Stop for a moment this holiday to reflect on past Christmas spirit

With Christmas amazingly right around the corner, it seems that, as college students, we forget what Christmas used to be like when we were younger.

While we all know the true story of Christmas, which is centered on the birth of Jesus, we tend to forget the other side — the imaginary and exciting side.

I was feeling this exact way until I had a conversation with my nephew about Christmas.

He was so excited about the coming holiday. He had a huge smile on his face and was eager to tell me what he wanted Santa to bring him this year.

I instantly got a flashback to when I used to make a list for Santa to make sure I got what I wanted. At this point, I realized that the old idea of Christmas to me was totally gone.

Losing this feeling was no doubt caused by my finding out that Santa wasn’t real.

It was about the second week of December in 1996. I was nine years old, young and still naive about everything around me. I believed everything my mother told me, which would soon lead to my downfall.

While sitting down for dinner, I was having polite conversation with my mom and brother.

With Christmas right around the corner, our conversation turned to the idea of Santa Claus. As usual, I was too engulfed in eating to pay attention to the conversation, but for some reason one sentence came out crystal clear.

“So John, can you believe that he still believed in Santa Claus?” my mom said. “I figured he would be too old.”

I heard the words, but they didn’t register.

What did she mean when she said “still believed”? Of course my cousin still believed in Santa Claus, I thought. He’s real!

In my amazement I asked my mom, “What do you mean ‘still believed’ in Santa Claus?”

With a confused look on her face, my mom asked me what I meant. Before this point I still believed in Santa Claus, but after hearing the bad news, a big part of Christmas lost much of its meaning.

I think as we get older and find out that there is no Santa Claus, Christmas starts to lose the meaning that comes with the wonder and excitement.

The thought of a jolly old man dressed in a red suit riding a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer for some reason gave the holiday so much meaning, but when that idea was done away with, much of that excitement was lost.

From childhood, I always knew the true meaning of Christmas. It was a holiday to celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. I always knew this and I know it now.

But the idea of Santa was always in the back of my mind and gave the holiday even more meaning.

Sadly as we get older, especially around college age, Christmas starts to lose that imaginary and exciting idea. Instead, it is turned into a month of time off from school and a time where you have to sacrifice a few bucks for presents.

So for this Christmas, I urge everyone to sit back and attempt to get back that old Christmas feeling. It may be hard, but take a second and try to reminisce on the old days. I’m almost there — the thought of me ripping into presents while wearing my Batman pajamas is just one memory that I’m trying to hold on to.

Try and think back to those days, and I promise you that Christmas will at least gain some meaning back.

Bryan Kennedy is a journalism sophomore. E-mail [email protected]