My Favorite Holiday

A lot of people tell me their favorite holiday is Halloween.  Now, there is nothing wrong with that. Beautiful fall weather and one night of dressing like that ridiculous obsession you’ve been hiding for years is a hoot and a half.  

But let’s get serious.

Christmas is the BEST holiday.  Cheer in the middle of what could and possibly would otherwise be a cold and bleak winter?  The celebration of love, and family, and a miracle so breathtaking that even if you aren’t religious you should appreciate its stunning power?  And of course, the reincarnation of human generosity and kindness that stirs the innocence of childhood in one fabled, legendary, God-like figure (aka dear old Santa Claus). Still skeptical?  Scoffing at my poor choice in a mainstream favorite holiday?  Let me give you some reasons as to why Christmas is so great:

1) It’s Christmas day, people. Do you hear the people sing? Singing a song of angry men?–Wait, wait. Sorry, that’s Les Miserables. Which came out in theaters today, btw, if you’ve been living under a rock and didn’t know. 

But still, you don’t hear people singing a song of angry men–unless it’s your drunk uncle going off on a political rant again.  If anyone is singing at all (like I am) it’s got to be a Christmas carol. My favorite type of seasonal music, Christmas carols just set that cheery, loving atmosphere. You feel safe when listening to Christmas music.  It brings people together. And somehow, no matter what genre, no matter who is singing the song (okay, so some people really murder Christmas songs, but let’s be forgiving for a moment–it’s Christmas Day, after all) the music always seems to embody that Christmas spirit.  I love it!  Besides, let’s be honest: when you only get a month and a half (maybe less if you feel sorry for Thanksgiving and want to make sure it gets all the attention it deserves) seasonal music becomes something of a wonderful novelty–like my father’s rice krispie treats, my brother’s curry, and my mother’s cooking in general.

2) Children’s excitement and anticipation.  You can’t tell me that a child bursting with joy because “Santa is coming!” isn’t absolutely adorable.

3) Family. Okay, so I know this may actually be a dig against Christmas for some people, but you can’t deny that, for at least ten seconds, being home is an absolute blissful relief. For someone like me, who truly appreciates the fact that blood bond means my family will put up with my attitude no matter what, being with my family is a safe haven.  Having learned at a fairly young age how quickly life can change and people can be taken from you, I live for the moments that I can sit and enjoy the love and company of my family and friends without thinking about the worries of today or tomorrow.  Christmas is the perfect opportunity for moments like this. 

4) The food. OH MY GOSH, THE FOOD.  Okay, so Christmas is usually no Thanksgiving, but that makes it great.  You get to enjoy the same rare novelties of feasting that you do on Thanksgiving, but without the inflexibility of a Thanksgiving dinner. What? You don’t want to eat a whole Chicken or Turkey for Christmas for the fifth year in a row?  That’s okay, I’ll make ham. 

5) Christmas lights.  There is something magical about Christmas lights.  I don’t know the tradition behind them, I don’t know why they have become such an intricate part of the holiday season, but I sure enjoy having them around.  When I was a small child, I would sometimes climb under the Christmas tree and lay there, admiring the lights sparkling among the branches. It’s weird, I know, but there is something of a romantic beauty in just trying to fully appreciate the wonder of a dazzlingly lit tree.  But, besides their beauty, they seem to have a deeper, truer, more simple message behind them then even holiday beauty.  Christmas lights are a signal of the hope that underlines the holiday season.  They are lights that shine brightly–magnificently–in the dark of night.  In an abstract way, they represent the man at the center of the purpose of the holiday–Jesus Christ.  Isn’t that totally awesome?!

6) Finally, of course I have to address the religious motivation behind the entire holiday season.  And, even for those of you who are not religious, or are not Christian, I still think the celebration of Christ’s birth is something that anyone can appreciate and a definite reason for why Christmas is the best holiday of all.  Advent has always been my favorite part of being Catholic–that anticipation in the count down to Christmas while recounting the story of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem and Jesus’ birth is so exciting and incredibly humbling when you think about how amazing that baby grew up to be.  Even if you don’t believe that Jesus was anything other than another man, you can’t deny his mind-boggling influence on humanity, history, and–obviously–people’s lives.  I find it incredibly awing, and I think it only adds to the magic of the holiday.

So there you have it.  I could go on, and on, and on, about reasons why I love Christmas the most, but there are still more than a few hours of the night to celebrate.  And when Christmas only comes around once a year, I don’t want to miss a second of such a wonderful day.

God bless us, everyone, and a Merry Christmas to you.

