Remember when you were younger and you looked forward to Christmas with great anticipation and excitement? It was a magical time. There was certainly some point in many of our lives when we were “tiny tots with our eyes all aglow,” finding it hard to sleep Christmas Eve in anticipation for what Santa would bring.
We were looking forward to getting the coolest new action figures, video games and toys we’d seen advertised on TV or in the Toys ‘R’ Us catalogs. These filled up our holiday wish list and the boxes underneath the tree that magically appeared the morning after Santa’s flight.
Then we began to get older – enter our teenage years. It is around this time that many of us learned about the truth behind much of the Christmas magic. We still enjoyed the holidays, but we weren’t as excited about it. Winter break probably wasn’t long either – just a couple of weeks and it was back to the books.
That brings us to the present: college. Perhaps you’re coming up to the end of your first semester, or maybe you’re staring down graduation and the final step into adulthood. Either way, you’ve probably found some new excitement for the season. For one thing, it’s a month off from classes, projects and finals. You get to go back home and spend time with your family, and at the very least enjoy this relaxing change of pace and scene.
The gifts we’re asking for have changed as more practical things populate our wish lists. Perhaps you’ve asked for new dorm furniture or things you’ll need in whatever professional field you’re about to go into.
There is still much to look forward to this holiday season, but it comes in a different form. Time spent with friends and family from our hometowns fuel this excitement. We’re beginning to value this family togetherness that our parents said we’d value when we reached this age, but may not have believed at the time.
So as you pack things up for a month away from campus life, remember to value this time off. Chances are you haven’t had this much time off for the holidays before and won’t ever again as you move into a professional career.
And even if you’re not heading home over the break, perhaps you’ll find the greatest gift of all: the love of your family and friends.
From all of us on the Optimist Editorial Board, we wish you and yours a blessed holiday season.