I’ll Be Home After Finals: The Changing Holiday Tradition
Emma St. Aubin and Kaitlyn Luckow
estau255@uwsp.edu - kluck791@uwsp.edu
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It’s almost finals: a week surrounded in stress, studying, anxiety and lack of sleep. It ends as fast as it begins. The second it does, we’re back at home in front of the Christmas tree. After the chaos of finals, we go straight into Christmas morning with almost no time to stop and actually enjoy or take in the holiday season. As we get older, the magic of the holidays transforms into something different.

As an adult, most of the holiday magic remains just as festive as it was when we were children: the joy of giving and receiving, putting up decorations, and stuffing our faces with chocolate and cookies will always be delightful. However, some aspects of this holiday cheer change as we get older.

St. Nick no longer fills up your stocking. Maybe he simply was never given a key to your apartment, but there is still a hint of disappointment when you wake up on December 6 to find that your shoes are still empty, and your stocking was never filled by jolly old St. Nicholas.

Santa Claus becomes more of a nostalgic figure. Even though we understand that there is not an actual man who breaks into your house in the middle of the night to leave goodies under the tree and eats your cookies, we still get excited and giddy when we see him in the mall. He’s like a mythical being in his velvet throne, surrounded by human-sized elves, a giant tree and oversized Christmas lights. Suddenly we find ourselves plotting excuses to sit on his lap to relive the magic of our childhood. (Plus, we still want that pony that we never got.)

Once you find a child to bring along to see Mr. Claus with you, you realize that the fear of sitting on Santa’s lap still exists. The tradition of dressing up a man in red and a giant fake beard and allowing children around the world to sit on his lap and tell him all of their hopes and wishes sounds fantastic. It is, until it is your turn to get your photo taken. Suddenly, you realize how creepy it just all is and form excuses why you can’t get your photos taken. It would be simply embarrassing to be an adult crying on Santa’s lap.

Some things have changed for the better. We are finally old enough to enjoy holiday get-togethers, so let the parties begin! Work parties, family parties and ugly sweater parties are being planned almost every day during the weekends in December. Who doesn’t love a good excuse to eat, drink and be merry?

​Community members and students filled the Encore Saturday to visit with
Santa and decorate cookies and cards. Photos by Kaitlyn Luckow.
 

Holiday traditions are starting to change now that we’re getting older. However, that doesn’t mean that we have to “grow up” anytime soon. We can still enjoy cookies, secret Santa, hot chocolate and gaudy decorations. Maybe then, by the time we finally get home for the holidays, it will start to look and feel a lot like Christmas.