Christmas Spirit This Year. . . Keep on Christmas-ing!

Elaine Chosa, Staff Writer, Journalism I

Has anyone else gotten the sense that holiday spirit this year has greatly swelled? Perhaps it is like this every year, and I just haven’t been paying attention, but this year it feels like the entire U.S. is about to pop with all of the holiday cheer. 

Now I’m no grinch, so obviously it is enjoyable, but why is it that this year there seems to be an intense focus on fitting every holiday activity in? It seems to be directly tied to the pandemic we have lived through for the past 10 or so months. 

Just yesterday I stopped at some stores to look for Christmas gifts, and I was shocked with how many people were out and about. In the middle of the day on a Wednesday! 

Perhaps it is all relative because I haven’t gotten out much and seen a crowd of people for almost a year, but I believe there is another reason lurking below the surface. It is because everyone is trying to compensate for the not-so-fun year we have had so far. 

Throughout the years, Christmastime has been held on a magical pedestal. As seen in holiday movies like Elf, Home Alone, The Grinch, and A Christmas Carol, Christmas spirit always fixes whatever has been going wrong in the protagonist’s life. Ebenezer Scrooge was literally saved from eternal damnation by getting into the Christmas spirit!

Obviously there is a deeper reason for our collective holiday-craving: we have all realized the value of the things we so often took for granted. The pandemic has really opened my eyes to how good we had things such as spending time with family. As a kid, Christmas was always filled with magic and hope, so who can blame us for wanting to get that feeling back after the crazy year we have had so far? 

This year many will not be able to spend time with their loved ones, so compensating with a few extra decorations, lights, Christmas candy, and Christmas music acts as a sort of consolation. Globally, we have listened to 6.5 billion minutes of Christmas music on Spotify alone this year. The holiday tunes started to roll out earlier too, with a 25 percent increase in October listens compared to previous years. 

Christmas music is not the only thing that has seen an increase this year as the USPS has seen a 40 percent spike in package deliveries for the holiday season. I can hardly look outside without seeing dozens of delivery trucks roaming around the neighborhoods! 

This has a definite direct tie to the fact that many have opted to purchase items online over in-stores, as well as sending gifts for loved ones in the mail, but could also be because of this amplification of Christmas spirit. We miss our loved ones and want them to see that we have been thinking of them. 

TikTok certainly has been a huge factor too. I scroll through my for-you page to see dozens of new gift-wrapping techniques, holiday jammies and hot-chocolate bombs. How can you see that and not want to get in on the fun? 

However you celebrate this year, remember to be thankful for those you are able to spend time with. I personally would love to see this level of Christmas-frenzy every year; it adds a genuine feeling to the atmosphere. Seeing the lights around town gives a sort of illuminating hope for next year, so keep on Christmasing!