Although I am far from believing in Santa anymore, I can’t help but feel like Christmas with my family has lost a bit of its magic. I have found that the presents I ask for at this day and age have lost their flair and imagination. I find myself no l

onger writing to Santa to bring me my favorite Disney movie or the new ’N Sync CD, but instead sending my father a text message asking for a garbage can and a new vacuum. Over this particular Christmas, I realized just how much getting older has affected my holiday loot.

As a child, I used to spend all of December counting down the days to Christmas. My mom made fun strings of candy that we could eat each day leading to Christmas. I craved the holiday cheer that came from wintertime. I prayed for carolers to come and happily played Christmas music on the piano for my family. The only pain I felt was sitting through the Bible verses read as a family tradition on Christmas morning while the brightly wrapped presents taunted my greedy eyes.

Now that I’ve grown, I often don’t realize Christmas is on its way until it has almost joyfully smacked me in the face and I’ve already consumed more than two candy strings’ countdowns. I no longer crave holiday cheer, but instead crave holiday down comforters and afternoon naps. Carolers don’t even exist in my neighborhood anymore, nor do I remember a single Christmas song on the piano. Not to mention the shopping, which at my income is more like thrifting and hand-making, and the endless wrapping. I find the only solace I experience is knowing I don’t have class in the morning.

These differences in holiday excitement I have accepted. I am more concerned at how boring my presents have become. Some highlights of my childhood Christmas booty were an Easy-Bake Oven, toys that would break or become lost under my bed, art supplies, books and an electric guitar. I also received every version of music player as they evolved from tape player to iPod.

My highlighted gifts this year include, in no order of importance, a whiteboard calendar, new shoes for the winter and a GRE prep book. These highlights do not include the cards with money in them, gift cards, and socks and underwear that my mom gives all of my siblings and me every year.

This year, there were no gadgets, expensive music players, or ‘N Sync CDs. Am I getting old? Have I lost interest in the flashy items I used to expect under the tree?

I don’t know what is worse: receiving boring presents or being completely excited about my boring presents. I really must be getting old. When my dad got me a garbage can for a present, I was excited because I really needed one. Little did he know that I had been hanging garbage liners from the door handle in my kitchen for the last month.

You see, as much as my holiday season may have lost its magic, it might be on its way to becoming exactly what I need. As a 23-year-old college student trying to get a degree, there is stuff I need that I just do not have time or money to obtain myself. Therefore, Christmas is the perfect opportunity for my loved ones to help me out, and vice versa.

I may not pray for carolers anymore, but I’m thankful for the way my mom sings way too early in the morning on Christmas, and I’m less interested about what is under the tree when I have my newborn niece in my arms.

I suppose this Christmas break, I finally realized what all those cheesy holiday movies were getting at when they said Christmas is more than the presents.

I think this is the part where my heart grows three times its size.

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