It’s that time of year again when loved ones will be reuniting around the Christmas tree. Memories and dinner will be shared and gift wrapping will be torn apart. Unfortunately, others will not have that chance this year. Work, distance, and family dysfunction sum up why Christmas will be different this year.
Stephanie Campian, 22, a front desk clerk for Marriot Hotel in New York City, will be working late at night instead of heading home for Christmas.
“Most likely, I’ll be getting out of work super late, buy a bottle of wine and spend it with my cat,” said Campian. “It’s the hotel industry and seniority plays a big role. It’s not like a restaurant or retail store. I’ll get fired. Christmas is special to me, but as a full-time worker my responsibilities come first.”
Campian is not the only one with responsibilities. Tierra Eddy, 21, a United States Navy Hospital Corpsman, just switched duty stations so that left her little time to apply for leave.
“I’m a little sad, but I know there’s nothing I can do about it,” said Eddy. “It is weird because this will be the first time I’m away for Christmas, but I haven’t spent the last two Thanksgivings with them so I know I will be okay.”
Between commuting from Crane, Indiana to Atlantic City, Virginia, and despite the unfortunate news, Eddy will strive to find something to do on Christmas.
On the other hand, Sherrise Mollyk, 21, a student at Union County College, will not be celebrating Christmas at all.
“My family doesn’t celebrate these holidays anymore, so I try to do something myself. We aren’t close,” said Mollyk. “I feel bummed because I see everyone celebrating as a family and I won’t be able to have memories like that. I might watch movies in my room or I might go to the city and enjoy the view.”
Christmas is a holiday to be shared and it is upsetting to see that many holiday goers will not be able to celebrate the holidays as they want to. But let’s not forget that Christmas is about hope. Wherever anyone is, there is love and hope for all of us. Molly Delancey, 22, an alumna and last graduating class of Saint Peter’s College, is currently living in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. She is an example that happiness can be found anywhere during the holidays.
“I do not feel that bad about not being home for Christmas because I plan to go to the beach all day long!” said DeLancey. “It is not weird not being able to celebrate with my family this year because I like where I am right now. I don’t know who I will be with on Christmas yet, but I assume I will be with friends that I have on the island.”
Being away for Christmas is not the end of the holidays. Make the most of it. Even though Christmas has changed for some this year, gift exchanges will still give warmth to a few hearts. Campian will be receiving and sending her gifts via email, but Eddy and Sherrise have different points of view on gift giving.
“I’m not sending gifts this year as well as I asked to not receive any gifts,” said Eddy. “It’s not as personal or special through the mail.”
Mollyk will not be receiving any gifts this year. Her dog, Kiba, will be right by her side.
“My dog is all I’ll need this Christmas,” said Mollyk.