Home for the holidays

Genevieve Esh

More stories from Genevieve Esh


Photo by Marisa Valdez

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. With snowflakes sticking to our shoes and the semester coming to a close, the holidays have finally arrived.

The frozen air coaxes out our winter wear. We start to spend hours inside by an amber fire with a cup of hot cocoa hugged in our hands. The holidays are a time of healing hibernation.

We dutifully rest after another exciting summer and busy fall. Although it seems everything changes starkly from year to year, the safety in holiday traditions and comfort in the winter nostalgia have always been consistent. 

From snowman sugar cookies to scraping ice off of the windshield, there are many small components that create the potent sense of nostalgia we’re feeling this time of year.

Christmas music plays on the drive home from thanksgiving at grandma’s. We make wish lists, cookies and snow angels. These kinds of memories have always made the season incredibly special.

We used to watch holiday movies and trade candy canes at school on the last day before break. Bringing the semester to a close in this fashion was always such a treat after a long fall semester.

Now we excitedly count down the days until break begins; swapping out supermarket advent calendars with our hectic exam schedules and packing for home.

Although we have finals instead of holiday parties, there is no shortage of excitement in the days leading up to winter break. Such sentiment makes for an even more rewarding rest after our months of hard work.

I envy a time when my biggest worry was what to get my family for Christmas. But with all other work and responsibilities now built up, the break is excitedly anticipated now more than ever.

Be extra sure to take this time to show your friends and family how much they mean to you. We couldn’t have made it through the semester without them, and now we get a wonderful chance to sit back and celebrate.

Cherish the moments of tradition and nostalgia this season brings. I know I didn’t appreciate it as much as a kid, but I think that makes it all the sweeter now.

I desperately wish I could go back in time to opening presents at grandma’s house and waking my mom up early Christmas morning begging to open the stockings. 

Although the holidays might not seem as magical as adults, revisiting the best memories from childhood holidays and making new traditions with our chosen families keeps that magic spark alight. 

The traditions of quality time, decorating and family meals seldom change each year. These familiar signs mark a clear path for memories of holidays past to resurface.

Nostalgia is sparked by our best memories, traditions and customs. This often makes for a warmer feeling than a fireplace or cozy blanket. Holiday cheer is an unparalleled sensation.


Esh can be reached at [email protected]