By Rachel Gelabale
It’s that time of year where families and friends gather (or at least used to), decorate the house, buy Christmas trees, and decorate cookies. The holiday season is such an exciting time, even in the midst of a pandemic!
For me, as an international student, we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving back home, well at least not my family. Last year my GCC friends and I celebrated “Friendsgiving.” We all brought food, ate, and played some games. It was so fun! This year things were different. My friends from last year are now living in other states, and there’s the pandemic. Luckily, I am still blessed to have met good people at GCC. A friend of mine and my work supervisor brought me a delicious Thanksgiving feast. There is a great lesson to be learned. Just because we are dealing with a pandemic, doesn’t mean that we can’t be nice and give to others. This is what we should take into the Christmas holiday and the new year.
I am a huge fan of the holiday season for a few reasons: We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, and I get to watch Christmas movies. I usually start watching Christmas movies in November. I have a holiday tradition of watching my ultimate favorite movie, Matilda on Christmas day. At GCC, one tradition for students living in College Village is participating in a winter-themed door decorating contest. What are your holiday traditions?
Last Christmas I stayed in Batavia, NY, and celebrated the holiday with a GCC professor and her family. It was my first Christmas in America and let me tell you, it was very different. Her family was large and so much fun. On Christmas Eve, all the family members came over. We ate, played games, and exchanged gifts. On Christmas Day, we woke up early, opened gifts, had breakfast and spent the rest of the day playing games and eating. That was one of the best Christmas celebrations I have ever experienced.
While things will be different this year, don’t let go of the holiday spirit. Enjoy your holidays with your family in the safest way possible. Try to think of the good, and leave the bad behind. Maybe decorate your bedroom door. You can also take this time to give back or help someone in need. It doesn’t have to be anything huge, maybe just sharing a plate of food. This is the perfect time to let your creativity and imagination run wild and maybe start a new holiday tradition.
Rachel Gelabale from Curaçao is attending Genesee Community College in Batavia, New York.