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Holiday decorating, then and now

By Julieanne Acosta, December 22 2023—

Growing up, my family didn’t decorate much for the holidays. But to be completely honest, I didn’t really understand that you were supposed to decorate until I started going over to different houses. There, I noticed a key difference in their houses versus the one I would go home to — the twinkling lights, stockings and the red and green themed decorations were lacking at my house. Needless to say, my parents weren’t the biggest partakers in the holiday spirit. 

I truly didn’t think it affected me much until I was all moved out and found myself decorating the house top to bottom for the holidays — a complete shift from what I had been used to. Each year I’ve decorated my own house for the holidays I’m reminded of the absence of the childhood experience that many got to have. I hear stories from friends reminiscing about their childhood of baking cookies with their families or spending a Saturday decorating the house together during the holidays. The absence of those memories in my childhood became clear to me now that I’m starting my own traditions. 

For those of you who relate to the lack of festivities at home during the holiday season, know that you’re not alone in your experience. As cliché as it may sound, its important that you find your own traditions to start making memories this holiday season. In my life, this looked like decorating my house to my heart’s content while for others this could look like going sledding with friends or watching festive movies with your close friends or family. Whatever you decide, it’s important to find the small things that can uplift your spirit. 

In the end, the holidays are about making our own memories with the circumstances we’re given. Despite your past, you have the opportunity to find joy during this time. The magic of the holiday season doesn’t come on its own — it’s cultivated by ourselves and those around us.

This article is a part of our Voices section and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Gauntlet editorial board.

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