A warm, exciting tingle shoots through my body as I snuggle deeper under the covers. I am filled with anticipation, knowing the “thumps” and “thuds” I hear on the roof are Santa’s reindeer.
While in retrospect it seems creepy that an old man was watching my every move, as a child I found it comforting to know I was never alone and that my kind actions would be validated.
As a child the holidays were simple. There was only excitement. No pressure, no stress, no bankruptcy. The holidays were two weeks off from school; two weeks to play, eat, do crafts, and spend time with family.
Now the holidays are different. Now they are stressful. Now people are demanding gifts, relatives have high expectations, and aunts and uncles are breathing down your neck saying “so what college are you going to?” or “What’s your GPA?”
Now that I am older, the holidays are not about celebration and excitement, but they are stressful and draining.
Now when I pack my bags to travel to my grandparents for the holidays, I have to remember to pack my homework and reconcile that I will have to sacrifice spending time with my family to finish essays and math assignments before school starts back up again. Whether or not I want to be involved in the family drama, I am.
The holidays just are not the same.
The same goes for planning, cleaning, traveling, etc. As I have gotten older, the far less fun aspects of the holiday season are far more prominent.
There is something about the childhood innocence and nostalgia of Christmas morning that makes the holidays just a bit more special to a child.