The best way to spread Christmas cheer

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Katie Nail ’16

Instagram photos of Christmas trees. Snapchat stories of gingerbread houses. Tweets about the Christmas festivities. While all of these Christmas celebrations attempt to preserve singular moments, they fail to capture the warmth and joy intrinsic to the experiences and people that surround us during the holiday season.
At Convent on the Sacred Heart, Christmas enthusiasm is evident. From core center decorations to cookie exchanges and coordinated red and green days, the student body eagerly awaits Christmas vacation. Yet these celebrations often become rushed with tests, college applications and athletic endeavors. By the time the final school activity of 2014, the all-school sing-along, occurs, the string of events has become nothing more than a blur with a selection of social media posts to memorialize.

Katie Nail '16
Katie Nail ’16

Yet Christmas is not about rushing from activity to activity, it is about slowing down to wholeheartedly enjoy the company of others and manifest holiday spirit.
Perhaps the best example of commitment to Christmas is the famed Buddy the Elf of the classic Christmas movie, Elf. Although Buddy’s jubilant embrace of candy (to the extent of using it to top spaghetti), fascination with every Christmas tree, and chipper persona may go too far, he epitomizes complete elation for the holiday season. He represents innocence, love and generosity, as he attempts to reinvigorate bustling New York society with Christmas cheer.
Raised in the North Pole, Buddy believed Christmas to be filled with light, song, and cheer. But when he stepped foot into New York City in his elf costume, he experienced unexpected judgement and a lack of Christmas spirit, especially from his long lost family. Although disappointed by this reality, he remained determined to bring a true Christmas experience to life in the city this season.
Buddy the Elf had it right. The joy of Christmas is not in the gaud, glitz and even social media photos that often pervade our celebrations. It’s in the spreading of Christmas cheer, and the celebration of the love that characterizes our families and our Sacred Heart community. It is channeling Buddy’s joy as we watch Christmas movies with our family, make Gingerbread houses with siblings and share aromatic apple pies with friends. And it’s unashamedly celebrating the holiday for both your own enjoyment and warming the hearts of others.
So this Christmas vacation, we challenge you to put down your phone, forget college applications and not be stressed by holiday shopping for a few days. Instead, treasure the little moments of pure joy. Share the happiness of Christmas through being joyful and devoting your complete attention to your family, friends and holiday activities. Spread Christmas cheer through joy, because, after all, just as Buddy said, “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”
-Senior Editorial Board