Then we have the parents, who regain the magic of Christmas by creating it for their own children. But what about us in the middle of this? Not quite a child nor a parent? Where we are too old to buy into the idea of elves in Santa’s workshop, but too young to host our own Christmas? It is a liminal space to exist in. The three-week break from university sends us home with bags full of revision and secondary reading for essays. So, how can twenty-somethings fully enjoy Christmas?
A lot of focus goes onto Christmas day. This build up of pressure can cause huge amounts of stress – family issues, financial problems, and so on. For some lucky people, the magic of Christmas lives on for a few more years due to younger siblings. However, for the rest of us, Christmas evolves, and we must evolve with it.
The best way to enjoy Christmas is to take the pressure off the idea of it being just one day. Yes, for religious reasons, Jesus’ birthday is quite literally one day. But spreading out Christmas can make it seem easier to handle. After all, Christmas brings about a three-week break from university for us all.
Despite the hours of revision and essay work that you ultimately have to do, there are a lot of positives to this break. Guaranteed good food after countless weeks on Tesco ready-meals. A clean house. Baths. Actually feeling warm because you don’t have to deal with your stubborn housemates never turning the heating on. A good night’s sleep in your own bed. Sound pretty good, right?
The best part about Christmas is that it is the best excuse to celebrate. All month-long. Think about it, now that you are an adult, you can drink as much prosecco as you want! Everybody is always up for a night at the pub or even a night in with a bottle of wine, just because it’s Christmas. It is a time for work parties and society balls – pure celebration. The entire concept of a Christmas Eve night-out has been long debated, and I personally find the idea of being hungover on Christmas day completely awful, but whatever floats your boat!
Then, of course, there is the big day. Despite that you have revision and essays clouding your Christmas break, the one day that you can definitely put down those flashcards is the 25th December. The secret to enjoying Christmas day as an adult is making it your own, stripping off the pressure to fully experience it. As soon as you accept that Christmas isn’t about what’s under the tree, it’s about who’s around it, things will get a lot easier.
Yes, Santa may not have squeezed down your chimney, and it is your mum’s handwriting on those present tags, but isn’t that part of the fun? Also, there is no such thing as a ‘conventional’ Christmas. It does not matter who or what is missing, whether it’s spent with mum, dad, or neither. It’s about spending time with those you love - be it family, friends, or partners. It is about treating people with gifts (with the small amount left over from your student loan). Christmas is a day for good food and good company – what more could you want?
So, regardless of the fact that you know Santa’s sleigh isn’t on your roof, and you have a never-ending to-do list, the Christmas season should be one of celebration, love, and a well-earned break.