The Power of Holiday Nostalgia


Jacob Reeves, Journalist

Early on a December morning, you wake up. The unique hue and vibrance of the light streaming through the glass window panes are indicative of one thing only; you watch the small, white flakes fall, and observe the patterns of movement that they take in the air. They begin to stick on the surface of the frozen pavement, and slowly build up in between the frosted blades of grass. 

There is a universal sense of appreciation for moments like these during the holiday season. Remembrance of comforting times with friends and family, and gratitude for the seasonal feeling. Much of this sentiment can be attributed to nostalgia, an affectionate longing for the past. As the holidays quickly approach, the events leading up to them accentuate this feeling. Whether it be the vibrantly changing colors on leaves, the opening day of ski season, hot cocoa by a warm fire, or the annual trip to a Christmas tree farm, good memories are frequently present throughout this time of the year. Everyone has their own perception of the holiday season, each with unique ways of reminiscing that bring them nostalgia.

Jack Soderberg, Senior, believes that the Winter Holiday season is the most nostalgic time of the year. He recalls that one of his most memorable childhood traditions and memories is Skiing with his family on Christmas Eve. “When I was younger, I would always look forward to night skiing on Christmas Eve at White Pass with my family, and waking up the next morning to open gifts,” Soderberg remembers. “I hope that we keep this tradition going when I come to visit from college,” he says. Soderberg also recalls one event that brings him particular nostalgia, explaining, “I remember going to the Warren Miller Ski Film showing downtown for the first time. I had never seen something like it before.” I bought tickets for the upcoming showing this year for the first time since I watched it as a kid, and I can’t wait,” Soderberg says, excitedly.

While some find nostalgia in the reminiscence of past events and traditions, others get this feeling from the music during the holiday season. Land Tinnel, Senior, believes that music is an essential part of this time of year. “Even when I was a kid, I loved Christmas music. When I was in preschool, we had to make these fake drums out of paper, and we learned how to play The Little Drummer Boy” Tinnel says. “Whenever I hear that song or other Christmas music, I always feel nostalgic, and think about the great memories that I made as a kid during the holidays.” 

Lydia Galuska, long time Washington resident and grandmother to two students in the Olympia School District, offers a unique perspective on nostalgia during the holiday season. Lydia has lived in many different places around the country, and has celebrated the holidays in a number of different ways. “I had a grandpa who was Jewish, so when we celebrated Haunikah, we always had Menorahs on the mantle in Rhode Island. We didn’t only celebrate the Jewish holidays, but also the Christian ones because I was born and raised a Roman Catholic.” “Opening Christmas stockings, and the reading of A Christmas Carol are some of Lydia’s favorite nostalgic traditions while living with her family in Olympia. This being said, Lydia recalls her most nostalgic memory of the holidays coming from when she was a kid. “I loved opening presents. When I was younger, I just got everything that I wanted because I was an only child,” she says. “The nostalgia of the holidays is a wonderful, wonderful part of life. I’m approaching 80 years old, and I still have a joie de vivre, which means a joy to live.”