The upcoming holiday season will be unlike the typical December that Americans are used to. With a global pandemic sweeping through the states, many holiday traditions have gone virtual or cease to exist. With the CDC suggesting that people do not travel and meet with their loved ones this holiday season, college students are preparing for alternate ways to enjoy the holidays.
Some students are determined to not let current circumstances deter their holiday plans or change their outlook on approaching holidays. Warren Bowers II, a business administration student from Hollywood, Florida, is excited about the holidays and already decorated.
“I’m excited about the holidays coming up, and I have already decorated my house for the holidays,” Bowers said. “I have two trees up right now and a little holiday table with fake snow.”
Students like Bowers are optimistic about the holiday season, meanwhile, there are others who are feeling the negative effects of the pandemic. Kristen McNealey feels indifferent about the holiday season.
“It just doesn’t feel the same,” McNealey said. “I will be putting up minimal decorations because I’ll be traveling a lot.”
McNealey is from Memphis, Tennessee, and she doesn’t plan on staying in Tallahassee to celebrate the holiday.
Similar to McNealey, Laurie Justice also believes that COVID-19 has taken away some of the Christmas spirits this year.
“I don’t think I’ll be decorating this year, it really doesn’t feel special enough to do so,” Justice said.
Justice is from Homestead, Florida, and desires to return home for the holidays, but she fears that she may be a risk to her family’s health.
“I’m uneasy because I don’t know who’s been around who,” Justice said.
Many families that are unable to gather in person this holiday season are following the trend of participating in virtual holiday calls, via Zoom or Google Meet. Although the physical aspect will be missing, the feeling of a familial presence can still be felt.
Holidays can be a relaxing point that most students look forward to. It is a relief from professors, school work, and a time to unwind and spend with family. It is the lack of family interaction that is changing the dynamic for most rattlers this holiday season.
While many traditions may not be able to be carried this year, it can be a great opportunity to begin new ones and embrace the changes that have come with the year. One tradition that rattlers are keeping alive this holiday season is enjoying holiday classics with their loved ones. Holiday film favorites mentioned were the “Polar Express,” “The Preacher’s Wife” and “Best Man Holiday.”