The Sentimental Christmas
I remember when I was still a child, my grandmother sat at the desk in her bedroom hand-wrapping our presents. My cousins and I still believed in Santa and so for two hours her bedroom door would be locked and we just had to wonder what was going on. This was December 23rd. Our family tradition was opening up presents on the 24th along with a big family dinner–that meant my grandmothers very juicy Turkey with all the traditional sides. The night of the 23rd, all my cousins would sleep over and we’d camp out in-front of the fireplace and somehow, magically, when we woke up on the 24th, red and green wrapped presents would appear under the tree. Everyone of us had one present from every adult in the family. We weren’t allowed to open the presents–instead, we would all gather around the tree and begin to sort our presents in piles. The excitement would grow as we tried to guess what each present was.
Around 4 P.M., the rest of the family would arrive and my grandmother would start putting out little snacks and bar nuts they could enjoy until dinner time. Once everyone had gathered around the fire, we would start to sing Christmas songs because we all knew that Santa would not appear until we sang at least two songs. Towards the end of the second song, we start to hear a bell and we all knew it was Santa. We would run out towards the door and watch as the jolly man made his way through the hallway towards us. He would take a seat infront of the presents and by the Christmas tree and then he would start to give all the presents out. Before he left, we would offer him cookies but he always turned down the milk. After he left, we would all run back to our present piles and start opening them. Whether it was pajamas, toys, or in my case–books, we would all be ecstatic.We would spend the rest of the night goofing around with our new toys and snacking–but we never, ever forgot to thank all the people who brought us all the wonderful presents. We were grateful for every pajama set, every book and every toy.
I got to see a few more Christmases growing up before I came to America and Christmas was just never the same. The pajama sets, books and toys turned into laptop computers, blackberry phones and expensive jewlery. I remember one Christmas, my uncle caved and bought my cousin the very expensive laptop she was begging him for. She was in that phase of wanting everything her friends had and better and was under the impression she was better than everyone else too. That Christmas, we all sat around the tree, just like we always did, except this time, everyone had their blackberry’s up to their faces and were in a different world. Santa didn’t come over and my cousin’s impatientce was driving me nuts. We finally began to open presents, everyone knew what my cousin was getting and we were all excited for her. As she tore the wrapping paper and saw the laptop, she looked up at her dad and said, “Thanks, but it’s not the color I wanted”. She then tossed the box aside and pulled her blackberry up to her face.
Nothing was ever the same, nothing was ever sentimental anymore. It was all about how much an item costed and if it was better than what the next person had. When I get asked what I want for Christmas and I say, ” A book” I get laughed at, as if it’s a joke.
While my family may not believe in the spirit of Christmas, I still get exstatic over the idea of seeing Santa and lighteing up the Christmas tree. I get ecstatic over books and even a pair of socks with spongebob on them. Christmas shouldn’t be about the money, Christmas should be about the sentimental things, about family and love.
Christmas, at one point, when I was a child, used to be sentimental and it used to be the best time of the year. But now, it’s a mere competition over who would have the better present and the most expensive one.
Christmas just isn’t the same anymore.