A Christmas Carol, Starring Pace


Let’s take a look back on past Christmas gifts and how we’ve changed our receptions to certain presents.

Infiniti Styles Bowie, Features Writer

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

You know, with tone-deaf kids singing jingle bells and randoms strangers telling you to be of good cheer, even though they just ripped on poor Maggie at the cash register for not accepting their two-month-old coupons?  And let’s not forget those scary ghost stories- which actually would make more sense for Halloween- and tales of the glories from Christmases long, long ago.

Well, speaking of those Christmases from long, long ago, let’s take a trip down memory lane, starting with a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Past. Hold on to your britches.

It’s Christmas Day, 2005. You’re 8-years-old. It’s 7 a.m. and Christmas has barely even started yet, but off you go running down the hallway, bounding down the stairs, waking up your entire family as you scream, “It’s Christmas! Santa brought presents! He ate the cookies and milk!”

Meanwhile, you have no idea that your parents spent well over $600 on those presents, your dad was contemplating postponing Christmas until next month when he got his bonus, and your older brother stuffed his face with those cookies.

When you finally make it downstairs after nearly giving your family a heart attack, your own heart swells with joy when you feast your eyes on the piles of presents under the tree. You’ve got everything on your Christmas List; every toy, game, and gadget your little heart desired. It is a Christmas miracle.

Finally, you get to the last gift. It’s soft- it definitely doesn’t feel like a toy. But, nevertheless, it’s a present and it’s got your name on it. You viciously tear open the wrapping. Suddenly, the world stops moving. It’s not a toy. It’s a not a video game. It’s definitely not a My Little Pony set. It’s a shirt. A 100 percent cotton, machine wash cold, size Small shirt. Christmas is officially ruined.

For many children, the magic of Christmas crashes down to reality if they receive any type of clothing as a present.  For Pace junior Kristin McInerney, while getting clothes for Christmas wasn’t exactly a deal-breaker with her parents, a shirt and a pair of pants were never on her Wish List.

“When I was younger, I would definitely get a little annoyed with [getting clothes for Christmas], unless it was a really cool shirt with something special on it,” McInerney said. “Otherwise, I was kind of just like, ‘Um, thanks?'”

What McInerney did ask Santa for Christmas, however, was a special kind of Barbie doll.

“Every Christmas when I was a kid, I would always ask for that Holiday Barbie doll,” the junior said. “I don’t even know why because you weren’t even supposed to play with it and it was just supposed to be a collectible, but I still always wanted it.”

Image result for holiday barbie
Holiday Barbie, 1997

McInerney also admitted that she was that same overtly excited child screaming at 7 a.m on Christmas morning, but that trait still may exist today.

Now, let’s fast forward to today with the Ghost of Christmas Present or, in this case, present/future.

It’s Christmas Day, 2018. You’re 21-years-old. It’s 7 a.m. and Christmas has barely even started yet. Then it turns into 8 a.m. Then 9. Then 10. Finally, your college-aged body decides that it can’t sleep forever, and you groggily get out of bed. You take your time waking up; yawning, going to the bathroom, putting on clothes, and eventually making your way downstairs.

After exchanging Merry Christmases with your parents and eating breakfast, it’s time to open presents. There are about four, maybe five gifts with your name on it. One of your gifts turns out to be that really expensive jacket that your mother swore she wasn’t getting because she likes to ball on a budget.

Another gift is a pack of socks, which you really needed because all of yours were missing or mismatched. Finally, you get to your last present. It’s soft. As you carefully unwrap the gift, the world gets brighter. It’s a shirt. A 100 percent cotton, machine wash cold, size Medium, shirt. And it’s Michael Kors? It’s a Christmas miracle.

After growing another year older and wiser, many individuals begin to cherish more practical gifts on Christmas. Others simply cherish the holidays for being able to spend time with loved ones. For Ethan Wood, a junior at Pace, the holiday season is more about family than presents.

Wood, who celebrates Hanukkah, revealed that as he got older, his concern about what kinds of gifts he would get waned, instead preferring to give than receive.

“I don’t really mind what gifts I get now because I don’t really think about that much anymore,” Wood said. “Now I usually get money for Hanukkah and I’ll use it to buy gifts for other people or myself. I [also] like the idea of giving than receiving a lot more.”

Wood also said his focus shifted from getting presents to embracing Hanukkah and learning more about the true meaning behind the holiday, as well as about himself.

“…I like celebrating traditional aspects and [the] history of Jewish holidays and Judaism in general,” the junior said, but getting gifts on Hanukkah isn’t too important to me anymore.”

As for the excitement for the holiday itself, the junior said those feelings also dissolved a bit.

“My excitement calmed down,” Wood said, “I just celebrate Hanukkah with my family without really wanting or anticipating getting any gifts.”

While this may be a universal feeling for most young adults, some still are true kids at heart, and the feeling of Christmas- or Hanukkah- still brings out their inner 8-year-old. McInerney admitted that she still runs down to the Christmas tree in the morning, much to the dismay of her family.

“I do! My mom and sisters hate me for waking them up early, but I don’t care,” McInerney said. “I love it!”

Whether you are ho ho ho-ing for the holidays or celebrating Eight Crazy Nights, you never really grow out of the holiday spirit, no matter if you only have two presents under the tree or get a pair of underwear from Meemaw. And if you do grow out of it, all three spirits will be happy to visit you again next year.

Related image
Scrooge from Disney’s A Christmas Carol. Photo from movies4kids.uk.co