ugly sweater and some stockings will do the trick.”

Many of us have been there before, and while putting in effort to get into a festive mindset may bring back the nostalgic feeling of the holidays, there is no doubt that the excitement that we once felt as children is not the same now that many of us have grown older.

While people suspect that there are different factors leading to this change ranging from seasonal depression, the stress of finals week, or simply just growing up, senior Kashish Pandey shares her personal insight in reference to her celebration of Diwali, the Hindu celebration of light, which symbolizes the spiritual victory of light over darkness.

“As you grow up, you can get carried away by other events occuring in your life during that time too, so when these holidays come, it almost feels obligatory to just celebrate and get it over with.”

This argument highlights the way responsibilities tend to pile up as we grow up and simply lack the time to enjoy the festivities and gatherings.

Holidays easily begin to mix in with burdensome every day obligations and as a resort, we lack the capacity for enjoyment. While it is different for everyone, a common theme that interferes with holiday celebrations is merely just being too busy.

But perhaps this fluctuates based on the priorities of the individual. Someone who takes the time to decorate their home during the season may be more likely to stay festive as opposed to someone who’s left this old tradition in the past as they transitioned into adulthood.  

Although it can be rather difficult to make time for celebration in our tightly-packed schedules, there are a few brisk changes that can be made to raise holiday spirits, despite stressful times. Simply swapping out your regular playlist for some holiday tunes or festively decorating your space can bring a refreshing change. Even making time to watch a holiday film, indulging in your favorite holiday foods and drinks and partaking in activities tailored toward the seasonal weather change could make a big shift in your outlook of  the holiday season.

Holiday celebrations may not appeal to everyone, as some people may find them childish or just a waste of time. On the opposite end of the spectrum, junior Mikaela Reyes discloses some ways that she enjoys celebrating the season.

“I like to blast Christmas music around my house in addition to lighting holiday candles and drinking hot chocolate because I can feel the holiday spirit in my surroundings,” Reyes tells.

Perhaps it is simply the gesture of allowing oneself to enjoy the holidays that makes them feel more exciting — stripping away the worries of indulging in one’s innocence.

With all things considered, it is understandable that there may never be a convenient time for the holidays, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the season. While it’s true that annual celebrations are not essential, they can provide some fun and variety to spice up everyday life and should be taken advantage of in any way desired.

Whether you chose to decorate your living space, listen to holiday music or step out onto an ice skating rink, the holidays are yours to enjoy if you may choose to.