Student Voice


November 29, 2023




Holiday season lacks spirit, time

December 15, 2006

It’s nearing the middle of December, and there is still so much that needs to be done before Christmas. College has left little time for pre-holiday festivities.

While many people are out and about going from store to store doing their Christmas shopping, I am cooped up in my room working on numerous papers and projects that need to be done before the end of the semester. It doesn’t feel like the Christmas season this year.

This lack of Christmas spirit is undoubtedly shared by many across campus. It’s not that I don’t enjoy Christmas — it has just snuck up on me so quickly this year that I’ve had hardly any time to think about it.

For years this part of December was filled with anxious anticipation — I just couldn’t wait for Christmas Eve so I could get together with my family and tear the brightly colored wrapping off numerous presents. Afterward, I would eat as much as humanly possible and subsequently end up in a near comatose state for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

I’m sure this will happen again this year and I will enjoy every moment of it, but the anticipation for this gathering and celebration just isn’t what it used to be.

The reasons for my lack of Christmastime enthusiasm go beyond my hectic schedule. It certainly doesn’t help that most major retail chains start advertising their Christmas sales before Halloween.

Having Santa Claus right next to the Grim Reaper just isn’t right. Christmas is the most profitable holiday for retailers and they more than recognize this. Pretty soon the stores are going to start marketing “beach volleyball Santa” because the retail season for Christmas is going to start in July.

I know this sounds pretty cliché, but the commercialization of Christmas has led us astray from what Christmas really means. Sure, it is a time to give and receive presents, eat far too much and sleep in, but there is more to the season than that. Christmas is a time to reflect and be thankful for what we have.

I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I really don’t care that much about the number of presents I get — I would rather just be around the people I care about. The people make Christmas, not the presents nor the food.

I’m hoping after this semester is over the Christmas spirit will be alive and well in me again. The bombardment of advertising by retailers trying to sell their products has almost jaded me this year, but not quite. Writing this column this week got me thinking about the important people in my life and a little Christmas spirit was ignited in me once more.

Writing can be a sort of therapy at times because it allows one to reflect on their thoughts. For this reason I would like to thank the Student Voice for providing me a forum in which to voice my thoughts and opinions this semester. Writing for the paper every week seemed like a daunting task, but every time I sat down to write a column I truly enjoyed doing it. This space has allowed me to explore diverse subjects.

I’m not really sure how to end my last column of this semester, so I guess this will have to suffice: Happy holidays!

Derrick Knutson is a student at UW-River Falls.