The ghost of Christmas future haunts me


Graffiti of the Grinch under a tunnel in London on Christmas last year

Every year, I would count down the months, weeks, and days until Christmas. For that one month, it seemed the whole world slowed down to take time and truly enjoy the simple things in life we don’t appreciate enough. The most wonderful time of the year was filled with gingerbread houses, holiday music, and an overall feeling of joy in the air. My siblings and I would fight less, everything was a bedazzled, jollier version of itself, and everything clicked into place.

However, as lovely as Christmas still is, it no longer feels the same.

I’m not filled with feelings of warmth and serenity upon looking at a Christmas tree, and the snow doesn’t possess the whimsical magic it once did. Whether it’s because I’m older now or it’s the anxieties constantly circling my mind relentlessly, something has changed over the past few years.

I revere holiday memories from the past and attempt to capture them in a snow globe of nostalgia, reminiscing as the fleeting moments of the present quickly pass me by and another year approaches. But try as I might, time keeps moving forward, and those Christmases I look fondly back on continue to fade from my memory.

I revere past holiday memories and attempt to capture them in a snow globe of nostalgia and reminiscing.

The sweet taste of chocolate chip cookies and Advent calendars don’t hold the same value they used to. Their utility diminishes more and more, as the years pass, and I get less and less excited about Christmas. Rather than a joyful vacation, the holiday break is becoming a much-needed break from school with some Christmas cheer and prospects of a new year sewn in between.

Besides the rapidly decreasing quality of the past few Christmases, it isn’t helpful that my parents favor traveling around the holidays. While my picture-perfect Christmas is at home gathered around our own Christmas tree, for them, it’s seeing how other places experience Christmas and immersing themselves in different customs. It may make me sound spoiled, but to me, any Christmas not spent in the comfort of my own house can never genuinely feel like Christmas.

With hundreds of ornaments fighting for a place on the tree and my mom’s giant hand-sewn Advent calendar hung on our wall, everything about my house is enveloped by the Christmas season as soon as Thanksgiving ends. An Elf on the Shelf can be found in a different location each morning for my five-year-old sister, and I envy the times when I believed in the magic of Christmas and miracles. Now that I’m older, I get to pass on these fond memories I grew up with to my younger siblings, and as rewarding as that is, I still wish for a Christmas that feels the way it felt when I was six.

Every year, I’m learning to better appreciate the memories I’m making. Although Christmas isn’t quite the same as it used to be when I was younger, each one is still pristinely preserved to reflect on when I inevitably miss how Christmas feels now.