When the sleigh bells begin ringing and the carolers start singing, it's clear that Christmastime is here.
Time to whip out your wish list, because along with Christmas cheer comes the yearly yuletide shopping frenzy. Unfortunately, the shaky state of the economy might have something to say about that. With fluctuating, unreliable prices and jobs in peril, it was difficult to be positive in your predictions of what you'll be able to afford, or even find, for others and likewise, what they will be wrapping for you.
Nicholas Tourville, 11, added a rather unusual suggestion to his wish list. He wants a bow and arrow. In his P.E. class this year at Fort Mill Middle School, the students learned how to properly use a bow and arrow, which is certainly one way to hold several dozen sixth-graders' attention.
When asked what he would do if he received this curious gift, he replied "I'd use it to hunt and just practice to shoot."
Rudolph may be a bit uncomfortable with that Christmas present.
Besides presents, there are, of course, other things that make the holidays special. When asked her favorite part of the holidays, Kellie Hare, a junior at Nation Ford High School, said, "No school!" Then she laughed and added, "And relaxing with family."
Like most other teenagers, Hare wanted gift cards and money for Christmas, along with clothes and stuff for her new car, a Kia Sorento.
Jeff Jacobs, also a Nation Ford junior, said that once a teenager has a cell phone, an iPod, a car and a computer, there's not much else they "need." He commented that for Christmas he only wants a Belgian waffle maker and a heated towel rack.
His favorite part of the holidays is "Christmas dinner. That's always good. You get crab legs."
On the economy, Jacobs said its fluctuations would absolutely have effects, both on prices and how much cash parents were willing to spend. Walt Johnson, a junior, said, "People will still buy stuff, and it may boost the economy."
Art teacher Deborah Birosik had less materialistic wishes on her list. She said she'd like "an end to the economic recession. No more hunger. A smile from all my students!"
She said she imagines a job and job security would be topping the Christmas lists of most people her age. On topic of the ever-changing economy, Birosik said, "People will realize that gifts are not the true importance of the season. Just enjoy being with your family and begin new traditions."
Most people will ardently assert that one of the most meaningful perks of the holidays is getting to spend time with family. It is important to treasure that time, continuing onward in an unstable world.
We ask the economy, "What will this Christmas bring?"
It smugly replies, "That's for the elves to know and you to find out."
• Jackie Mohan is a junior at Nation Ford High School and an intern at the Fort Mill Times.