The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Andy Williams said it best: it sure is the most wonderful time of the year.

The air is getting cooler (even in tropical Hawaii), a giant Mr. & Mrs. Claus can be spotted at the entrance of the Honolulu Hale, and the holiday spirit is almost infectious. Almost every convenience store has at least one aisle dedicated to Christmas, songs like “Jingle Bells” and “Frosty the Snowman” make their rounds again on the radio, and entire streets light up with an assortment of fluorescent colors.

As soon as the turkey is nothing more than spare parts and the last slice of pumpkin pie is gone, there is an excitement about Christmas. For a lot of people, December goes by excruciatingly slowly. Every day is a gradual step closer to a day that never seems to come soon enough. According to theguardian.com, a survey showed that Christmas is by far the most celebrated holiday in the United States. Unlike most holidays, Christmas isn’t confined to just one day. Senior Makenzie Cammack said, “It is special because it is different from the other holidays! You can practically celebrate it for the whole month of December!” Senior Jared Miyasato said, “I like all the decorations and lights that people set up. I also like the Christmas trees and songs because they only play this time of the year.”

As far as traditions go, many families and individuals celebrate the holiday with their own special rituals. Cammak described her family’s tradition this way: “We always buy our Christmas tree on Black Friday and spend the day decorating our house and yard. On Christmas Eve we always put out cookies and milk in the kitchen and oats and carrots in the yard. My sister and I are a little old to still believe in that stuff but it has just become a tradition that we do every year. I still don’t know how my parents get all of the oats out of the yard by Christmas morning. We also wake up every year on Christmas morning, open our stockings and then cook breakfast together as a family before we open presents.”

But for parents, Christmas time can also be just as stressful as it is merry. Stores with good sales turn into circuses, where customers must twist and contort themselves through a herd of hungry shoppers. Buying presents for people can become costly and the process of picking out a suitable gift can be just as difficult as forking over the cash to buy it. For senior Chris Kwan, however, store bought gifts have less appeal than homemade ones. He said, “[I prefer to receive something] handmade because if they take time to make a gift for you, that shows you how much you mean to them.” Cammack, on the other hand, prefers shopping for gifts. She said, “Usually, I go shopping on my own to buy specific presents for my sister mom and dad but when it comes to friends I usually get people pretty much the same thing. It can be pretty hard to afford nice and unique presents for all of your friends so usually I will get something pretty generic on Christmas and focus more on the birthday presents.”

English teacher Dawson Vorderbruegge shared what he thinks makes Christmas so special saying, “It’s the one holiday that is not about ourselves. It doesn’t celebrate a romantic relationship or our country or a costume or a people group; it celebrates humility and sacrifice. Despite how consumer-obsessed we are, I think that still resonates with people.”

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