A Trip Down Memory Lane: Christmas Edition

A close up photo of christmas decorationsWritten by: Navid Khan, 3rd Year Software Engineering 

Photo by: Tyler Delgado on Unsplash

Over the course of my life, I’ve had many fond winter break memories in all different years. December is my favourite winter month for a reason! However, if I had to pick a certain time, it would have to be Christmas Break of 2009.

Picture me: an 8-year-old boy in the third grade obsessed with Pokemon, soccer, and Bakugan. I was a kid that woke up at 6 every morning to watch early morning cartoons such as Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Avatar, and Fairly Odd Parents. I was extremely carefree and saw the world through a bubble, had no idea just how cruel and sad reality was in a lot of aspects, and that was part of what made that the golden age for a lot of people my age. Being old enough to thoroughly enjoy stuff without understanding all the wrongs of the world is the perfect balance that many people would do anything to experience now. I mean, there was a massive recession going on yet 8-year-old me could not care less, I was far too busy trying to fix my VHS player which was barely holding on. Now that you have a better understanding of who I was, let’s continue.

Christmas is one of my favourite holidays. Even though my family doesn’t really celebrate it, I love the festive atmosphere and (at the time) winter weather. Climbing up the massive snow dumps at school with my friends was a completely different vibe and coming back inside to gingerbread cookies, hot chocolate, and Home Alone was the cherry on top. Most of all, I was really looking forward to the long 2-3 week break off from school that I got. Often times we traveled during this time. That specific year, we headed down south to visit my relatives in New York State. It was my second time in the US, the first being in 2005 on a flight where the plane landed to re-fuel. I was really excited and looking forward to experiencing a “different world”. However, I was shocked to learn that the US and Canada really weren’t that different. Our drive through the States didn’t feel too different from our trips to Toronto. I was disappointed, but oh well! I was going to find out eventually, right? When we got to our cousins’ house, I was amazed. It was huge and very colourful. Their bathroom had a jacuzzi which was something I rarely saw in real life back then. The room I got to stay in was super colourful and had festive decorations, which I loved! That week we spent down there was very eventful and without a doubt my most memorable Christmas. Some of the things we got to do (but not limited to) were: tour Times Square, visit my other cousins down in Maryland, take a picture in front of the White House fully convinced that Obama would come out walking anytime, going over to Blockbuster, and playing a lot of flash games and PS3. But nothing beats meeting my cousins for the first time in a long time and getting to form a lot of fun memories with them. When we came back to Canada, I got my early birthday gift: Pokemon Diamond! I’d been wanting this game for a long time and finally being able to hold it in my hands and play it on my DS in real time was surreal.

I was also very happy for another reason, my mom was, at the time, pregnant with my sister (who was born in the following year). I was exhilarated since I’ve always wanted a sibling like a lot of my other friends and peers. The last memorable moment of that time was New Years Eve. On Dec 31, we spent the last night of the 2000s at a family friend’s house as they were throwing a party. I got to meet up with some of my other friends and, to be honest, I don’t remember much of what we did for the night. What I do remember is another kid coming downstairs at 12 AM and shouting, “guy’s it’s 2010!”. That moment felt special. I never knew any decade other than the 2000s and the whole sound of the year ‘2010’ sounded very futuristic and cool to me. I finally got to live in another decade like the big kids and I was ready! I knew I had a lot of growing up to do and I was super hopeful and excited for what was to come. Winter Break of 2009 was definitely a memorable one, and a time I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.

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