To ‘Bah-humbug,’ or not to ‘bah humbug’

The holiday season – a time for joy and togetherness or a chore?



Shoppers return to metro malls to return gifts after Christmas. (NBC)

Charles Peckman, News Reporter

The holiday season is upon us — and love it or hate it, there is little to be done (except for stopping the passage of time) to squelch the holiday.

To some, the smell of eggnog and sight of holly causes a warmth in the soul. To others, the sound of Rudolph on TV and taste of snickerdoodles is nothing short of nauseating.

University of Iowa students have been straining their eyes in front of coffee-stained desks and sticker-laden computer screens for the past few weeks, nervously crunching numbers with the hope of getting their 79 percent to an 80 percent. In a few short days, many of these students will travel home — some to faraway lands, and others to the oft-mentioned “small-town in Iowa.” I spoke with two of these students, one who loves the holiday season and one who despises it.

UI junior Mariah Pride said she loves the festive nature of this time of year.

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“I was raised Christian, so when we were little, my dad used to make us toast and hot chocolate,” she said. “Christmas morning we would sit and read the ‘Christmas Story’ before we opened presents.”

To Pride, coming from a close family allowed her to take relax during the holiday season and catch up with family members.

“Christmas is a good time for us to take a step back, and hang out, and fill each other in on what is going on in our lives,” she said. “We like to put on the Temptations’ Christmas album and be goofy and sing along. It’s a really happy time for us.”

Even though she enjoys spending Christmas with her family, Pride said she understands why some dislike this time of year.

“I know sometimes the holidays can be a really depressing time for people, especially if something really sad has happened to them around this time of year,” she said. “That being said, I think if you’re able to find one good thing about the season to focus on might help when the sad feelings start to present themselves.”

UI senior Libby Skriver said she likes the idea of the holiday season, but Christmas has become a “commercialized nightmare.”

“I just feel like there’s this huge hype around it,” she said. “There’s a lot of anxiety, especially for those who are not close to their families and members of the LGBTQ+ community who can’t be themselves around their families.”

Skriver said she hopes people start to realize the true meaning of the holiday season and try not to get distracted by its unimportant elements.

“This season should be a time where everyone sits around and talks and when people get a chance to recharge their emotional energy,” she said. “When it gets dark early and it’s always cold, it’s hard enough as is to feel uplifted.”

Regardless of your position on whatever holiday (if any) you celebrate, one thing is for sure — there is no feeling like turning in your last final exam or paper. Well, the taste of my grandpa’s German fruit cake may rival that feeling, but that’s a different story.