Giving thanks: Holding on to holiday unity


Trisha Atluri

Holiday celebrations are changing to comply with social distancing efforts this year. The Sidekick staff writer Nanditha Nagavishnu expresses gratitude for the comfort familiar traditions bring when the world around us is constantly fluctuating.

Nanditha Nagavishnu, Staff Writer

These last months of the year have been different.

As winter approaches, my coats and scarves remain crisp and neglected. With the holiday season almost here, most families will have to change unwritten traditional molds while celebrating.

There is comfort in continuity, and staying consistent with holiday traditions also manifests as a means to connect with the generations before us, those who waited for the gala of the winter and wished the same excitement for their posterity. For me, it has been a celebration of all that has felt almost timeless, and the security that where a large family sits and shares turkey, there was one similar to them years ago, and will be years later.

The pandemic helped me acknowledge the smaller similarities that connect generations. Quoting Jordan Baker from The Great Gatsby, “I like large parties. They’re so intimate.”

Before, these “large parties” might have been crowded gatherings with distant cousins, or the solidarity felt while stuck amidst a thousand families in a traffic jam, dreading and yet pleased at the prospect of shopping for gifts or thrifting clothes for a vacation.

Now, these parties can symbolize the more obscure traditions we all share. These can be as tangible as the continuity of decorating Christmas trees and as abstract as a shared love for peppermints in the holiday season. Many aspects of these months have stayed unchanged, such as the unanimous awe a clear day in the midst of winter has always incited.

I’m comforted by how these smaller “traditions” connect people. It is the security that against the inevitable changes in minds or environments, some ingrained habits stay the same. The holiday season has always been a time of celebration. Even overlooking its religious and regional aspects, winter in America emanates amity.

As another Fitzgerald character, Amory Blaine, once felt with an old clergyman despite their generation gap, “They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered.”

Our “intimacy” stems from our shared will to make the best of this season even with the restrictions of the pandemic. I hope we never ‘recover’ from this.

Follow Nanditha (@nanditha__n) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.