KIMBERLY JAHNS, OPINION EDITOR
When I was younger, the three or four weeks leading up to Christmas would become the longest three to four weeks of my the year. In school, we would be incorporating Christmas into math activities, lunch would include Christmas cut out cookies decorated with red and green sprinkles and I would use any paper close to me to make a paper snowflake.
Now, in college, I cram my decorating into a single week between Thanksgiving and finals. None of my schoolwork involves creating Christmas crafts, but I still enjoy the Christmas cookies at Ruth’s.
So much of the joy of Christmas is the buildup to Dec. 25. When the snow comes, it becomes a constant reminder that Christmas is coming. Seeing Christmas trees and lights become my ray of literal light on evenings while walking around campus. But we get short-changed in the Christmas build-up because we come back to campus after Thanksgiving, study our little hearts off as we gear up for finals and then go home.
There is no time to sit down and drink hot cocoa while sitting next to the fireplace. On the off chance you are actually sitting next to a fire place while drinking cocoa, you probably have three textbooks and your laptop open as you write a paper.
When we are finally able to go home, then, and only then, we can finally celebrate. But by that point we have around a week to savor and enjoy the Christmas spirit before Christmas actually arrives. My family now has to cram cookie decorating into two days before Christmas when all three daughters are home. We have decorated cookies at 9:30 p.m. Christmas Eve in order to have Christmas cookies to leave Santa.
There is no savoring Christmas but rather speeding through Christmas. I get to January and I wonder how we passed by Christmas and the New Year so quickly. Even New Year’s was so exciting. I remember how difficult it used to be to stay up until midnight. Now I laugh at the challenge to stay up until midnight; give me a real challenge, like trying to write an eight-page research paper four hours before the due date.
Learning to enjoy this time of year while also getting everyone a Christmas present and keeping up with holiday traditions while also making sure to catch up with family and friends that you only see at this time of year have become the ultimate balancing act.
This season, make sure to take a breath and appreciate the time off. Appreciate family, friends, presents and cocoa. Appreciate the season and try to soak in all the Christmas you can while it is here. Try to live in the present, for that is truly the greatest gift.
(Photo Courtesy of Momma Jahns)
The Jahns sisters’ Christmas photo that we took last minute in order to order, print and send out our Christmas cards on time.