by Ejuma Adoga
The holidays are a time for giving, receiving, laughter, family and friends. As a child, it was always my favorite time of year—I loved to go to Midnight Mass in my best dress and shiny shoes to celebrate the ritual of the Mass with my family. It almost seemed mystical and powerful, and being with my family on Christmas Eve is one of my favorite places in the world. My mother had always instilled in my siblings and I the value of a relationship with God, and to have a connection with my faith and that has always been something that I’ve carried with me.
As a young adult, getting in the holiday spirit has been harder, as the “magic” of Christmas goes away. We find out that Santa is not real, we outgrow toys and other gadgets, and we start to actually like getting money and clothes for Christmas. Then we go to high school, college, and professional careers, and begin to be inundated with adult obligations. It seems, at least for me, that the holidays creep up faster and faster each year and I find myself wondering how I forgot they were so close.
Each year, to get my mind and spirit ready for the Christmas season, I read a small Advent reflection that takes about 5-10 minutes. It may not seem like much, but when I have classes, lunches, and other obligations, it is gentle reminder of the upcoming holiday, even if only for a brief moment. It is like a small notification that your phone gives you about an upcoming event, or a reminder to call a loved one. This is something that we can partake in as adults, and it is always something that helps me get spiritually ready for the celebration of the birth of Christ.
I also enjoy driving around with my family around the neighborhoods back home, looking at all of the lights and decorations. This is something that makes me feel closer to my family, and it allows us all to connect and simply marvel at the world around us. In spending time with loved ones, I notice something special that allows us to see God in those closest to us. Family and friends can be reminders of God’s love, and they can bring out the best of us. As Christmas is the beginning of life for the Holy Family, the holidays are the best way to reconnect, reminisce, and make new memories with our own loved ones.
As adults, it can be much harder to get into the Christmas spirit, but it is important to always remember what Christmas is about. It is about love, family, and faith, and the Advent season is the time for all of us to prepare spiritually and mentally for the joyous holiday. It has been a hard few weeks, considering events that have occured within our world and on our very campus. The feelings of faith, hope, love, and the Christmas spirit can be hard to find, but in the midst of a broken world, Christ was born. It is important to spread kindness, love, and empathy to those that may be feeling broken or discouraged, and it is also important to bring joy to others as we expect to receive joy ourselves. As wise man once said, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”