Settling the debate: Classy v. classic Christmas

Madeline Kitchen '24, Copy Editor

TIMELESS OR TACKY In this article, Supervising Editor Maddie Kitchen ’24 settles the age-old debate of classic or classy Christmas. (Maddie Kitchen ’24)

Six kinds of cookies cooling on the counter. Browning pine needles dusting the living room floor in lieu of snow. Drunkenly sipping sparkling cider with my cousins at the kids’ table. In the wise words of Stevie Wonder, “that’s what Christmas means to me, my love.”

Having lived through 15 Christmases and with my 16th rapidly approaching, I’ve established a sort of mental formula for holiday spirit. Weather, music, food, decor, activities and company are all central elements to the season– start with those, and Christmastime follows suit.

But there’s a reason why Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, and why it can happen during no other. Christmas, more than any other, is a holiday rooted in tradition. The familiarity of the season is central to its charm. That might be why, in contrast, updating those traditions with a crisp, modern twist feels sterile.

When warmth, sentimentality and whimsy are removed, Christmas simply no longer feels like Christmas. Each year, it physically pains me to see handcrafted childhood ornaments banished to the family room tree, replaced with yet another sparkly spherical clone. Supporters of the movement often dub it “classy Christmas” as they attempt to mold the holiday around their personal aesthetic. While I can concede that color-coordinated decorations are visually pleasing, they are sorely lacking in soul. The Christmas spirit cannot be wrangled in the manner by which these people try. It’s a compound of memories past and hopes for the future, fluid only in its variance from family to family.

I’m not going to sit around and harp on anyone for celebrating how they want. If a study in beige is your ideal Christmas, more power to you. As for me, I’ll be decorating sugar cookies for Santa as I sip hot cocoa by the fire, holding onto a feeble yet fervent hope for a blanket of snow in the morning. That’s what Christmas means to me.