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The Charger Bulletin

Conformity and Christmas

Erin Ennis

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Happy Holidays! I know I personally cannot wait to go home and see my family. I’m super excited to decorate my family Christmas tree. Every year my mom and I decorate the same way: we put on a specific tape (yes, tape) of Garth Brooks music, place all of our ornaments out on my dining room table, and spend hours placing each of them carefully within the branches. By the time we’re done, our tree looks like a haphazard collection of years of travel, activities, and hobbies. I absolutely love it; we have Disney ornaments nestled next to nutcrackers of Eagles players next to Christmas balls of Snoopy, Woodstock, and Lucy. My mom has a collection of Precious Moments figurines while my father has a collection of trains. A lot of my old childhood ornaments that I made in preschool, mostly of construction paper and badly drawn figurines, have a place on my tree too.

Now, a lot of people don’t have trees like this. My Aunt puts together a tree every year that is perfectly coordinated. If she picks a theme that she doesn’t have appropriate ornaments for, she goes out and buys more. It’s tedious sure, but it’s awfully pretty at the end of the year. The colors are matching, each ornament is hung perfectly, and the entire thing could be put in a magazine. But that just isn’t me. It just isn’t my family.

I’m not saying my Aunt is trying to change our Christmas traditions, because she isn’t. But my question is this: when did how you decorated your Christmas tree, or your house for that matter, become such a big freaking deal!? We have never changed our tree: I would never let my mom. But when I was little, the outside of my house was a plethora of Christmas decorations. We had those big fat colored light bulbs, an illuminated Santa face, and big candelabras that lit the way to my house. It was fantastic! I felt like I was living in one of those wonderful clay-mation Christmas movies. Now, we have the white icicle lights that you can see on every house up my entire street. It is gorgeous, yes. But conformity has taken over the outside of my house, and every other house, across the nation during the holiday season. Christmas ornaments have to be “pretty” instead of having meaning. We even have to conform on the way we say “happy holidays” to people: but that’s for Editor-In-Chief Zack Rosen’s editorial, not mine.

Now in The Charger Bulletin office, we have a perfectly Charlie Brown Christmas tree. It has brightly colored lights and one oddly shaped golden Christmas ball. It isn’t a pretty and perfect tree: and it damn well shouldn’t be. This office isn’t perfect, we aren’t perfect, and Christmas shouldn’t be about perfection. It’s about family, friends, and memories that each of those seemingly crappy ornaments bring back. Ask any one of us how that tree got decorated and where the ornaments come from, and we could tell you. Try asking one of the icicle light conformists and I’m sure they would be left speechless.

When I have my own house, I’m going to decorate my tree the exact same way I decorate it now. I’m going to have a ton of ornaments, from ballet dancers to snoopy to Donovan Mcnabb.  It will be fantastically disorganized. And, despite what my ex boyfriend’s mother used to say, my house will be perfectly tacky. I will have colored lights, big Santa faces, and plenty of those hideous blow-up things. Because I don’t live in Pleasantville, I don’t care about icicle lights, and Christmas is what you make it. So stop conforming: celebrate the holidays your own way!

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The Student News Source of the University of New Haven
Conformity and Christmas