Home for the Holidays 

Mariah Carey had the right idea when she wrote “All I Want For Christmas is You.”


   To quote the queen of Christmas, Mariah Carey, “I don’t care about the presents underneath the Christmas tree.” I do, however, care about the traditions which connect me to both the present and past. Socialist Jean Jaures once said tradition means keeping the flame alive instead of looking after the ash. This is a phrase people choose to ignore, and it’s taking a toll on seniors. 

    In my family, we usually create one new Christmas ornament per person. As we set our tree up and unwrap the ornaments from past generations, we reminisce and share the stories associated with each one. 

   Customs are important to me, which is why, on the afternoon of Nov. 20, when my parents approached me with the logic of our annual tree trimming, story-telling, all-day-after-Thanksgiving event pared down to a smaller, only pull out a few boxes of ornaments and spend an hour of family time decorating a smaller tree, I adamantly protested. I understood their logic: my dad would only be in town for a few days and time was short. In my mind, however, this made it more important. This is my last year in this home, as a teenager, and it’s important to slow down a bit and reflect, rather than just let everything rush by.  

    Some of my friends do it differently, starting their celebration even before Thanksgiving, senior Emma Murphy’s family definitely has the right idea.

   “My traditions usually involve getting Christmas trees at a reindeer Christmas tree farm, going on hay rides with my family and drinking hot cocoa,” Murphy said. 

  However, other seniors shared similar stories to mine: parents hacking away at holiday traditions in the name of simplicity. Collectively, we rely on reruns of Santa Paws and Tim Allen to get us through the holiday and remind us of our childhood.

   I feel we need a hard reset. Christmas is a season of reconnecting and memory making. It’s the last time (we seniors) will be at home. We need to reconnect with our traditions to recover the spark that is joy: in the season, in each other and in Christmas. In doing so, we may find those seconds lost are not as important in the scheme of those gained in our times of togetherness.