Two Kinds of Holidays
There are two kinds of holidays per recognized major US holiday. One for kids and the one for adults. They occur on the same date but are expressed in different ways.
As a child, we enjoy the magic of each holiday. There’s a certain buzz in the air and school is often cooling down for the semester or quarter. Lots of indoor activities, and lots of sugar. Perhaps there’s a plane trip to Europe in our future.
As an adult, we’re beholden to family functions and travel logistics. Part of the joy that children feel when they experience the holidays has to do with their time perception; an evening that Is 3-4 hours long may feel much longer to a child enjoying a special holiday. For the adults, Thanksgiving dinner feels like it’s over in a flash.
As a child, Christmas is receiving gifts. As an adult, it’s wondering when it’s too early to tell your child the truth about Santa.
As a child, Thanksgiving dinner is about tradition and predictability during that long break from school. As an adult, it’s about attending a very tedious potluck, followed by days of overeating due to snacking.
As a child, New Years Eve is an endless night of staying up way later than normal (and parents being okay with it!). As an adult, New Years Eve means January, the longest month, is happening tomorrow.
Though perhaps the way we express ourselves around the holidays is different between children and adults, the slow-down of the daily hustle and bustle makes everyone feel just a little more peaceful.
Still, adults would do well to look at how children celebrate holidays, and perhaps consider returning to that structure.
During the breaks, I used to have so little to do that I was bored.
I aim for that life again, at least for just a little bit at the end of the year.