The student news site of Freehold Township High School

Patriot Press

The student news site of Freehold Township High School

Patriot Press

The student news site of Freehold Township High School

Patriot Press


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Does Christmas REALLY feel different this year?


When we were children, Christmas morning was nothing short of pure excitement and abundance. The cracking sound of a fireplace filled the early morning air with warmth and comfort as our families took turns unwrapping each other’s gifts. Joyous laughter and the smell of freshly brewed cinnamon coffee filled the room’s ambiance with magic and bliss. As children, we had objectively nothing to worry about other than pouring enough milk for Santa so he could continue his journey through the night. Children all over the world sat in bed, unable to sleep, and listened for any warning sounds that a man unbeknownst to them was hopefully climbing through their chimney at that moment… Sounds rather weird in retrospect, doesn’t it?

As years go on, without a doubt, the innocent and euphoric feeling of Christmas begins to fade. Every year the same old saying comes around. Have you heard it this year yet? If not, let me be the first to say it. Christmas feels different this year. As a society, the majority of us hold a strong nostalgic feeling over our childhood’s celebration of Christmas. Sometimes, the desire to feel the same way we did when we were children becomes a strong craving for one’s soul. I’m surely guilty of it. A quick survey of other students at Freehold Township High School also made it clear I’m not alone in this feeling. Without context, I asked 3 different individuals at our school (Mariam Ezzat, Kailyn Gardner, and Courtney Scheib) if they felt Christmas was out of place this year. It was no surprise that they all came up with one selective answer. Yes.

One lone idea has become apparent to me the more I think about this phenomenon: we fail to realize that Christmas isn’t what is different this year. We are.

Nostalgia has a psychological effect on our brains. Krystine Batcho, who has a Ph.D. in psychology, does an outstanding job of explaining the development of time. In an interview, Batcho reveals “It’s comforting to have a nostalgic feeling for the past that reminds us that although we don’t know what the future is going to bring, what we do know is that we know who we have been and who we really are.” I believe this quote alone reveals why we feel the way we do. Change and the passing of time are extremely uncomfortable for any of us. That childlike innocence we want is because of the way we feel now. Children have an extreme surface-level feeling of the world around them and mentally as we grow up, things become more challenging. This time of the year, students might be struggling to balance their social, academic, and personal lives at the same time. We didn’t worry about these types of things when we were younger and our parents solely cared for us. As we grow into our independence, our childhood seems completely juxtaposed with how our lives look today. 

With this being said, Christmas doesn’t have to be a time of desiring how carefree our lives used to be. This year should be all about tapping into our inner child and embracing the happiness this time of the year brings. Put on your favorite movie, get matching pajamas with your friends, bake snowman cookies, and drink hot chocolate this weekend. The same joy with our family and friends is still there when you look for it. 

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