Returning to the magic of the holiday season


Graphic by Reagan Smith

Every year the all too familiar picture of the “perfect holiday season” is projected by social media and huge corporations like Hershey’s, so much so that it is all too easy to get swept up and feel as though your festivities will never measure up to such an idyllic image portrayed by others. 

Allowing yourself to be swept up in the unachievable expectations so many individuals place upon themselves is to hold oneself back from truly experiencing the holidays as they should be – a rare break given to spend however you so choose and to celebrate whatever you so choose. 

As the season truly begins to get into full swing and the holiday commercials start rolling, the stress sets in slowly. You try to enjoy the season the best that you can, though in the back of your mind are the constant thoughts of all the things you have yet to do. The porch is still unlit, the tree in the living room has yet to be decorated, and so many gifts still need to be acquired all before the season ends.

When you really let these thoughts consume you it can be panic-inducing. When things get too overwhelming, turning on some classical holiday music and lighting a few candles while sipping on a warm drink is a good way to slow down and reset in order to reapproach the tasks yet to be completed. 

I have always struggled with feeling engulfed with the notion that I haven’t done enough to celebrate the season. And ok sure, I listened to Jingle Bells and had a jolly time while putting mini Target Wonderland Christmas birds in the most peculiar of places, but did I watch all five of those movies as planned and make that gingerbread house like I had meant to?

In my very cheesy sounding quest for the magic of the holidays I have been trying to corner the market on nostalgia. I have quite literally pulled out all the stops. I don’t stop strictly at my personal favorite Christmas films and books; I actually roll out films and shows that I may even just heavily associate with this time of year. For instance, this time last year I was very invested in the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina at Christmas in preparation for the final season and it really helped me cope with being alone for the holidays. 

Holiday nostalgia comes in all shapes and sizes for different people. For one person it may come in the form of watching the Disney Christmas Special after opening presents under the tree, while for another it is making snowmen outside with their dog. Chances are that while reading this, at least one special memory has come to mind that would bring joy to recreate this year. 

The holidays are whatever you want them to be. I can say quite regretfully that last year the magic was essentially snuffed out for most of us while in isolation due to the pandemic still being uncontrolled at the time.

Now is our opportunity to enjoy the world and the people in it again, while seeing snow in the air and lights adorning front steps on each block corner is magical in itself, the true magic that the holidays hold is the ability to hug and cherish the people we love most in this life.