Don't Take Down Your Christmas Tree

third year hana rehman

photo by daniyal tahir

photo by daniyal tahir

It is nearing the end of January. Does the plastic fir tree still sit sadly in the corner of your living room, relevance having come and gone, sending you constant, half-hearted guilt for being too lazy to take it down yet?

Maybe, maybe not. But here’s why you should ignore the strange looks of “responsible” people who made all traces of the holidays vanish by the 27th and leave your  tree right where it is--metaphorically, anyway.

No matter what holiday you may or may not celebrate, the winter break season carries an air of positivity. Many have the ability to carry that positivity over into the new year, but as college students, we often leap hopefully into January only to be slammed with an oncoming tidal wave of stress. New semester, new classes, new resolutions. The new is laden with opportunity, but also with heavy expectations. Whether they are self-inflicted or external, when those expectations hit, we understandably tend to abandon the warm feelings of the holiday and winter break spirit altogether.

Some deal with the stressors of the new year by not making resolutions at all and carrying on as usual (probably the same type of person that  reminds you that the new year technically means nothing and time is a construct, et cetera). Some thrive on filling a clean slate with goals. But what I think we should all do is not let all the positivity of the holiday spirit sputter out and die. Who says February can’t be merry and bright?

Like everything, it’s easier said than done. This can be the hardest time of the year to resist stacking more and more pressure on yourself. Not to say that resolution-making and goal-setting isn’t a good thing, but try not to crush yourself under unnecessary weight. Instead, do more things you normally would at a less stressful time of year. Give gifts. Make more occasions of spending time with loved ones. Eat cookies. If your resolution involves improving your health, eat the occasional cookie. In short, hold on to the holiday spirit as tightly as you can and don’t let it escape. Happy holidays!