Holiday season comes, goes

MV students participate in Christmas spirit week

MV students participate in Christmas spirit week

Julika Balzer, Staff

The first semester is almost over, but that only means one thing: Christmas break is getting closer and closer. Everyone looks forward to the holiday season by getting presents, decorating and Christmas trees are sold out. Holiday season is always something special, and Christmas is one of the most hyped seasons ever.

For me it is my first but hopefully not last Christmas in the States. Christmas is not only a time to celebrate, but also to get together with joy as a family or as friends. Whomever you spend it with, it is always a special time of the year. Christmas these days is something wonderful. We are able to give back thankfulness to each other and it’s a time to leave everything else beside.

Christmas itself always always brought joy with it, but traditions changed over the last years. In the earlier centuries, people received different kinds of food for Christmas. In European culture, it was common to give the nice kids oranges and chocolate, and the naughty ones coal. Today we mostly focus on material presents. But even if we modernized Christmas in the way of giving something back, the  meaning is still the same.

Christmas is about connecting with each other, coming together and celebrating joy and happiness, even if it is mostly combined with stress. It seems like a short time where people light up.

But Christmas did not only modernize , it also found many unique ways to get celebrated. Cultures everywhere in the world have their own traditions and so many different ways of Christmas have been invented. In a lot of European countries it is common to celebrate Christmas on the 24th in the evening. Some countries celebrate Christmas in January like Egypt, Serbia, Russia, and many others. Those celebrate Christmas on January 7, common for many Orthodox Christians. Some countries don’t even have Christmas. Over the times when religion got diverse, Christmas also got spread, and modernized. Coming back to American Christmas, I have to say it is a complete difference from what I’m used to. Everything is pulled ten times bigger and brighter. The experiences I’ve had in the past weeks are just crazy. The house decorations are so huge. It looks like Santa’s workshop and I love it. I’ve seen so many houses with impressive light set ups. I also know it takes a lot of time to prepare everything, but in the end, it is absolutely worth it.

The most stressful part about Christmas is probably finding the right presents and the perfect tree. I learned that artificial trees are really commonly used here. It makes sense if one doesn’t want any dirt or desires perfect symmetry, but I think Christmas needs the smell of a fresh pine tree in the house.

Finding the perfect present is one of the biggest things going on during Christmas. It might be stressful to find something, but in the end it is worth it, because the joy that is given with that is worth it all.

Besides all the preparations, food also plays a big role and does have some differences in the cultures. While I’ll have ham and ‘Manacotti’ casserole this year for Christmas, I’m normally used to dumplings, red cabbage and gravy.

But I think that is exactly the most interesting part about holiday seasons… seeing how it got personalized in so many different ways, by each country or religion. But the meaning behind it is always the same, thankfulness, happiness, Christians celebrating Jesus’s birth, and spending time together. The last few years have been harder than normal, because we all had to deal with our current worldwide pandemic. But then we see what magic holiday seasons bring with it.             

However life might seem, good or bad, something like Christmas always gives a reason to light up again. It is something people can hold on, which brings joy, and so do I.