Enjoy celebrating at home
My mom always says that simplicity is the real meaning of Christmas. Besides celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas is about celebrating family togetherness.
And what says simplicity better than staying at home with family, cooking homemade meals and watching holiday movies by the Christmas tree in the living room?
This will be my second year spending Christmas without my family. I am envious of those who can easily go home for Christmas break without spending a lot of money. Though traveling would be nice for Christmas break, I think staying home with family gives a deeper meaning to the holiday.
College students need to enjoy home while they can. Being home is a win-win situation for you and your family. You get to eat your mom’s delicious food, ask her to do your three-week-old laundry, watch Christmas movies with your siblings and tell your family what you have been doing in school. Sometimes parents are just glad to have their children at home. My mom says I will understand in the future.
If this does not convince you to stay at home for the holidays, what about the financial situation? Imagine how much money you would have to spend to travel during one of the busiest holidays around the world.
Whether you travel inside or outside the country, the price of transportation and accommodation skyrockets during the holiday season.
Other factors may also interfere with traveling. For example, winter weather makes it hard to be on the road and even harder so if you have to fly. There will also be many other people traveling at the same time for several days; interstates and airports are incredibly busy this time of year.
Having not gone home for two Christmases, spending Christmas at home with family is one of my current dreams. Being home is all about being in your comfort zone. There is nothing better than a relaxing and comfortable Christmas with family.
Naras Prameswari is a sophomore journalismmajor from Jakarta, Indonesia.
Make advent adventurous
The Christmas when I was ten was a lousy one at best. Granted, I was still one of the luckiest kids on the planet to have the love of my parents and an impressive pile of presents under the Christmas tree. But a few months prior, I discovered the unfortunate truth that Santa Claus wasn’t real.
I cried as I left cookies for Santa that year, knowing that they would be eaten by my parents and older brother, as they had been for the last decade when I lived in blissful ignorance. Without Santa, there wasn’t magic in Christmas.
This pattern continued for the next few years. Of course I continued to love the festivities, the lights and the music, but the whole spirit of the season was gone for me. Moreover, my family isn’t religious, and I didn’t even have the “reason for the season” to fall back on. I just couldn’t find the meaning of Christmas.
Then, three years later, something wonderful happened. My family and I went away for Christmas. On Dec. 25, we boarded a train to Los Angeles. I look fondly on those two days on the train to our California Christmas.
We played Yahtzee, had delicious meals in the dining car and fell asleep soundly to the gentle rocking of the train. Our week in L.A. was incredible; I got to experience a new city and make new memories with my family. We were able to disregard any traditions that weren’t working for us, and we kept those traditions that we loved—instead of watching White Christmas at our home gazing at the fireplace, we watched it in our hotel room looking out toward the Hollywood sign.
While going away for Christmas naturally means fewer presents and fewer decorations, going away is how Christmas regained its meaning for me. It once again became the magical time of my childhood, only instead of waiting to see what Santa will bring, it’s about seeing what new adventure waits in this new place.
The magic captured on a Christmastime plane, train or car ride to an exciting new destination simply can’t be replicated, no matter how many family Christmas sweater pictures you take on your staircase.
Laura Klatz is a junior government and philosophy major from Portland, Ore.