The truth about growing up and our feelings towards the holiday season


Wyatt Henderson

Hailey Carner nabs a load of Halloween candy.

Orange, yellow and red leaves alike, descend from trees once green. As all these holidays draw nearer, the idea fills me with stress rather than the excitement it once did. For the past couple of years, it seems to me that all holidays feel rushed and maybe less joyous- different.

While most of our favorite holidays are crammed into the butt-end of the year, it may be a reason as to why holidays don’t feel the same as they did when we were children.

I’m going to partially blame this on Walmart and their incessant need to flood us with Halloween decorations in late September while all the school supplies are still on clearance. Or any holiday for that matter. The day after school starts, here come the cheesy Fortnite costumes and edible plastic bits also known as candy corn. Then the day after Halloween, here’s Christmas throwing up in your face. And if I have to hear “All I Want for Christmas is You,” I’m going to leave the country because October hasn’t even passed yet. In the most sarcastic tone, Thanks Walmart.

But on a lighter note …

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of the year; even in the coldest winter storm does Thanksgiving brings warmth to my heart … and ludicrous amounts of food to my stomach. Frankly, as a kid I never quite cared for the holiday the way I do now. I used to hide in my room with a plate of mashed potatoes, attempting to be as anti-social with my family as possible.

I blame it on my “rebellious stage,”  but now I surround myself with my loving and definitely obnoxious family, happily still stuffing my face. This isn’t a bad type of change and in fact, I am grateful for this one.

Sadly, I can’t just blame everything on Walmart, though I could give you a run for your money- the tragic truth is, we are getting older and we’ve lost some of our holiday cheer. The energy surrounding holidays still hover, but it’s less focused and pontent. We’re told as young adults we’re too old to dress up, and with Halloween as the only day acceptable to take candy from strangers, youngin’s get to hog all the joy (and cavities). It’s OK, though. I’ll just keep buying candy by the pound while attempting to justify my gluttony with the idea that kids might come knocking on my door. But between you and me, I hope they don’t. Honestly, nowadays … the best part of Halloween is when it’s over and all the candy goes on sale. If anyone asks, no- I didn’t just rob Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Mind your business.

Anyway, as the seasons continue to change and the snow begins to stick, we move closer to December.

I reflect on the time when being a materialistic child was kind of expected and we built up excitement by watching all the classics like Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, A Christmas Story and The Grinch. Only to now come to the realization that I’m more of a Grinch than a Cindy Loo-Who. But as kids, we received presents and weren’t expected to give much back other than a crappy school-made ornament that your parents probably pretended to adore. But as a teen, knowing what I want for Christmas is almost comparable to pigs flying. How am I supposed to tell someone I want to sleep for a week and wake up to a buffet breakfast?

Undoubtedly, my mentality has changed because these days, I’d rather cuddle up on the couch with my family watching a cheesy movie we’ve all seen a hundred times before, waiting for this holiday madness to pass, because spending time with our loved ones is worth more than any gift. Regardless, I give serious props to all parents out there that persevere through a holiday likely created by big corporations to take our hard earned money. Just kidding, Happy Birthday Jesus. But the feeling of Christmas definitely has changed. I no longer desire a new set of Play-Doh or accessories for my Polly Pockets like I did as a youngster. I long for building snowmen with my siblings (as annoying as they can be) and throwing a snowball in their faces, sledding with my friends and building gingerbread houses, because I see now that Christmas is more than just stuffed stockings and presents under the fake, dimly lit, tinsel-laden, easily flammable tree. I am happy to say I have outgrown the needy child mindset, and maybe that’s why holidays have felt different these past couple of years.

So after Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas have passed, and we’re all as broke as a joke- we begin to think of New Year’s resolutions. But I can’t truthfully say that this has changed much since I was a kid. I still make unrealistic goals for myself like giving up my caffeine addiction or stop spending all my money on band posters… Like I said- I know I’m not the only one. Maybe one day this will change and I’ll get my poop in a group, for lack of a better phrase. Moral of the story, change can be good or bad, it just depends on how you look at it.

As Blink-182 so perfectly put it:

“Well I guess this is growing up.”