Yours truly,



GSS and the Plight of the College Kid

In honor of winter break, and finals week being over, I’ve decided to post this little gem that’s been sitting in my drafts for quite some time now. (Naturally, it’s not finished.  As you will soon see is appropriate for this post, I got a bit busy and a bit distracted by school and never went back to finish it. Now I can’t remember exactly what I wanted to say.  Ahh, that GSS. It’ll get you every time.) :

Wellllllllll just in case it hasn’t been clear, I’ve been neglecting my duties as a writer and wanna-be blogger.  It seems that in the crazy course of events I like to consider as ‘life’, blogging gets pushed to the back burner as I attempt to meet all the deadlines that come with being someone overly obsessed with following deadlines.  I sometimes like to refer to it as the “Good Student Syndrome” or, “GSS”. (Don’t worry–I’ve never actually called it that. I just made that up.)  But it does seem like a pretty good way to describe someone like me–a workaholic, over-achieving nerd who craves the idea of being on top, even when that ‘on top’ is a little letter on a piece of paper that I’m paying $20,000 a year for anyways.

Having GSS means two things: 1) Your professors love you.  Even when they hate you, they love you. You make them look good. All in all, you are pretty much the tuxedo of students.  Sleek and eye-catching, yet stuffy and slightly uncomfortable.  (Still embarrassed about all those times you thought you knew the answer?  What about those extra, unnecessary hours spent mulling over details you later found out were irrelevant to the tests? Yep, good times.)  And 2) Your social life sucks, and you know it.  Between  studying, classes, homework, studying, discussing, student groups, studying, and eating, you feel like you hardly have time to breathe, let alone actually enjoy yourself. And the times you do spend away from a text book, you’re regretting it, thinking about all the different things you need to get done and could be doing at that very exact moment.  It’s torturous, and I’ve realized it’s a double-edged sword–you see, it doesn’t matter whether you are at home working, or out with friends, people suffering from GSS are always thinking about the “Other Option”.  The “Other Option” is the dilemma designed by the collegiate educational system to mess with student psychology and break us down so that we submit.  The “Other Option” simply refers to the fact that no matter where you are, you are unhappy.  (If this were Panem, the “Other Option” would be the work of Capital hands.) The scenario goes a little something like this:

Suzy is a student studying for a final exam. She has been sitting at her desk without moving from her chair for almost three days.  However, she is taking twice as long as usual to read her textbook and notes because all she can think about is visiting with her friends. Finally, as if by God’s will, Becky calls and wants Suzy to go to the diner with her.  Suzy, after a few minutes hesitation, agrees.  And suddenly, the darkness begins.  Suzy goes to the diner, but all she can think about is how much more work she has to do.  Soon, Becky is out of conversation topics and Suzy finds herself  discussing every last  assignment Suzy has had for the past month. Becky, trying to be the good friend that she is, silently listens and nods at the appropriate time, all the while thinking, “Why did I invite Suzy again? All she ever does is talk about school work.” And before you know it, Suzy is back at her desk, beating herself up on the inside wishing she would have found something more interesting to discuss, while Becky is thinking about how she needs to expand her social group.

Hence, the “Other Option.” No matter where Suzy is, she’s thinking about the other things she could be doing. In this case, while doing homework, she’s thinking about the diner. While at the diner, she’s thinking about homework.  It’s like a terrible mental monster that moves in under your twin-sized, dorm-room bunk-bed and never leaves.  It’s terrifying, and highly unattractive.  Let me tell you, between GSS and the “Other Option,” good luck finding love. Unless, of course, your life happens to play out like a Disney fairytale come true, in this case the perimeters being that you some how get locked into the library book stacks and ‘stud’ious   Prince Charming happens to need a book for his research project in the very same section you’re trapped in and comes to the rescue…unintentionally. Let’s not forget to mention that Prince Charming is probably also suffering from GSS, which means he probably doesn’t know how to feign interest in dating anyways.

Thus, the plight of the good student.  Sure we get straight A’s, and sure we’ll probably (hopefully) be CEO’s and top executives, your children’s professors, the person who invented that new contraption in your home that you simply can’t live without, the person who discovers the cure for cancer, that guy that won jeopardy, the woman who turned the world towards feminism, and the people who negotiated peace in the Middle East, but the point is, so will those students who don’t suffer from GSS. It’s all a mind game. The whole thing is a silly little mind game.  Don’t let it get to you.


And there you have it.  Appropriate considering the long nights of studying we college kids just survived, no?  Do you agree?  Do you also suffer from GSS and the “Other Option”? Let me know. Maybe we can start a help-group, but only after I get all of my homework for the next semester done, okay?


Yours truly,