Tis’ The Season of Letting Go: How The Holidays Will Never Be The Same

Alexandra Bell, Reporter

The symbols of holiday cheer and good tidings, such as the beloved Christmas ornaments or wreaths we hang annually, are no longer as cherishable as years’ past. Instead, fears over distinguishing the difference between catching the common cold or COVID have overtaken the country, pushing aside any plans for the holiday season. With the ongoing pandemic and disruption in many schools all over the world, families are finding it difficult to celebrate this December. Lakeview students share how their familial traditions have been impacted by the infamous disease.

In a recent survey conducted by the Publications class, 41.4% of students say their holiday traditions have moderately changed and 31% say their holiday traditions have greatly changed.

Through overwhelming responses from the this survey, it has been discovered that many students will be unable to see their extended families this holiday season. Instead, many are turning to baking cookies, watching movies, and creating their own traditions to celebrate this year.

Junior Isaac Lezaic shares how this turbulent time has transformed his plans for Christmas. “My uncle and aunt normally host Christmas…but [sadly] we can’t go to their house this year.” When asked if this sudden change dampened his spirits for this time of celebration, he had a positive outlook on how things were different, claiming “I won’t see most of my family but I’m still excited nonetheless.”

Despite being separated physically, Lezaic’s family has found ways to keep old traditions alive. “We normally do a gift exchange…but we’re changing [it] to getting an orphan a present for Christmas.” Lezaic and his family prove there is still good in the world with their determination to spread Christmas cheer to those who can’t.

Senior Danaysha Mauzy is yet another person who will be missing out on family customs. She indicated how excited she was “to go on vacation [for Christmas]…but we can’t because of COVID.” For Mauzy, past Christmas’ were spent “hanging out with friends and family and [even going to] amusement parks.” Even with the cancellation of a promising family trip, Mauzy clarifies she isn’t stressed about the holidays as “I am [just happy] I get to spend time with family I live with.”

Celebrating with only immediate family members appears to be the safest option people are adapting to. In response to the class survey, junior Michael Horn related he had Thanksgiving but “only with my mom, dad, and sister.” In regards to Christmas traditions, Horn can no longer look forward to “[an annual] Christmas party with my family.” However, this change has led to new traditions developing within his family, including “getting a real Christmas tree.

If  2020 has taught us anything, it is to always expect the unexpected. Nobody would ever predict that seeing your family for the holidays would not only become nearly impossible, but dangerous. Distancing from the ones you love this December is a sacrifice being made globally, with the repercussions being felt by those who adore continuing traditions.

While building gingerbread houses or wrapping presents in the coming weeks, perhaps we could reflect on what exactly has changed this season – and recognize how Christmas spirit doesn’t have to be embodied in a room full of people, but rather through our actions from afar.