Christmas Has Lost Its Childhood Charm

Hilary Lee

Last Christmas morning, I woke up at a reasonable hour, groggily rolled out of bed and stumbled down the stairs as I did on any other, run-of-the-mill day. There, I was greeted by the sight of my family members each doing their own individual tasks, and a living room devoid of a Christmas tree. This was nothing like a scene out of an ABC Family movie or a cheesy, feel-good Disney sitcom.

When I was younger, I would get so excited for the holidays that I even thought of the months in relation to their proximity to Dec. 25. However, time and practicality have since become factors that interfere with the “magic” of Christmas.

I now realize that fashioning a beautiful light display on my front lawn is not only too time consuming to set up and take down, but creates an unwelcome addition to my monthly electricity bill. I then stop and think that maybe it really isn’t worth the hassle to dig out the dusty yuletide decorations from the garage, or spend half an hour untangling the Christmas lights in an infomercial-esque type struggle.

As a kid, I always made fun of shops that painted their windows for Christmas and then never bothered to wipe the merry illustrations off, ever. But I’ve realized that my family’s guilty of a similar offense — we leave Christmas wreaths on our front door and a wooden Rudolph sitting in front of the fireplace all year round. By the time anyone stops procrastinating and sincerely wants to put the decorations away, Christmas is already close enough that it’d be smarter to just leave them there. It’s gotten to the point that my house would look awkward without them now.

Admittedly, present shopping has also become a task that I often look forward to just getting out of the way. With limited time on our hands, my family and I often have to resort to going generic. This means buying gift cards, dried fruit baskets, Pepperidge Farm packages and basically anything else found on the shelves of Costco for relatives and family friends. Anyway, I can’t exactly enjoy the festive decorations and holiday music playing in every store as harried mothers in awful holiday sweaters jostle me around. As if circling around trying to find a parking space in the rain hadn’t been taxing enough already.

Gone are the days of eagerly leaping out of my blankets to check for snow outside on Christmas morning (a child’s fanciful wishing, as it hasn’t snowed in Nor Cal since who knows when). Later this month, I’ll probably have to rely on the holiday Google Doodles to remind me that Christmas is coming again.