Remember the reason for the season
You may already be feeling down and out. Maybe you are already done with this whole holiday season. You may be saying, "Oh, I have to get this and this for so-and-so. And what's-his-face needs a new such and such."
Fill in the blanks, but the "happiest time of the year" can be downright depressing. Maybe you lost someone dear to you around this time, or you don't have money to get a gift for someone, making you feel unworthy of them.
The Grinch had an interesting point of view on Christmas. From a cynical viewpoint, it's possible to see things the way he did. "Gifts! Gifts! Gifts! That's what it's about, isn't it? That's what it's always been about," he sarcastically declares.
Maybe your kids are obsessed with the newest gadget, and you are afraid your child will be "bitterly bummed-out" if you don't get it. Every parent wants their child to be happy on Christmas, but maybe kids and parents are forgetting one of the reasons of the season: family.
This word touches a deep scar in some. Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson series, mentioned "amputees who had phantom pains where their missing legs and arms used to be." Sometimes that's how our heart feels when we lose someone dear to us.
Whether by divorce, death or moving, loss shakes us to our core. After sharing many pleasant holidays with that person and then suddenly they're gone, it leaves a huge open wound. When a wound is ignored and untreated, it can fester. But wounds can heal if you let them.
The new year comes, promising a clean slate and a chance to change. However, sometimes we just keep moving and ignore our pain and guilt. Some embrace the pain and eventually become numb, empty husks blowing to and fro in the darkness.
I have seen different degrees of these "symptoms" in kids and adults, whether at school, with family or in myself. I know it's hard to be open with someone who hurt you, but if you try to forgive them and let go of your pride, it can be one of the best Christmases in your life.
Megan Ewen, a freshman at CORE at Camptonville Academy, said her favorite part of Christmas "is probably being with family." When you stop thinking of yourself, you can enjoy this joyous time of year. The reason Christmas is amazing is because it signifies the beginning of rebirth and forgiveness.
If you really want to get your family back into the spirit, then maybe it's time for some Christmas traditions. Courtney Hendrix, a junior at our CORE, said her favorite Christmas traditions start with the kids putting up the tree together. "On Christmas Day, we open presents together and then go to our aunt and uncle's house just to spend time with the family and, of course, eat. For me, my favorite thing is wrapping the gifts I personally get for my family."
I think we go about this whole season wrong. We scurry about from store to store in our darkness like cockroaches hating all the lights of Christmas. We don't slow down to admire the beauty. Instead of focusing on others, the ones we love, we get so wrapped up in ourselves and our inconveniences that we forget the reasons for the season: giving (especially forgiveness), family and love.
Evan Campbell is a sophomore at CORE at Camptonville Academy. His column appears every six weeks in Education.