Carihi Student Anna Buck may be struggling during the lead-up to the big day, but she’s pretty sure the day itself will be all she needs. Black Press File Photo

Do I have to be merry before Christmas?

Carihi student Anna Buck says she’s struggling with the lead-up to the big day itself

The holidays are here.

What a stressful time, no?

I love Christmas, don’t get me wrong, but it is extremely difficult to appreciate at times.

I mean, I’m a high school student. I have two weeks to gather my thoughts, then another two weeks to get ready for final exams. Final exams! By the time I get home at the end of the day I’m too tired to have fun and I’m too tired to be cheerful, but that doesn’t stop the obligation from being there.

To be honest, while I want to be festive, I haven’t gotten there yet. I have Charlie Brown Syndrome, as I call it.

And don’t even get me started on buying gifts.

Okay, never mind. I got myself started on buying gifts.

Not only am I broke, I don’t have the capacity to think of everyone I know and decide who is important enough to me that I have to buy them something.

And actually choosing gifts is a whole other story.

I’m terrible at it. It doesn’t matter who I’m buying for, it doesn’t matter how well I know them or care about them. I just can’t buy good gifts. This year, members of my family explicitly told me not to bother buying them anything because it would just be a waste. I have purchased exactly three gifts so far, and it’s less than a week until Christmas. I always receive such nice things, it’s very difficult not to be able to reciprocate.

Now, as I’ve said, I do love Christmas. I like being festive and seeing everyone in a good mood and having something to be cheerful for. I enjoy how our house is decorated, everything is lit up and brighter than it normally is during the year. It makes everything feel warm and cozy.

And here’s what I think: I can enjoy all of that without being in the “Christmas spirit.”

You know, when it comes down to it, on Christmas itself I am happy.

Sitting with my family in the morning opening gifts, getting together for a big feast at the end of the day, and relaxing in the hours between are joyous for me.

And that’s all I really need.

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