What do you want for Christmas?
We all have different ways of spending the holidays and we try to spend it as merry as possible. We hang Christmas lights, cook sweet delights, and fill the air with jingle bells or Mariah Carey’s voice singing her heart out saying she wants you for Christmas.
But of course, it’s not the same for everybody. To some, Christmas means coming home; a time to reconnect with loved ones, reminisce about the old times, feel hopeful for tomorrow, and regain the energy that was drained by academic pressure. The excitement of coming home builds up and passing by the shining lights in the hope that at the end of the road, a warm light of nostalgia will greet you the moment you step through the door and be greeted with your family’s hugs and smiles all your academic woes will disappear, even for a while.
(“9 PM trail lights” Photo by Jared Caberos | Amaranth)
Coming home for Christmas is like your childhood bed waiting to nestle you for a much-needed rest. Perhaps the most magical part of going home for Christmas is the feeling of being a child again. The ride home is always a wonder. You sit alone for hours, thinking of all the things you will do. Maybe you’ll visit an old friend, stroll around your city’s park, or bum around the house. Needless to say, whether you’re from the city or the country, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of going home for Christmas.
(“Solace” Photo by el | Amaranth)
One thing about the holiday is that makes one ask deep-rooted questions. Like, “If it’s your last day at VSU as a student, how will you spend it?” probably prepping for graduation. For me, I would probably spend it hanging out in our department, but that’s beside the point. In this joy ride called Life and the rollercoaster ride of academic pursuits, we often find ourselves questioning our choices, wondering if we’re right on track. These emotions are usually felt heavier when we’re on our way back to our homestead – the place where you can either find peace and solace or make you question your life more. “Will this Christmas break fuel my desire to reach for my dreams? Or comfort me in ways that would make me not want to leave home?”.
(“All roads lead home” Photo by John Eric Felisilda | Amaranth)
We talk about the nostalgia of coming home but how about those who don’t get to go home? To fathom the feeling of being alone during a time when everybody is spending their time with their loved ones is heart-wrenching. No matter what they say that we can find joy in other things, or create new holiday traditions, it cannot be helped that a part of us will long for the person we ought to have Christmas with. It’s not just the physical distance that makes it hard but also the emotional distance of you not being at the same place with the people you love. Christmas, after all, is a time to be with your loved ones. It is important to remember that despite the distance, you are not alone in this because they felt it too.
(“Alone amidst the Christmas Lights” Photo by Yoko Rebadulla | Amaranth)
In many ways, the emotional journey of Christmas echoes the timeless tale of the Nativity. The anticipation and yearning for the warmth of home parallels the biblical narrative of Mary and Joseph seeking shelter and a welcoming embrace. The twinkling Christmas lights become our modern-day Bethlehem star, leading us to a place of love and acceptance. Despite the strenuous work of academic pursuit, we will always yearn for the place that we call home and just melt in the profound connection and shared love between the people who give our lives meaning.
(“Nativity” Photo by John Vincent Honrada | Amaranth)
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Viscans! May your year end in endless merriment and start the New Year with another hope to achieve your dreams and aspirations, and may this season bring you joy, love, and peace.