Holiday Surprises and Traditions Around Centennial

Eva Clarkson

Everybody loves the childish feeling of running down the stairs on Christmas morning and seeing the brightly colored wrapping paper under the tree. Christmas presents range in multitude and magnitude, often reflecting who we are as individuals and the people we hope to grow into.  For some, an incredible present is a pair of socks or a new book, meanwhile for others, it’s the newest fashion trend. Still, for others, the best presents bring back feelings of nostalgia and memories of childhood. Sophomore Owen Benedict and senior Aryana Bhasin both love the holidays and the joyous energy surrounding them.  

“My favorite memory from the holidays this year is having my whole family over and playing card games with them,” said Benedict. “We were worried we wouldn’t be able to because of Covid but we were able to and it was so much fun being able to hang out and talk with them.”   

For teenagers, gifts that are more centered around technology and fashion are very popular.  Fashion gives students the ability to express themselves and show off a bit in school. “Doc Martins are something I have wanted for a long time but never actually bought because they’re expensive, so when my mom surprised me with them, I was not expecting them at all,” stated Bhasin. “Whenever I actually dress cute, I know I’ll wear them.”

For others, the newest gaming technology is a big hit. “I enjoy playing video games and they’re my favorite way to relax,” explained Benedict. “But my family also used to play video games a lot together and I think that has something to do with it too.”  It’s not only gaming technology that is a hit with teenagers; it’s any kind of technology.  Benedict talked about his favorite gift from this year, as he said, “It’s really hard to choose a favorite, but I’d have to say probably a new watch that my dad got me. I needed a new watch, and this one has so many more functions than my old one.”

For many, the best gift comes from a friend, or from someone who really knows them. “My best friend got me drive-in-theater tickets and we waited until it was a movie we’d want to watch and then went together and it was a lot of fun,” Bhasin explained. “Even though the movies that were playing at Bengies that night weren’t amazing, it’s an experience that I’ll always remember and it makes me warm and happy to think about!”

Unfortunately, people can often be hard to buy gifts for. Benedict mentioned, “The hardest age to get presents for is probably those closest in age to me, so like my younger sister and my cousins, only because I worry that they’re not going to like it. With adults they’re easy to shop for because I usually get them clothes or something, usually off their Christmas list.”  

Bhasin sees things a little bit differently. She believes that “There’s a middle ground between friend and best friend or distant family and those I’m close too, and that group is the hardest because [I] don’t really know the person well enough to know what they might like, but I know them well enough to get a generalized gift. Bath bombs, face masks, and fuzzy socks [don’t] always feel right, but I always end up [settling] for the generalized gift with a little guilt because I don’t really know what else to get them.”

Sometimes, the best gift is time. For both Bhasin and Benedict, having time to spend with family and friends is the best part of the holiday season. “Good food, getting to spend time with my family, and just being able to relax, it’s what makes the time so great,” said Benedict. “It’s a time to reset myself mostly,” stated Bhasin. “I get more breaks than I would normally and I see almost everyone that matters in my knife over the holiday season. Doing that helps boost my mood which helps me ‘reset’ and truly relax.”

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