Christmas cheer or Christmas fear?

Is it ever too early to start enjoying the holiday season

Christmas time is almost near so let us spread some Christmas cheer

By Christian Varty

It can be wood fires in a ski lodge nestled away in the mountains or it’s fresh snow lining the city streets. Cookies baking in the oven or chestnuts roasting on the fire. However you spend your Christmas, surely it’s the best holiday of the year.

Many people are bogged down in the hustle and bustle of the modern world and don’t get to spend time with the most important people in their lives. Christmas time is a much needed break from that.

People get busy, they move or we simply fall out of contact. The couple days of festivities encourages people to slow down a little and catch up with family and friends.

It’s a perfect excuse to get back together with friends you haven’t seen for a while or pack the family up in the van and go visit extended family.

Detractors may say the holiday has become materialistic and too indulgent with gifts. If that indeed is the case, then good. It’s a celebration of affluence across our shared culture. A way for us to acknowledge our society’s relative economic success and revel in it.

During the middle of winter when the sun has been setting at 4 p.m. and the cold has begun to seep into your bones, Christmas time offers a peppermint flavoured refuge of optimism joy.

Not even solely on Christmas Eve or morning, rather the whole month of December radiates Christmas spirit. Neighbours hanging lights, stores donning decorations and media beginning to move more and more towards Christmas centric content. Without this barrage, December would be a cold and unforgiving month.

Furthermore it’s the flavours and scents of the season that can hit most viscerally. Cinnamon and cardamom, peppermint and fir needles, eggnog and chocolates are always a mainstay and can warm even the iciest of hearts.

If you don’t like this wonderful time of the year, I implore you spend the holiday with any young family you may have. Nieces, nephews or little cousins it doesn’t matter. They will be so excited and joyous about the whole occasion that I’m sure you’ll have a hard time not catching a bit of residual joy. Not to mention you’ll be helping them share some of their fondest memories of growing up, surely.

The whole holiday is a jovial indulgence into the finer things in life. That includes friends and family, a big Christmas dinner and the Christmas baking that comes along with it, and the giving of special presents to the people that matter the most.


The Christmas season lasts much too long to be enjoyable

By Haylee Miller

Now don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas– the time devoted to family and the relatives that travel long distances to see you and the delicious treats your mother slaves over the oven to make you, but I must admit that in this day and age, Christmas doesn’t mean or maintain the wholesome values it once did. Nowadays, I would argue that Christmas has gotten entirely materialistic, greedy, monotonous and downright inconvenient.

I once loved Christmas time and now I absolutely dread it. Everything goes on sale which means that people have an excuse to run one another over because an item is 50 per cent off– it’s ridiculous! There is a heavy pressure to spend money and be overwhelmingly happy, which is all fine and dandy as long as you have the funds to maintain it. If you are say, going to college and working an entry level job to get through school, you can’t help but feel bad you don’t have enough money to buy all the special people in your life gifts.

Or how about the ones that you cannot spend Christmas with? Long lost loved ones who made the season bright– for myself in particular, death seems to come around in November and December. If Christmas was just a few days long, as it should be, it wouldn’t be so bad. But as it is, Christmas spans from, offensively, before Remembrance Day to late January. A whopping two and a half months of societal pressure, repetitive music and every man and his dog with their palms out. For those without families, Christmas can be particularly hard.

If you ask me, helping others should be a daily part of a person’s life. Helping people when you can and making sure to take the time to appreciate those in your life. Year after year, I watch children ask for all the latest toys only to neglect 60 per cent of them within a few months. What is the point of making an already tight financial belt tighter simply because it is December?

Longer line-ups, seemingly grouchier people and advertisements for everything from negligee to glow in the dark silly putty, Christmas has lost sight of its family-oriented roots and become a feeding frenzy for money hungry corporations looking to profit off people over the holidays. I am not a religious person and so I do not celebrate the significance of Christ’s birthday, but I find myself under pressure to buy presents and partake in a holiday that I don’t observe.

Furthermore, how uncomfortable it must be to people of different faiths. I completely respect religious freedom but much like sexuality and economic status, don’t shove it in my face. I have yet to be repetitively hit over the head with other religious holiday music quite like with what Christmas does. To atheists and people of differing religions, Christmas can be quite overwhelming.

I’m not saying we need to stop Christmas but how about dialling it down? Stop wasting energy and contributing to light pollution simply because “it’s Christmas!” Let’s go back to taking a few days to enjoy statutory holidays to appreciate the loved ones in our life, making homemade gifts and genuinely enjoying one another’s company.