Updated: Jan 12
This Christmas was a weird one, even before December began. Usually, you’d start to feel that joyous spirit a few months ahead of time. The bright lights, the jolly music, and the skip in everyone’s step characterize my idea of the Christmas spirit. However, the usual feelings of Christmas time are no longer here. For better or for worse, the pandemic has created new circumstances that affect how we’ll all be celebrating Christmas. It’s a lot different from how many of us are used to celebrating.
When I say its different, I don’t exactly know how to articulate this. I don’t necessarily mean that its bad or strange, but more of different from what I’ve gotten used to. Usually, the ber-months signaled an increase in work and events. Especially as the time moved closer to Christmas, a bunch of stuff would happen. I always felt like the Christmas season was the most eventful time of year.
Last year, one major thing I remember doing was a prayer time in GCF-ICS. It feels weird to think it was one year ago already. This was the second year in a row the high school students would be hosting a prayer time for the parents. I was part of the band that would be playing the praise and worship. I remember playing and I remember being very stressed. But I also remember having a lot of fun. We even got to play our own songs after the service during the break. I remember around 100 people were stuffed into chairs on the 4th floor lobby. We had simple snacks and some food.
I still think this Christmas was very packed, but not in the same sense. It’s not filled big surprises or memorable events; it’s filled with a bunch of tiny things. For me, those tiny things were schoolwork, project, and quizzes. These things, I can assure you, kept me very busy, but they didn’t give me that same fulfillment you get when you spend weeks on a big project. They also didn’t give me many memories. Each day seems to fly by, and I just can’t differentiate anything anymore. But at the same time, this Christmas will be celebrated in an unprecedented year.
I’m not sure about everyone else, but this Christmas, I got to spend a lot more time talking with my family. I got to learn and see how they view the world and how those views are constantly being shifted and morphed. It seems kind of obvious, but our family members are people too. I got to learn a lot from them. We also had a lot of time for games, movies, and eating. Apart from just spending more time with my family, I’ve got to spend a lot of time by myself. Time alone can sometimes be a solace in our daily lives. Personally, I’ve slowly developed a liking to spending some time, every now and then, to self-evaluate and think about myself. Sometimes, it can get a bit lonely, but I have friends and family to support me.
I think what makes this Christmas different from past Christmases is that we’ve got something to look forward to. Usually, Christmas is the thing we wait for, the last hoorah of the year. But this time, I think we’re all looking at Christmas as the end to this strange, and quite frankly, very difficult year. Though, badness can only exist when there is goodness, and I think we’re all hoping for the goodness of next year.
I would not want to end on a pessimistic view of Christmas, because Christmas is the time of year where we were meant to be together. I think that doesn’t need to change. I think we all have our own ways of connecting with others. I’ve found that through my conversations I have with my family. Others might find it through devotion, games, or movies. What makes Christmas, Christmas, is that we spend it with the people we hold dear.
A few days ago, our batch had its Christmas Party. Of course, we couldn’t meet in person. There was no exchange gift or secret Santa. No buffet of food or movie screening. It was a much simpler party, with two games and a word from our adviser. I think this humble party was a lot of fun and was a great relief to me. I got to see my friends and talk and play again. This short time was a glimpse into a memory I had almost forgotten. I think that’s one of the scariest thoughts. Or the lack thereof.
Our memories form our mind, and we remember what we find important. But for me, I am the most afraid of forgetting something important. Especially if I have no clue that I’m forgetting anything at all. Our mind may be ours, but we can’t fully control what we remember. I feel like I’d forgotten this feeling. The warmth and joy I had. But I don’t want you guys to read this and just feel bad about not being able to be with friends and family. I think this Christmas is a great opportunity to switch things up.
Despite being separated from everyone, I was still able to feel a spark of that joy through a screen. I realized that it was there, I just had to look for it. My family game nights, the time I spent alone, the online parties I had with friends. All of these things are memories, we can choose to cherish them or forget them. I think we should try to make the most out of the circumstances we’re given.
So, what I’m trying to say is that we shouldn’t look at this Christmas expecting to see the same thing we say last year. It’s something entirely different. It’s a clean slate, a new leaf. It’s the perfect time to make new traditions, try new things, and be grateful. We can decide to cherish the small and happy moments this Christmas. We can remember the spirit of Christmas with all our loved ones by being with those we love.