Christmas Time is Here: Winter Holidays Through the Years


A time of nostalgia and traditions, each Christmas season marks a new year of growth, while we continue to appreciate the most wonderful time of the year!

Climbing out from under the warm covers into the cool air of a winter house in the morning, children rush from their rooms, down the stairs as fast as their little legs allow. It becomes a race to the tree and the presents waiting patiently underneath for the enthusiastic reach of small hands. A day full of unmatched excitement for every adolescent, but what happens when those Christmas-crazed children grow up? Do they lose their Christmas spirit or is it still buried deep within the cynical perspective of every teenage mind?

Santa Claus is coming to town! The big friendly man in a red coat- Christmas time’s most famous celebrity. As a child, the wistful belief in Santa was the most magical part of the Christmas season. With cookies thoughtfully arranged in the living room, children would crawl happily into bed, either to sleep their soundest sleep of the year or to stay up all night for a glimpse of Santa. We owe much of the magic of Christmas to all the parents who dutifully fulfilled the role of Santa Claus each Christmas Eve night, never taking credit for the time and money that comes with shopping for an expectant child. “One time my parents left a piece of white fluff on my cookie plate and I thought it was a piece of Santa’s beard,” said junior Grace Nyberg. “I got so excited.”

These days, as a teenager during the most wonderful time of the year, our perspective has often shifted from those innocent days of childhood. Instead of holiday parties and movies within elementary school classrooms, we are blessed with an early Christmas present of final exams, projects, and holiday work. Excitement is overridden by stress, and the holiday season suddenly becomes a little less joyful. “December is definitely a very stressful time,” said senior Sarah Anne Hamilton. “But the feeling when you finish your last exam and leave for the break is the best.”

Despite the stress that comes with school and teenage life, Christmas still holds the power of bringing a little magic back into our lives. Instead of only ever experiencing the joy of receiving, we also feel the joy of giving. Instead of being surrounded by family, we get to broaden our circle and celebrate with friends as well. The freedom of choice that comes with age has the power of making the season exactly what you want it to be. It brings endless opportunities for nighttime Christmas light drives, hot chocolate movie nights with friends, and a chance to bring the holiday spirit to all those around you. “I love being able to plan Christmas parties with my friends and doing secret Santa together,” said junior Chloe Espiritu-Walker.

As children, full of eagerness and expectation, the start of cold weather meant the anticipation of Christmas presents and candy canes, family trips to the Christmas tree farm, Christmas music playing on every car ride, and prayers for an Atlanta snow that would likely never come. These traditions make it clear that as much as we may change, the holiday season never really does. The same traditions are certain and the nostalgic feeling that they inevitably bring is that of the carefree excitement we only ever felt as a child at Christmas.