The Prospector

Growing out of Christmas

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Rachel Van Leeuwen, Opinion/Editorial Editor

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The Christmas season abounds with elves, candy canes, carols, reindeer, presents, and Santa Claus. We often describe the feelings around this time of the year as Christmas magic. However, Christmas might lose its magic over the years for teenagers.

As we grow up, we tend to lose our unfaltering belief in tales of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy. What we believed in so strongly and so joyfully seems less appealing as reality sets in and we learn more about the world around us. According to The Atlantic, “An AP poll from 2011 found that among adult respondents, 84 percent of people had ever believed in Santa, but the mean age at which they stopped thinking he was real was 8.8.” So, by the time we enter high school, most of us have stopped believing in Santa Claus. If this were The Polar Express (2004), we would all stand in the square at the North Pole with confused looks on our faces as Santa’s sleigh bells rang without sound.

Maybe Christmas begins to lose its magic for some of us because of the stress that the holiday can cause. We have presents to buy, decorations to put up, activities to attend, and tests to pass before Winter Break. That is a lot to handle in one short month. According to The Huffington Post, “As we grow older we begin to see the realities of our childhood, and our innocence on Christmas begins to fade.” Even if you don’t believe in Santa Claus, or your busy schedule stresses you out, the magic of Christmas can still be found.

Many students at Bingham participate in True Blue to feel the magic of the season through service. Setting aside time to serve the community with friends brings feelings of warmth and gratitude. Belief in Santa isn’t necessary to enjoy the holiday season. Christmas can also become more exciting when you spend it with little kids. Whether they be your siblings, cousins, nephews or nieces, or neighbors, children are still full of the spirit of Christmas. Simply being around them and watching their excitement for Santa to drop off presents and eat their cookies can make the season more magical.

However, some teenagers might say that the magic of Christmas was never lost in their lives. They relate to the boy from The Polar Express (2004), who said, “At one time most of my friends could hear the bell. But as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. […] Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me…as it does for all who truly believe.” Many teenagers still get excited for Christmas around Thanksgiving. They love giving thoughtful presents to their family and friends, serving their community, and reflecting fondly on Christmases past. They don’t need an innocent belief in Santa, magic sleighs, and busy elves to feel the love associated with Christmas.

No matter how excited you are for Christmas, make the best of the season. After all, it only comes around once a year.

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Growing out of Christmas