Mount St. James is dressed up for the holidays and there’s a feeling of Christmas in the air. We asked students, faculty and staff to think about some of their connections to the season, like the favorite gift they’ve given to someone or their favorite thing about the holiday season. Below are some of their thoughtful anecdotes about the most wonderful time of the year.
The community this time of year is really important to me — not only here at Holy Cross, but also back at home. The spirit on campus is really cool, with everyone coming together and to make it a season of giving and kindness.
On Christmas Eve, my mom, dad, sister and I go to Midnight Mass. It’s our tradition that we have dinner, go to Mass, then afterwards we come home and my grandmother gets me, my mom and my sister matching pajamas. Then, we put the pajamas on and take pictures near the fireplace and Christmas tree. It’s something I really look forward to during the holidays.
For Christmas two or three years ago, I got my mom a necklace that has her name in Arabic script, because we’re Lebanese and every woman in our family has had one. Getting to see the look on her face when she realized what it was, was really, really special to me.
My favorite thing about the holidays is seeing my family. I’m from Georgia, so getting to go home and spend a couple of weeks with my family is extremely important, especially since I can’t go home that often because of football.
I used to make wheel-thrown pottery, and a favorite gift that I gave was a mug that I made for a dear friend. I sent it to her with some assorted teas, and it literally provided the opportunity for her to slow down to enjoy something warm and calming, and to remember that someone was thinking of her.
I love the season of Advent and keeping it in quiet and prayer and then really celebrate the 12 days of Christmas. One gift that I am giving this year is for a couple whose wedding I did. I was invited to their home for Easter and I took some photos outside of their home and I had an artist friend paint a picture of their home. Now they have to move, but they will always have a painting of their first home.
The most thoughtful gift I think I’ve ever given someone is the one I gave most recently. It’s a picture of me and my two best friends, and some candies and a letter about how much I appreciate them.
For me, the most important thing about the holidays is the ability to reset. It’s nice to rest for a little while — you don’t really get that with other holidays. Birthdays, the 4th of July, Halloween, they’re all very active. So it’s nice to have a restful holiday.
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