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Thursday, September 21, 2023


Kelly’s Korner: Change holiday traditions, and you’ll wind up with a lump of coal in your stocking

As one gets older, childhood traditions slowly begin to slip away. It’s unintentional, but it happens. Maybe you used to ritualistically check under the bed for monsters, but now you just check under your bed for the missing cellphone; maybe you used to like to eat only Froot Loops cereal, but have since decided that the marshmallow pieces in Lucky Charms are way better. Most of these rituals and traditions can be swept under the rug as we grow older with no harm done. Part of growing up is letting go of some childhood traditions — as long as it’s not holiday traditions.

Holiday traditions are something that people everywhere seem to desperately cling to. These traditions, decorations and food dishes become a part of childhood memories, and removing these stable reminders of childish whimsy is kind of cruel. Maybe not every person is as nostalgic as I am, but I enjoy these reminders of simple times.

Therefore, I have compiled a short list of things that should not be removed from Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions — everyone better recognize.

Thanksgiving food: Thanksgiving is one of the few times a year when gluttony is cheered. People are encouraged to literally eat their weight in food, pass out during the Macy’s Day Parade, wake up in the La-Z-Boy and do it all over again. The food served on Thanksgiving sits in a precarious balance — food may be added to the lineup, but food may not be taken from the lineup. Thanksgiving is not the time to count calories and try to turn over a healthy lifestyle. Just eat the turkey, ham, dressing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie and the smidge of salad and go back for seconds already.

Thanksgiving Day Parades: Watching the parade and being able to smell food slowly roasting in the kitchen is almost cathartic. Besides, if watching the parade is taken away, then the person would just have to stand awkwardly in the middle of the kitchen trying to taste everything — and nobody wants that. Also, the one year it is not watched will probably be the year that one of the giant inflated balloons will lose air pressure and cause a hilarious catastrophe — and nobody wants to miss that.

Christmas stockings: Don’t touch the childhood Christmas stocking. This stocking could no longer look like a stocking at all, or Santa’s facial stitching on this stocking could be coming undone, therefore changing his jolliness to creepiness. Neither one of these things matter, because if someone tries to replace a 20-year-old stocking with a Pottery Barn imposter, there will be anger.

Christmas topper: If it began with an angel, it should end in an angel. Changing from angel to star halfway through one’s life is just odd. One is left wondering, “Where is the angel now? Is it stashed in a box in the attic, or has it been discarded with other broken decorations? Is it happier there?”

In conclusion, moving on from certain childhood traditions is fine a majority of the year, but suddenly changing key parts of the holidays is alarming. If students return home from school and discover that the green bean casserole has been replaced with a healthy alternative, I can’t promise that there won’t be a rebellion. Some students are beginning to study for finals, after all — we’ve suffered enough.

Senior staff columnist Kelly Schafler is a print journalism junior and may be reached at [email protected]

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