Let­ter from the Edi­tor


Truth is, I’m with for­mer Scout edi­tor Jed in be­ing a re­ally big Christ­mas per­son. This used to be such a sa­cred time of the year to me, cer­e­mo­ni­ously ush­ered into sweet be­ing by Christ­mas car­ols in all forms and gen­res (I pre­fer jazz—bet­ter smooth jazz than your bland white-bread Kenny G shit), the colder air, a ton of choco­lates, and all the lights and trap­pings that come with it. I love it. I love it all, and I’m unashamed. (I also don’t quite un­der­stand how some peo­ple could choose Hal­loween to be their fa­vorite late-year hol­i­day, but I guess I also get the ap­peal of dress­ing up as some­one/some­thing else.)

But as most peo­ple re­al­ize, Christ­mas starts to feel a lot less Christ­masy when you get older. Maybe it’s be­cause adults no longer re­ally get De­cem­ber as a va­ca­tion un­less they go out of their way to make it one—even col­lege kids, if they’re still on that old cal­en­dar where the sec­ond se­mes­ter gets in­con­ve­niently bi­sected by the hol­i­days, have to worry about re­quire­ments over the break some­times. Christ­mas break used to mean laz­ing around in the cool weather and get­ting gifts and see­ing all the lights; when less gets handed to you and you have to work for what you want, the hol­i­day spirit dies a lit­tle more each year. At least, it feels that way.

The hol­i­day spirit grow­ing a lit­tle dim­mer each year is one thing, but it’s a whole ‘nother thing for the mil­len­nial spirit, isn’t it? I think it may fi­nally take me and ev­ery­thing I have to do this year to re­al­ize that hey, maybe this old, out­dated win­try def­i­ni­tion of what the hol­i­days have to be is just that, and maybe now I have a lit­tle more power to re­de­fine ex­actly what that is. I can get away from all this chaos when De­cem­ber rolls around and call that my hol­i­day va­ca­tion. If Christ­mas doesn’t suit you any­more, then no­body’s stop­ping you from chang­ing what that is in your head.

It’s some­thing I learned our cover girl Lau­ren Reid (p. 26) does in our pretty lengthy con­ver­sa­tion for this is­sue’s big story. Con­trary to what it looks like, she never came here just to get into show­biz. It was a con­scious de­ci­sion she made for her­self, some­thing she feels she can pull off. And she can just as eas­ily step out of if the cir­cum­stances say she’s done. She says she’s now in a phase of her life where she can play off spon­tane­ity in the day-to-day and still re­main in con­trol, and it’s a use­ful skill I think we should all try to fig­ure out as we go along.

So whether you’ve got the Christ­mas spirit or you’re still chas­ing it, or you ain’t ever want it in the first place, what’s im­por­tant in the most won­der­ful time of the year is that you be happy, and you’re mak­ing ev­ery­thing around you work for you. Give if you can. I’ll toast a mug of hot choco­late to all of us, and all our hus­tling spir­its.

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