Christmas, New Year offer fresh start

As I get back into my college routine for the onset of the spring semester, I cannot help but reflect back on what a great holiday break I had. The beaming Christmas trees, cheerful holiday tunes, bountiful gustatory goodies, family and friends are all linchpins for a great holiday experience.

However, what I was able to learn during the break transcended these elements and gave me a deeper understanding of what it actually means to be home for the holidays.


I’m clicking away on Amazon, trying to put myself in my gift recipients’ shoes. What would they like for Christmas? Yes, I’m calculating the shipping and delivery times because I may have procrastinated a bit on my holiday shopping. Yes, they will arrive just before Dec. 25, so I have time to wrap my gifts in my snowman wrapping paper. Thank God and the U.S. Postal Service.

This beneficence associated with Christmas is the time where you can express your gratitude to those who care about you. Appreciate the joy you bring about and receive with your kind act of giving.


My family and I gather around the tree Christmas morning, each one of us kids at heart. The excitement develops as I spot the presents that spent the night beneath the tree. My fingers fiddle while I open the gift. My smile flashes, staring at my present. When I look up, I see that I am not the only one smiling in delight. We all are.

My mother says it best, “Christmas is a time of year to appreciate not what’s under the tree, but to appreciate who is around it.”

New Year

The hors d’oeuvres are ready, and the TV is set to watch Ryan Seacrest ring in the New Year from Times Square. Taylor Swift performs live on the program. I think back to the amazing memories formed and great people that I have met this past year. The countdown begins. Oh boy, here goes another year.

The New Year is great to start fresh and learn from the mistakes experienced the year before. We all have been given a new beginning.

Ladies and gentlemen, happy 2013!


Raymond La is a sophomore majoring in microbiology.