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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Boston chapter.

Christmas time has always been my favorite holiday season and time of the year for as long as I can remember. I have always been a lover of gift giving and receiving; I think primarily because of my mother. However, as I continued to grow in my teenage years, Christmas just didn’t feel the same. There were no more white Christmases that I had loved so dearly, and there was no more magic when I realized that my elf on the shelf wasn’t the one writing me little notes, while he moved around my house every morning. 

My favorite season had grown to be such a dark time of the year for me, especially in 2014 after my grandfather died on Christmas eve. This death took a significant toll on my family, as he was the light of our Christmas, being the biggest Frank Sinatra lover you could ever meet. I will never forget my mom telling me that he sang her “I’ll be home for Christmas” right before having surgery the night before Christmas eve as we were leaving the hospital. Riding to the hospital at around 7 a.m. on Christmas eve to visit grandpa, and getting a call that he passed while we were halfway there was Earth shattering. I will never forget how brave and courageous my mother was to continue to have Christmas morning the next day to still make everyone feel a bit better while she was facing the biggest loss of her life. Although this Christmas was definitely very solemn, it was still “better than nothing,” which was something my grandfather would always say. 

Although grief around the holidays is an incredibly difficult feeling to deal with, and it can sometimes feel consuming and enveloping, I now can sit back and feel a bit of comfort hearing Frank Sinatra’s voice. Sometimes when I listen to different Christmas songs like “White Christmas,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and “Jingle Bells,” I feel transported back to my grandfather’s living room as a pre-teen, and I’m decorating the Christmas tree with him and my uncle. Or, I feel like I can still hear my grandfather sing his favorite Christmas songs to me like he always did when I was younger. 

A piece of myself and my Christmas spirit will be forever stuck in 2014 with my grandfather in that hospital where everything went wrong. But I also think it is still possible to feel the Christmas cheer and the Christmas spirit if the holiday season has had negative connotations in your past. It really depends on what you make of it. Watching Christmas movies with loved ones, going to tree lightings with hot cocoa, and giving yourself time to relax and reenergize during time off of work or school is critical to feeling the Christmas magic. Rewatching the Santa Clause series really brought me back into the spirit as I heard Scott Calvin haphazardly tell Charlie that Scott still believes in Santa. If you haven’t watched this series yet this December, make sure you get into it ASAP, as it may bring back the Christmas spirit you never knew you had anymore. However, if the Santa Clause series doesn’t do this for you, maybe consider spending sometime with your loved ones, and watching a classic that might take you back to happier memories or your childhood, like Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (1970). 

Furthermore, make sure to give yourself care and consideration this holiday season. Get yourself that sweater, candle or concert ticket you’ve been waiting for—you deserve it. Make sure you get enough sleep, and indulge in some sweets during this festive season. Head to Walmart, or another department store, and grab some DIY ornaments to make, whether you make them yourself, or with some friends and family. Feel the love and warmth around you, and make sure you don’t take for granted the people who care so deeply for you.

And even after all of the sadness, the heartache, and the grief, I’ve somehow found Christmas to still bring me the same nostalgic feeling year after year. Even when it feels like life is unfair, and I keep getting knocked down, I know that everything will be okay. But every now and again, when the sneaking feelings of grief and sadness slip in, I remind myself that “everything will be okay in the end. If it isn’t okay, then it’s not the end” – John Lennon.

Jackie Tucker

U Mass Boston '25

Jackie Tucker is the President and Campus Correspondent at the Her Campus UMass Boston Chapter. I oversee and create content with the social media team, as well as manage the event planning and marketing teams. I'm a fourth year student at the University of Massachusetts Boston, with a double major in Psychology (B.S.) and Communications (B.A.). Beyond Her Campus, I work in our campus' student activities office and assist all of the organizations on campus with event planning, poster management and any questions/concerns there may be regarding various organizations. Additionally, I'm a research assistant the AMPT lab on campus, or Anxiety Mechanisms and Processes Team run by Dr. Hayes-Skelton. In my free time, I love to listen to music and spend time with my friends. Some of my current favorite artists are the 1975, Arctic Monkeys, and Wallows. I also go on regular hikes when I can, and love to go to concerts.