by Elizabeth Horner
It is almost certain that by the time I wake up in the morning of December 12, 2010 I will be looking out at frozen surroundings. It will be deceptively calm as I peep through my bedroom window. Our yard will be beautifully landscaped with white fluffy stuff as the snow storm moves through our area.
It is also going to be just a little over a week when I will be let out of school for the holidays and my mom takes her long needed vacation from her job. We have some planned activities that I am hoping to enjoy this year.
Yes, it is Christmas time. It is also that time of the year where there will be anxiety-triggering events such as the snow storm as Christmas carols fill the air. People will be scrambling to accomplish much more than can be done in an average day --- time will have this seemingly death-hold grip over our lives sometimes during the holidays.
As the sound of chimes tries to calm us down, we just end up pushing ourselves harder and harder with every tick of time. If you stop to take a breather, there is always this something else that you could be doing. Our efforts can seem never to match the demands of this ever-changing, fast-paced society. Time heaps stresses upon our weakening bodies, and plagues us in our sleep.
It is pure fantasy that tools and machines would free us from such pressures. Cell-phones, automobiles and airplanes were supposed to make it so that we have more opportunities to spend with our families, to smell the roses, or, heck, even just glance in their direction. But all is not going according to plan, and these tools could even keep simple pleasures at a distance. Cars might get people home sooner but our destinations have also gotten farther away. Texting and e-mail have replaced talking to people in person or even just hearing the sound of their voice.
I think it is important for everyone, including young people like me, to understand what the holidays mean to each one of us. Much more than the thrill of receiving presents, or seeing the house decorated in splendid greens and reds, maybe a return to the days when we were little and time was not the kind of monster we feared lurking underneath our beds. Making things the old-fashioned way, reveling in each other’s company the way we used to, and for once, for once --- allow ourselves to forget about the bad weather and see only the beautiful landscape. Live in the moment and step in the satisfaction of what is here and now.
I believe that I should not run away from my problems and I should confront them head on. But while this is all great and good, I also have to be aware of the dangers of taking on too much all at once. If I am constantly of the mindset that there are always things in need of fixing, I will always worry about them, and then, when will I ever enjoy the fruits of my labor?
The spirit of this holiday reminds me that in our day-to-day lives, we must find a way to ring that bell that jogs our memory of the good things that surrounds us that outweighs the stress we are under. To let this season be that time to let old wounds heal, to catch our breath, and allow the storm to deliver A GREAT WHITE CHRISTMAS!!!
The author of this article is a 16 year-old advocate for youth and a student of Greenville City Schools. She promotes reading and writing as critical basic skills for young people and actively shares her passion for creative writing with seventh and eighth grade students that she meets with once a week. Elizabeth can be reached at ReadtoSucceed2003@yahoo.com.