Every time a big holiday such as Christmas comes around there is a plethora of emotions and expectations.
A swarm of good vibrations inundates our radios and a spirit of giving places many of us in department stores looking to find perfect gifts for our friends and relatives.
Nevertheless, the emotions that overcome people during holidays are not always joyful or even pleasant.
During the holiday season, it is very easy to be consumed in our individual ordeals and not notice the people around us that hide silently underneath a shallow smile and an evasive look. As it happens, there are many reasons why people (even at Eastern) are not happy during the holidays.
Some people have bad memories related to the holidays-perhaps due to a family tragedy. Other people may have good memories, but are unable to relive them.
Although Eastern is frequently labeled a cosmic “bubble,” herein also exist the not-so-happy holiday campers. The list of situations and reasons why some students (and perhaps even faculty) at Eastern are not happy onlookers of the coming holiday season is almost inexhaustible.
The truth of the matter is that we might be able to support these people, yet more often than not, we do not. After experiencing her first semester and Christmas break at Eastern, senior biokinetics major Patsy Rivera admitted, “the only thing that kept me here was playing volleyball.”
Junior Thimba Gichuki admitted to having seen his parents only three times during his almost three and a half years at Eastern. Gichuki’s parents are in Kenya, Africa, and although the holiday seasons bring good memories to Thimba’s mind, he sometimes finds himself melancholic and longing for the family gatherings and ceremonial exchanges back home.
The missed family members and friends in the lives of many international and national Eastern students far from home expose students like Gichuki admitting that holiday seasons end up meaning nothing.
Senior Daudy Mutiso admitted that holidays such as Christmas come and pass by with their materialistic tendencies more insignificantly as the years go by.
“After a few years,” Mutiso said, “holidays such as Christmas become exploited rituals. Therefore, they lose their original meaning.”
Thus, it is implied that if we let such holidays “lose their original meaning,” they truly have no meaning at all.
Christmas is a time to remember the calling to share hope and joy with the world, not just through presents, but also through prayer and genuine friendships.
Let us strive to live out the true meaning of the Christmas holiday, to keep our beliefs real and to maintain them despite the sometimes empt rituals.