Friday, 15 December 2017

Sensing Nostalgia - Countdown to Christmas

Working in a primary school has brought me many things this Christmas: the scent of Oranges at Christingle, the many sounds of the beloved Nativity and, of course, bath-loads of neat-destroying glitter. More than this though, it has whacked me full-pelt in the face with a nostalgia stronger than anything I have previously encountered.

I have a really, freakishly strong sensory memory: specific sights, sounds, smells and, even, temperatures, do not just evoke clear memories, but feelings and sensations stronger than anything else I ever feel. Sometimes, I cannot even attribute a memory to the feeling, leaving something of an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Image sourced from here.

But, at Christmas, this is different. Although I am, at all times of year, a (very) little elf, fresh out of the grotto, this Christmas, I feel as though the Christmases I had as a child have well and truly returned. There's a strange sense of excitement that, unlike other kinds, I just can't explain. I know full well that the guy with the beard in school is the class teacher's husband, but that didn't stop me feeling just as delighted as the kids when he stomped into class, donned in head-to-toe red suit. And, despite the distinct lack of tuning, rhythm or, indeed, any musicality, the sound of the children belting their Nativity songs at the top of their surprisingly enormous voices made me feel more at home than I have done in a long time.

We are often lead to believe that Christmas consists of trees, presents and excessive amounts of food. To some, it is more about religion and, to others, about family. In fact, I think it is about none of these things and, simultaneously, every one of them. It is not the return of the songs or decorations that excites us but, rather, the return of the feeling: the feeling that something special is happening of which we are all a part, that truly makes us feel festive. 

Nostalgia can be a wonderful thing and never moreso than at Christmas. As we get older, I hope, this can only get stronger and more powerful. Christmas memories are what make December such an amazing time of year and will, I hope, stay this way for many more years. 

No comments:

Post a Comment