The Pepperbox

The Student News Site of Arcata High School

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The Pepperbox

Buttered up: Butter your bae for V-day
Owen Peterson, A&E Editor • February 5, 2024
Baking and creating something with the person you love can be one of the most magical things out there. Keep in mind though, even if you’re single and feeling lonely this Valentine’s Day, it’s also a great time to show yourself some love.
March 5th election coming soon!
Sasha Love, Feature Editor • February 26, 2024

An election is coming up fast! On March 5th, propositions and measures for healthcare, cannabis farming, and more will be decided, and several...

February district board meeting:
Sasha Love, Feature Editor • February 26, 2024

The Northern Humboldt Union High School District school board meeting this Thursday addressed the locking of gender neutral bathrooms, tardy...

O’Brien posing with flowers.
Boys Want Flowers Too
Oscar Carlson, Reporter • February 13, 2024

In a universe adorned with red roses, teddy bears, and heart-shaped chocolates, there's an age-old tradition that often leaves one gender...

Building love, brick by brick
Jordan Gaskell, Business Manager • February 13, 2024

Legos have been a predominantly kids’ toy ever since the early ‘70s. Since then, they have evolved and been adopted by a large young-adult...

Teens and Christmas: Do holidays lose their magic?

“Now I take my grown-up kids and wife to Hawaii every year on Christmas; to be with who you love is what it’s about.”
Pauli Bachemin
Nola Bachemin visiting Santa.

Christmas has long been held to a standard of joy, togetherness, and faith. Many feel like this, getting excited about the fall and winter season. But some people think differently about the holiday season, specifically teenagers. Some think the “magic” is fading. The existential dread of growing up, and large final exams dominating their brains during the holiday season.

Based on research and interviews, I calculated a list of a few reasons why this happens:

  • Responsibilities: As we grow, responsibilities just seem to pile on. Whether it’s being responsible for supplying gifts for your family, working on Christmas, or worrying about exams, they all can hold us back from experiencing the enjoyment of the season. Senior Stella Edwards talked about being too stressed about busy schedules, and said:

“I can’t find the time to sit back and enjoy the winter activities, there’s too much sh*t on my plate as a 17-year-old in high school, even though it’s our last year being ‘kids.’ Yeah, right.” 

  • Family changes: Families can split, move, and shift in all sorts of ways. Sometimes, this affects how we can enjoy things or our usual process of participating in the holiday. The holidays are a time of reflection, as teens become more attuned to their complex dynamics, the idyllic images of perfect celebrations with perfect families may not align with their own experience. 

“Bruh yeah, my family is, like, depressing as hell now,” said senior Lulu Marsh “And yeah, it happened as I got older.”

As we become older, being the kid on Christmas obviously deteriorates, leaving a sort of awkwardness when there are no children in the home. 

  • High expectations, bland realities: The commercialization and materialism of Christmas, we see on TV and in media can create high expectations. Imagine this: overly excited family gatherings laughing over a glazed ham, everyone gathered around a giant 15-foot tree, thousands of dollars worth of string lights on the magnificent house with the brand new SUV out front adorned with a red bow, yeah, that stuff. This all comes from car ads. This hype can make people excited and ready for the holidays, which isn’t bad, but it’s discouraging for many when they turn off the TV and sit in the reality that they face.

People hold onto this negative outlook on holidays into adulthood as well, feeling bitter about the subject.

  “I used to hate Christmas, it was depressing. I wouldn’t put a tree up or anything […]”  said substitute teacher Jeff DeMark.

“It wasn’t until a few years ago that I was told [Christmas] was to celebrate the solstice…and family…and realized then that the commercialization of [Christmas] wasn’t really what it’s all about.” 

There are many reasons for an overhyped Christmas, but it’s key to remember it’s not about the commercialization of materialism, and actually a time of being grateful for what you already have. 

“Now I take my grown-up kids and wife to Hawaii every year on Christmas; to be with who you love is what it’s about.”


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About the Contributor
Nola Bachemin, Photo Editor
Nola Bachemin, environmentally curious direct information fact-based reporter. Nonfiction reporter of all things Humboldt as it pertains to the world of high school and the younger generation. She’s no-nonsense addressing current issues and all things political and environmental. Nola loves to write and create art and has been creative throughout her school journey. She finds herself a senior with a lot of life experience including living on the East Coast and now the West Coast, discovering many places, and remaining curious and adventurous. The ocean never ceases to amaze her and as it remains one of our last frontiers, Nola would like to combine her love of words and discovery and express our awe, love, and devotion to our amazing coast. Phone number: (707)-616-5926
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