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Do Holidays Lose Their Excitement as We Get Older?

November 2, 2019

The end of the year marks many important holidays around the world, including important religious celebrations, festive decorations, delicious food and gift-giving. For example, as children we used to dress up in costumes and go “trick-or-treating” for Halloween, but as high school and mature responsibilities set in, the emphasis on fun activities and  excitement disappears. Snuffed out by various joy-dampening factors, the playful spirit in many teenagers fades away during times of festivity and joy.  

 Maybe the countless taunts you received when wearing your favorite Disney character outfit to school on Oct. 31 as you have done for the last 10 years broke your love of Halloween, or you had a test on Nov. 1 that just could not possibly move back one day further, so you stayed home while the rest of your family dressed up and went out. It seems that society today has pushed kids into growing up so fast that they will never get to experience the joy of visiting Party City to grab the first Candy Corn Witch costume they have in stock. The countless holidays spent inside studying or working due to the immense pressure now placed on high schoolers cuts off precious years of childhood that can still be savored. Furthermore, if you happen to address this issue and celebrate the holiday anyway, your grades may suffer, leading you to not even bother celebrating the next year. 

The societal shift in togetherness has decreased since the 1970’s, according to a survey entitled, “Less in Common,” organized by City Reports. A general increase in distrust among one another defeats a major purpose of holidays: spending time with loved ones and friends. Holidays like Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa are religion-oriented, but they all emphasize a feeling of community and a celebration of culture in one way or another. Teenagers struggling to stay afloat in difficult personal, social and educational situations may not even feel festive by the time an important holiday arrives, an extremely disheartening concept as these crucial years will be lost as many 18-year-olds go on to college and lose the opportunity to spend these moments with their families. 

Teenagers struggling to survive time-demanding sports, rigorous AP classes, stressful college decisions, or important jobs can barely find time to squeeze in five hours of sleep per night. The burden and anxiety caused by the teenage life today rips the happiness out of holidays and replaces it with homework, sports, clubs and activities, that simply cannot pause for one moment to celebrate an enjoyable holiday. Kids in high school today feel the immense pressure put on them to excel in every aspect of their lives, and it is no longer surprising when holidays or days off cannot even garner a smile due to the fact that it is simply not a holiday or day off any longer. 

Many teenagers feel conditioned to simply look to the future, and the slogan of “no pain, no gain” echoes through many kids’ heads as they make countless sacrifices in favor of their future and ignore the pain of today.  It is unreasonable to demand that no work be assigned or demanded the day after every single holiday, but perhaps a slight recognition that everyone could use a day off once to celebrate life and cherish family and friends would be met with the utmost gratitude.

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