“Somewhere in my memory”

Take time to remember the spirit of the holidays


Photo by William Warby. Accessed through Flickr Creative Commons. Reprinted with Permission.

Charlie Holden, Editor in Chief

The best part about winter break in elementary school was cuddling up on the sofa every night with my sister, my mom and my dad and watching all of the Christmas movies we had on DVD. Each film came with its own sugar-cookie-frosting-memories: my dad singing along to “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” the view from behind the couch as I hid from the roar of the abominable snowman, and my sister and I eating bowls of syrup-drenched spaghetti like Buddy the Elf come to mind.

Each film came with its own sugar-cookie-frosting-memories, among them my dad singing along to “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”

For the Holdens, those lazy days were all about being together. It didn’t matter what happened, just so long as we allowed ourselves to slow down long enough to enjoy it. 

The best part about winter break in middle school was sitting in my room with a book and a box of candies, guarding myself against the cold and the deadlines swirling outside. Christmas was a time of peace, but I was aware of the tension around me. My dad would play John Lennon’s ‘Happy Xmas (War is Over)’ and dance around the kitchen while cooking the turkey and the ham, and the lyrics would wash over me: “A very Merry Xmas, And a happy New Year, Let’s hope it’s a good one, Without any fear.” It was a song I had been hearing every year for my whole life, but the words has only just began to sink in.

The holidays in high school aren’t easy. What presents am I going to get for my friends? What about my mom? I don’t have the money for that… What if they think I don’t care? I think my extended family is coming over next week. What if they ask me about college? What if they talk about politics? What if, what if? Constantly being in stress-mode because of my schoolwork made it harder for me to turn it off during the break. My lazy days flooded with worries of every sort, worries that were made worse by the ultra-consumer based environment around me. The Christmas DVDs stayed in the attic and my family listened to John Lennon each in our separate rooms of the house. 

Lennon’s sleepy voice asked me: “So this is Xmas, And what have you done?”

Lennon’s sleepy voice asked me: “So this is Xmas, And what have you done?” What had I done? It made me realize that I hadn’t truly felt the magic of the holiday season in years, and it wasn’t because my sister told me Santa wasn’t real or because the evils of capitalism had suddenly destroyed the concept of holiday cheer— it was me. Without me realizing it, my attitudes about Christmas had changed into something I could hardly recognize. 

The best part of my winter break, starting in little over a week, will be cuddling up on the sofa with my sister, my mom and my dad and watching some of our favorite DVDs. I’ll eat candy and be merry, but more than that I will be aware. I will be aware of all of the love and the happiness which surrounds me, and I will work every minute to make sure I don’t take it for granted. The season of gifts is coming, and but I know that time is the best gift of all. Give your time to your parents, to your siblings, to your community and to yourself.