Marlowe Evans.

Being Young: When everything gets quiet

The holiday magic, the fog of joy that sweeps over everything melts away.

The holiday season affects everyone differently. I say ‘holiday season,’ as winter is a time when people find joy in many different celebrations: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, winter solstice.

Winter is a time when it becomes easy to call on kindness, when the warmth and comfort of others is never more than a text or a phone call away.

December paints a pretty picture. Strangers pass in stores and joyously bellow the lyrics to Christmas carols together and no one cares if they’re in totally different keys.

People volunteer with charity organizations throughout the community. Everywhere I go, there are people smiling and holding hands. The air itself seems to glimmer with an unseen aura of kinship.

Sometimes I just sit and watch the world in December, taking in the public displays of kindness that coincides with this time of year.

Every year, Dec. 31 rolls over and Jan. 1 rears its head. Decorations are taken down, radio stations switch back over to regular music, and after Boxing Day (or is it Boxing Week now?) is over, the malls are no longer engulfed in a panicked frenzy.

Everything gets quiet.

At first it comes as a pleasant break – each celebration with its own post-holiday indulgences: turkey sandwiches, latkes and blintzes, collard greens and catfish, hot chocolate, and a week off school.

I’ll take it.

Yet, the glimmer is gone. The holiday magic, the fog of joy that sweeps over everything melts away like snow on wet ground.

As holiday trappings are boxed up and tucked away for another year, it seems that many people forget something Ebenezer Scrooge concluded: “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”

As winter celebrations draw to a conclusion, it seems sometimes that too much of the good will goes with it. As I toss the last string of brightly coloured lights into my garage (where I will probably trip over them sometime in March), I feel as though I’m putting away a sense of spirit, of joy.

I love witnessing the season and smiling as dozens of simple kindnesses unfold – a door held open, paying for the order for the person behind you in the drive through at Tim’s, secretly buying the meal for the seniors at the table at the back who have shared a lifetime of winters holding one another’s hands.

For me, the holidays aren’t about door crasher savings and mad deals, it’s about small acts of kindness.

I’m not suggesting that humanity goes to hell in a hand-basket after the calendar rolls over, but it’s not hard to see that the holiday season seems to bind people together in a magical sort of way.

I wish this magic lasted all year long.

How hard would it be to volunteer at the food bank in January? Or February? Or July? How hard would it be to call that relative you always forget about and ask about something other than the holidays? You can still shovel the neighbour’s sidewalk in January, it may still snow.

Some of these actions seem more manageable the others. Still, the warmth of the holiday season, the brazen humanity of December, a month where nearly everyone plays a part in creating at least a brief spark of acceptance and love, should last beyond the 31st.

My hope is that come January and beyond, there will be enough holiday compassion left over to fight off the indifference that blows into town with the New Year.

Happiness and joy can be shared no matter the month.

Friendship, family, and community are important 365 days a year.

With those thoughts in mind, I wish you the happiest of holidays.

Marlowe Evans is a senior student at Thomas Haney and head delegate of the Model UN Delegation who writes about youth issues.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Adrian Dix with NDP candidates Bob D-Eith (Maple Ridge-Mission) and Lisa Beare (Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows) at the Urgent and Primary Care Centre at Haney Place Mall. (Special to The News)
Dix visits Maple Ridge’s new Urgent and Primary Care Centre

There still aren’t enough doctors to staff facility – Meadus

Michelle Shipley shared these pictures taken of Pitt Lake this fall. “Such a beautiful area,” she said. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Late fall reflected in the waters of Pitt Lake

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Police boats were called in to search the Fraser River after a report that a plane had crashed where the river runs between Langley and Maple Ridge. (Shane MacKichan/Special to The News)
Investigation enters final phase, missing aircraft last seen over Fraser River in Maple Ridge

Small aircraft was carrying a student and instructor on June 6

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson announces new infrastructure, flanked by Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows candidate Cheryl Ashlie and Maple Ridge-Mission candidate Chelsa Meadus. (Neil Corbett/THE NEWS)
Liberals promise transportation infrastructure in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Wilkinson said his party would also add mental health beds at Ridge Meadows Hospital

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson announces an end to the ICBC monopoly if the Liberal Party is elected, during a stop in Maple Ridge. (Neil Corbett/The News)
BC Liberal Leader in Pitt Meadows for announcement

Wilkinson visits Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows riding seen as a key election battleground

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

The RCMP helicopter. (File photo)
Suspect escapes after police pursuit through Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford

Police chase involved two stolen vehicles, including one taken in Mission

IIO Chief Civilian Director Ron MacDonald. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Police watchdog concludes Mounties didn’t shoot Surrey teen at strip mall

IIO finds tragic death of teenager ‘not the result of any actions or inactions’ by the Surrey RCMP

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

Emergency crews shut down White Rock’s Five Corners district on Feb. 19, 2020 after an altercation left an elderly man in critical condition. (File photo)
Trial dates set in White Rock manslaughter case

Proceedings against Ross Banner, 71, set for June 2021 in Surrey Provincial Court

Most Read