Alexandra Giordano ‘16 – Waking up at the crack of dawn to check on the eaten cookies that were left out for Santa the night before, looking under your family’s lit up tree for all of the presents he left you, eager to tear them open. The excitement for the holiday season as a child is much more exhilarating, and as we grow up, the holidays take on an entirely different meaning.

Now would be about that time when we trace our hands and color in the fingertips red, yellow and orange to make the perfect turkey. Instead, as high school students, we only look forward to the first break off from school.

In elementary school, parties and events were planned for every holiday. Whether it was Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, or Halloween, school made the excitement all the more thrilling.

As a child, holidays meant receiving rather than giving. Maybe around Christmas time elementary students bought a few gifts for family members from Santa’s secret shop set up in the school auditorium or lunchroom – using their parents money. Now, almost adults, high schoolers have their own jobs and make their own income. Holidays are no longer about receiving toys from Santa. It’s time our independence kicks in, and we purchase gifts for those we care about.

The “all about me” attitude strays away from us as we grow up. We start to realize that holidays are not just about getting something that satisfies us. Thanksgiving becomes a time where we sit around the table and truly cherish moments with family members. Staying up until midnight is no longer a challenge, and the innocence behind dressing up on Halloween is gone.

“Some of my favorite memories as a kid are during Christmas time,” Arianna Onessi ‘16 said. “I loved waking up with my sister and opening gifts. Now we like to sleep in and don’t believe in Santa so it’s not as exciting. I think it’s better to spend time with family and watch them open a gift I bought for them.”

Looking back on the memories as a child can be peaceful and heartwarming. It’s important to remember that one day we will have our own families, and a new excitement will be created. Giving to your children, watching their wide smiles and bright eyes as they unwrap gifts or collect Easter eggs, will be even more satisfying.
For now, treasure the moments created as family gathers together. Buy the perfect gift for a loved one, and thank your parents for all that they do. One day you’ll look back and reminisce on these memories, too.

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