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Attitude of Ains: The holidays don't feel the same anymore

The holiday season is approaching, and many people are ready to spend time at home with their families. There is a lot of nostalgia surrounding the Christmas season. Picking out the best tree for your family, decorating the tree, setting out cookies for Santa and feeding the reindeer are just some of the traditions we can remember from childhood. 

Over the years, holiday joy can be extinguished by the harsh reality of adulthood. During the COVID-19 pandemic, most family gatherings were put to a halt to lessen the spread. My family still hasn’t returned to doing our big Thanksgiving and Christmas that was always present for me growing up. The pandemic caused much fear surrounding big gatherings, which is still being restored today. Big events such as Black Friday that lead up to Christmas are not nearly as popular as they used to be, partially because of this danger. After the pandemic, people seem to have lost interest in fighting over a mediocre Christmas gift at 4 a.m. 

The magic of Christmas disappears because many of us know that a fat man with white hair named Santa will not be entering our houses, and if that did happen, it would be rather concerning. Once we were no longer children that would believe anything, a big part of Christmas died. Knowing the Elf on the Shelf is just a product of parents trying to get their kids to behave and can’t actually move on its own was a disheartening realization. Parents can try to preserve young, susceptible minds, but Christmas magic can’t last forever.  

The anticipation of opening gifts on Christmas morning used to keep us up all night. Making an absurdly long list of toys we were expecting under the tree was necessary for many of us to have a good Christmas. These things have faded with age because the excitement of materialistic gifts isn’t like it used to be. Adulthood makes you want things that can’t be bought, especially when you no longer have as many people buying presents for you. As a kid, opening the hottest new toy would fill you with so much joy because you had something to brag about at school when you returned. When your house is now filled with adults, the gifts under the tree now consist of vacuum cleaners, crock pots and other depressing houseware items. 

We look back on childhood memories and wish things could feel perfect again. Whether you’re feeling nostalgia for a time when it felt like family all got along or when you believed in Christmas magic, the holidays can be made special again by enjoying the simple things. Good food and people are enough of a reason to enjoy your holiday. 

Ainsley Brandabur is a freshman studying journalism. Please note that the opinions expressed in this column do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Ainsley? Email her at

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