The Older You Get the Less it Feels Like Christmas

I’m sure this happens to everyone as they get older but it seems like every year Christmas time gets less special and more stressful. Baking cookies, picking out presents, wrapping them and putting them under the tree used to be so exciting to me. Even just driving around and seeing the Christmas decorations on my neighbors houses used to make me so much more excited than it does now.

Christmas just used to mean more when I was a kid. There was more excitement in the air, an unseen but always-felt energy surrounding holidays that I still feel in my adult life but isn't as potent or focused now. Holidays either don't age well in the time between childhood and adulthood, or the joy remains the same but the purpose of the day changes entirely.

Almost no gift received on Christmas day as an adult will bring as much joy as the gifts from a childhood Christmas. There's so little an adult could want that can bring out the same level of excitement of a kid unwrapping a new Webkinz, or a Nintendo Wii.

The older you get, the more responsibilities involved with the holiday are placed on you. It becomes more stressful because now you're the one buying everyone gifts, and decorating. All of those things are enjoyable, but there's still a lot of stress that comes with it. As a full-time college student who is barely working, money is already a stress of everyday life. You don't have even half the money you need to get people the gifts that they deserve.

I think the weather is to blame as well, of course we need snow for Christmas, and the holiday season in general without snow just wouldn’t be the same. But for some reason it seems like the immediate second Christmas is over the snow isn’t as white, the air is too cold to bear, and the skies turn a little more gray. And the best part is Christmas doesn’t even mark the half-way point of the long winter ahead. After Christmas things just aren’t as happy, so why would I look forward to this day?

Plus, there really isn’t anything I’m dying to have under the tree. I mean, at least not material things. I grew up pretty fortunate and between my income and my parents, if there is something we really and truly want, we buy it. So, there is no excitement for that gift I’ve been dying to get. Nor is there much excitement for the gift I can’t wait to give, because there is nothing special on their list either. ‘Let’s get through it without getting the flu’ seems to be at the top of the wish-list this year. Can’t circle that in the catalog.

I have to admit, it’s losing some of its charm. I mean, I get it, we go to church, the presents get opened, I eat too much, I feel like shit, and tomorrow is depressing because it’s been weeks of anticipation, the excitement happens so fast, and then it’s over until next Halloween when we’ll once again be annoyed by the seemingly too early start to the Christmas soundtracks.

All this being said, I am excited to get a break from school and the enormous amount of responsibilities I take on here. And I'm excited to see my family, and my dog, and not have to do laundry or buy groceries for a good month. I guess finding joy in that is enough for now.