Holidays are full of joyous traditions and festive celebrations. Even during COVID-19, families can find ways to celebrate the holidays and practice their favorite rituals in the comfort of their home. Though we may not be able to have the typical Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or other winter celebration, holiday movies can bring joyful memories and nostalgia this COVID-19 season.
Stephanie Jersey, a sophomore at Berkeley High School (BHS) recalled fond memories from watching The Grinch every Christmas with her family. She explained, “Watching The Grinch with my family every Christmas makes me super nostalgic and happy, I love that it is something that doesn’t need to change, even with challenges like COVID-19.” Jersey commented on the timelessness of the film, saying: “Since it was made for children I have been watching it for as long as I remember. I feel like it’s a movie that all ages and people can enjoy, whether they celebrate Christmas or not.”
Mazi Brooks, another sophomore, said, “It’s been a tradition to watch Elf every year since I was little, and it really reminds me of Christmas and my childhood.” Reflecting on the movie, Brooks said, “I love Elf because it is a traditional Christmas movie and it is still really funny. My [siblings] and I have watched it every Christmas Eve at my mom’s house since I was little.”
Anya Draves, a junior at BHS, attends the movie theater every Christmas Day with her family. She said, “There were several years in a row where we watched Star Wars because they kept coming out with a new movie on Christmas.” Looking back on this tradition reminded Draves of her childhood. “It makes me nostalgic because the first time we came to the [theater] was a long time ago,” remembered Draves.
Jacob Cutter, a freshman at BHS, said, “I remember one [Christmas] at my grandma’s house, watching with all of my cousins and siblings.” Like Brooks, Cutter watches Elf every Christmas with his family. He recalled the witty plot, saying, “I love the humor and all the funny jokes that are in [Elf]. It reminds me of seeing my [family], opening presents, and being in the snow. … It gives me many special memories.”
As COVID-19 makes it nearly impossible to relive the traditions and celebrations that many families hold during the holidays, movies and technology can provide us with a sense of connection to loved ones outside of our households. Watching a classic holiday movie on a platform like Netflix Party, Hulu Watch Party, or even Zoom can help bring together families and friends on the holidays. Continuing family tradition, even if it is through a computer screen, is a great way to achieve a sense of normality during the pandemic; as well as a look back on old memories and a way to enjoy a timeless movie.
Coming together to enjoy the festivities with a classic holiday movie is a tradition shared by many students of all learning communities and ages at BHS. This year, kick back, turn on the TV, and feel that same old sense of holiday joy.