Editor misses simple joys of Christmas traditions

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I was sitting in my preferred, quiet hiding spot, trying to get some work done in between classes in Palumbo Tuesday when I heard a familiar holiday greeting echoing down the hall.
“Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas!” One of Gannon’s favorite, most caring security officers was dressed up in the traditional Santa Claus garb – red velvety suit, white fur trim and complete with a black belt and a flowing curly white beard under a red Santa hat.
I couldn’t help but smile. John Thomas Coleman has one of the most contagious laughs and smiles.
The traditional Christmas Open House at the Commuter Corner was in full swing.
As I sat there frustratingly trying to understand the clever but often boring passages of Simone de Beauvoir, I couldn’t help but think about the upcoming holidays.
Christmas time – as I’m sure many would agree with me – is one of the most magical times of the year. I love when the normally dreary, late-fall Erie cityscape is finally covered in glistening, fluffy, white snow.
I love digging out all of our Christmas decorations, putting on Christmas music and having quality time with my family as we decorate.
I love driving down the road and seeing houses decked out in fancy, bright lights. Growing up, it was always a family tradition to have our front yard transformed into a scene straight out of “The Nutcracker.”
I remember we used to have two giant, wooden cutouts painted to look like toy soldiers and lined with lights. We also used to have a colorfully painted gingerbread house and two little gingerbread men that we used to create a candy wonderland in the yard.
Christmas was such an effortlessly magical time growing up.
Now that I’m older, I’m beginning to realize more and more that you have to try harder to be in the Christmas spirit.
In my house, Santa would bring you a present or two – but he didn’t have time to wrap it. Our presents from Santa were never wrapped, always nicely displayed in front of the Christmas tree labeled with our names.
My mom kept that charade up for my youngest, brother who is now 11 years old, and doesn’t believe in Santa anymore. Christmas has changed in my house and I’m not quite sure how I feel about it.
I never knew how much tradition and old memories meant to me until I grew up. This year, I’m finding myself missing the simple joys of my childhood Christmases.
Instead of going outside and playing in the snow while my mom makes hot cocoa, I’m inside wondering if I’ll have enough money left over after buying presents to pay my car insurance bill this month.
I never understood why some adults thought Christmas time was stressful – until I became an adult myself.

 
SAMANTHA GRISWOLD
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