Changing Christmas Traditions


By a show of hands, who is exhausted?

Luckily for all of you who are with me on that, Christmas break is coming.

You know, I didn’t always associate Christmas with sleeping in and catching up on some much-needed free time. It used to be that lil’ James would get up right at the stroke of 4:30 in the morning and wait anxiously for his parents to wake up. These days, that 4:30 is pm.

Forget about waiting to open presents, the last time the Christmas tree was really, truly full underneath was probably when I was still in the single digits. These days it is far easier to ask for gas money, gift cards, or a deposit into my account (saving the excessive effort involved in depositing cash, or activating an Amazon gift card online) instead of explaining why I have a spreadsheet comparing the different types of Gore-Tex and why, “yes, you DO need to reference it before buying me a new coat.”

What’s more, beyond simply losing what Christmas used to mean to me, growing older has meant more responsibilities. Anybody else planning to spend four days in a car this break? Oh boy, you know that part is my favorite…

Still, some things haven’t changed since the good-old-days of Christmas past. I still look forward to spending time with my friends, the snow-capped Colorado mountains, seeing family that rarely visits and eating (copious amounts of) great food.

Plus, there are some new things to look forward to. I can finally appreciate getting socks for Christmas, I sleep as late as, or later than, my parents (so no more anxiety-filled hours leading up to opening presents), and not having deadlines to manage for nearly a month.

Perhaps you are enjoying some new traditions (or dreading new obligations) that were picked up after coming to Union, or maybe you pine for the days of yore when presents were physical items and Santa was a real person. Either way, tell us about your Christmas at and we might publish your story.

This is your friendly neighborhood assistant editor, wishing you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

James Clague is a Junior studying computer science & engineering.