A Bittersweet Season


Zachary Ninomiya

A cartoon illustration that portrays two individuals as they walk through the snow.

Emily Ito and Caitlyn Truong

The holiday season of 2019 has commenced. Dazzling lights are streamed across our neighbors’ roofs and festive music is playing in every department store. It is the time for cookies and milk. Red and green. Heavy jackets and Santa hats. It is the season of joy, and the season of cheer. Regardless of what each person celebrates, this time of year is dedicated to making wonderful memories with friends and family.

December is full of celebration, especially at Yorba Linda High School. Between the holiday door decorating competition and the festive shows presented by band, orchestra, choir, and ComedySportz, the entire month is a cause for ugly sweaters and holiday cheer. As the quad fills with holiday music and ASB presents a Week of Wishes, students and staff unite under holiday and Mustang spirit alike.

As soon as we are finished filling our bellies at Thanksgiving dinner, we immediately start prepping for the month of giving. We hit the stores and try to find the best sales for the gifts we wish to give. We then begin breaking out the ornaments and other festivity paraphernalia. We start cutting our wrapping paper and tying our ribbons. We try to fill our homes with the scent of freshly baked cookies and peppermint bark. 

This season can be the most beautiful and exciting times of the year. The entire atmosphere changes, with people acting kinder and more generous. There’s something very heartwarming at the sight of carolers and the feeling of wrapping a scarf around our necks as we try to protect ourselves from the California cold. 

With such lovely traditions associated with this time of year, it’s nearly impossible not to bask in the moments of celebration that the month of December offers. But while we appreciate the holiday music and mistletoe, a part of us understands that December also means that the year is coming to a close. 

At the end of each year, we experience our fair share of bittersweet emotions. An entire 365 days have passed, and many of us have grown and evolved beyond comprehension. We can’t say that any of us are the same people that we were last year on December 31. So while it is great that we can bask in the festivities, it is also important that we look back and appreciate how far we have come. In the course of a year, we have had experiences, both good and bad, that have shaped us into who we are right now. 

The conclusion of this year in particular, however, is different. This New Year’s Day will not only celebrate a new year but also mark the dawn of a new decade, and the ending of an old one. As we bid 2019 goodbye, we also wave farewell to the 2010s as a whole: to a decade of our favorite shows on Disney Channel, to a decade of ever-changing social media trends, to a decade of constant learning and falling and getting back up again. We prepare ourselves for the 2020s, which will bring new changes, new experiences, and new opportunities.

While the unpredictability of the new age and decade is certainly intimidating, it should not be discouraging. The new year holds endless possibilities and opportunities for growth. 

It is difficult to determine if we would be able to recognize the person we were ten years ago. Especially for our fellow high schoolers, we’re nearly adults. We’re on the verge of departing from the safety of adolescence and venturing into the scary world of adulthood.

So with the conclusion of this year, we have so much to say goodbye to but so much to look forward to. We struggle to identify if the butterflies in our stomachs are from excitement or anxiety, or both. It’s an interesting time of year that can only be described as bittersweet. So enjoy the holiday season but also reflect on the incredible year that you are about to finish.