Ho! Ho! Ho!
What do you think of when you hear those three words? Why, yes! Christmas!
Christmas is definitely high on my favorite holidays list. It’s the time when semesters end, exams are finished, and school recesses for a month-long break. Amidst all of these wonderful things, we can’t forget what Christmas is really about.
Once a year, we celebrate the birth of Christ. We celebrate our faith and belief in Christ. And who better to spend it with than your family? So, that’s exactly what I did. Last year, I found myself in a friend group filled with some of the best people I know. I’m not entirely sure of how the group was named, but we called ourselves “The Family.”
“In college, your friends will become your second family and your campus will become your home away from home.” Those are the wise words of my cousin, Bruce. These words were both comforting and terrifying at the same time. If I make some good friends, college would be awesome and I would have the time of my life, right? But there’s one caveat: good friends aren’t easy to come by. So how would college go if I didn’t make any good friends? Asking myself these questions pushed me to want to find some darn good friends. So that’s what I did!
November arrives and I realize that once Thanksgiving break is over, finals will consume our lives until we leave for Christmas break. So, as the non-procrastinator of the group (ha ha), I plan ahead and ask around if anyone wants to have a Christmas dinner and Secret Santa once we get back from break and right before finals begin. The answer was a unanimous “yes.”
Secret Santa is one of my favorite Christmas festivities. First of all, it ensures that everyone will get a gift and second of all, it’s much cheaper than buying everyone a gift (and as a college student, that definitely wins my vote). It’s also just a great way to celebrate with gifts, because it’s always fun trying to guess who got who. It’s the perfect way to celebrate Christmas with new friends.
Weeks go by and finally, Christmas dinner has arrived! Since the boys made Thanksgiving dinner (not so greatly – that’s a story for another blog), the girls decided to make Christmas dinner. We all have our fill of delicious food—salad, homemade mac and cheese, and cupcakes! Once we pray and finish eating dinner, we move onto our gifts! We go around the room opening our gifts. We all guessed (for the most part, very wrongly) who we thought our gift-giver was. The best part about our gifts is that since we only had to buy one, we all put a lot of thought into what we should buy, which is why everyone ended up loving their gift!
The night was full of fun, food, laughter, and memories that will last a lifetime. “The Family” bonded in celebration of Christ’s birth and had an amazing time doing so. I can truly say that the friends that I ended up making at the first tailgate became my friends that will make up my “second family.” I can finally relax and find comfort in my cousin’s words. And this is why Christmas dinner and Secret Santa was my favorite non-academic experience.
– Andrew Santiano