Bringing Christmas on vacation

Molly Geisinger '15

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Molly Geisinger ’15

While some families prefer to spend Christmas in the comfort of their homes, some Convent of the Sacred Heart community members, as long as family and friends are near, make even the most diverse locations glow with Christmas cheer.

Molly Geisinger '15
Molly Geisinger ’15

Although staying at home brings the possibility of New England snow, some students believe that traveling for Christmas can be just as mirthful.
This winter, junior Grace Campbell is traveling to the Dominican Republic, where snow is replaced by sand.
“The weather may be different there, but I am used to it, and it still feels like Christmas to me because I am with my family and celebrating the birth of Jesus, and that’s what Christmas is really about,” Grace said.
While in the Dominican Republic, Grace and her family have a feast and continue the tradition of watching a nativity play on Christmas Eve.
Even after Christmas, Grace and her family continue to celebrate the holiday in this tropical environment until January 6, Three Kings’ Day. This day marks the Wise Men’s first meeting with baby Jesus, according to huffingtonpost.com. 
Sophomore Erin Carroll and her family will also be spending Christmas someplace warmer, in Bali, Indonesia. While the Carroll family often travels during Christmas vacation, this will be the first time they are away from home on Christmas Day.
There are certain American Christmas traditions that Erin will miss while in Bali, such as a yearly Christmas dinner at her grandparents’ house. She is also hesitant about experiencing the holidays without snow. The tradition Erin will miss most, however, is going to the Christmas Eve Liturgy at Sacred Heart.
This Christmas, Erin hopes to bring some of the holiday spirit and traditions with her.
“Being with family is more important than where I am, because they, and the traditions we have created together, are the most important part of the Christmas spirit,” Erin said.
Mrs. Anne Uglum, Upper School math and science Teacher, who will also be spending Christmas away from home, agrees with Erin. Ever since 1972, Mrs. Uglum  has spent Christmas at Hotel St. Bernard in Taos, New Mexico. 
“I think it’s most different from home because everything has a very European feel. Plus, I don’t have to cook or clean,” Mrs. Uglum said.
While she enjoys the benefits of spending Christmas in New Mexico, she also misses the comfort of home and tries to bring her own holiday traditions across the United States.  
“One of the best traditions was handed down to me by my mother who no longer can go to Taos. On Christmas Eve, my husband, my friend Sallie, and I distribute 20 pounds of Hershey’s Kisses around the hotel, both inside and out. We have always called them ‘reindeer droppings,’” Mrs. Uglum said.
Although Mrs. Uglum admits there are pros and cons to spending Christmas both at home and away, she agrees that the most important part of the holiday is being with family and loved ones.
“I think Christmas is wherever your family is, however you define what family is to you. We’ve often thought about not going to Taos, but this is our tradition and we see people and friends from around the world who have become amazing friends,” Mrs. Uglum said. “Christmas is about sharing special times with special people.”
– Elizabeth Bachmann, Staff Writer