Our View: The holidays have lost their magic

Published by The Rocket, Date: December 11, 2023
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Students in college, if they have not already, begin to feel the holiday season has lost its magic. 

The childhood years of parents not being mad when you break a new toy is over, and the era of socks and underwear is forever. 

The Rocket staff feels the holidays have lost their magic. We do not know exactly when or why. It may be our age, society after the COVID-19 pandemic, political turmoil or any variety of realizations that naturally come with getting older.

For others, the holidays lose their magic when kids stop believing in Santa. For teenagers and young adults, some say their loss of religion and finding out most common holiday rituals stem from pagan practices has also made holidays feel less special.

Many children growing up in lower and middle-class families eventually realize the holiday season causes financial stress.

Others are saddened that the Black Friday experience of lining up outside a store and trampling a 70-year-old lady for discounted oven mitts has been replaced with crashing websites and furious clicking. 

October, or “spooky season,” is usually filled with haunted houses, pumpkin patches and corn mazes, but this season, it has instead been filled with course work, inconsistent weather that does not feel like fall and candy we cannot afford until the post-Halloween discount. 

Other holidays also tend to feel less special because as we get older. We spend less time with family, and all the attention is not on us anymore. The grandparents experience health issues that make travel and hosting more difficult, and the grandkids are swallowed by their busy schedules. 

Others feel like with everything going on in the world and in our lives, we do not have time to celebrate and feel joy. Because families have little time, some simply are not going all-out like usual, which undermines the nostalgia most of us feel. The economy and overall commercial attitude about the holidays has also overshadowed their true meanings for most. 

As children, we were used to friends and family members purchasing gifts for everyone, the nerf guns, video games and easy-bake ovens we got as kids lit up our eyes and gave parents a view they would try to replicate year-round. 

Now, people can only afford to purchase gifts for significant people in their lives, which dampens the “spirit of giving” surrounding the holidays. 

The staff has also found that many parents simply do not know what to give their children as they get older. Parents know children at an intimate level during their childhood, but many people do not keep their parents up to date on their changing interests as they grow older. 

The holiday season helps us feel joy in our lives, but we want to feel the same joy year-round instead of delegating it to the holiday season. 

Brittany Fleming, The Rocket’s adviser, said that joy came back for her when she had the opportunity to revive her holiday traditions and festivities by sharing them with her child. Being on the parent’s side of the holiday has given her a new perspective and appreciation for the traditions she enjoyed as a child. 

For The Rocket staff, we are excited for that nostalgia to one day return when we have financial stability and possibly children of our own. 

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