Giving Christmas a New Meaning

Jillian McGuire, Columnist

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The holidays are a time filled with hot cocoa, cheesy Hallmark movies my mom and aunt can never get enough of, and wondering what to give those you love. Three years ago my Christmas was spent unlike any other Christmas. 

Every year for as long as I can remember we go to my Gram’s house on Christmas Eve, but when I woke up my mom informed my Gram was sick and couldn’t be around us. My Gram, our rock, had been fighting one heck of a battle with an aggressive stage 4 thyroid cancer. By Christmas that year she had been declared cancer free. Even though she was cancer free, her pain was not gone. I cried when my mom informed me we couldn’t see her because what’s Christmas without the people you love? Cancer is something that ruins many things, but it can not ruin the most important part of Christmas.

This Christmas I have been reflecting on the meaning of Christmas and looking back at past memories of the happy holiday. As I have grown up I have discovered that often TV commercials and stores try to make the holidays all about presents, and not the true meaning of this special day — the opportunity to spend time with those you love.

As I have grown up I have discovered that often TV commercials and stores try to make the holidays all about presents, and not the true meaning of this special day — the opportunity to spend time with those you love.”

— Jillian McGuire

I’ve always had a special connection with my Gram, but seeing her barely able to talk put everyone in pain. The rock of the family and the one always in charge was teaching us the definition of the word “strength.” Two years ago,she was is so much pain, we were unsure if she would make it. We had gotten pretty close to losing hope. 

This year she is still here, and although her singing voice is still not existent, we have so much to be thankful for.

This Saturday, we will be at her house just like normal, but I am reminded that the meaning of Christmas has nothing to do with receiving a gift. The meaning of Christmas is a time for those you love. Something we can all do this holiday season is to take time to think not only about ourselves and what we want but about other people. This season, consider the act of kindness and compassion as the best present you can give. You could simply bake cookies for a neighbor, give clothes or items that have been in your closet forever and have no use to kids whose families can’t afford to give them what they need. You could volunteer at a nursing home or even just remind a friend who is struggling that they make the world a better place, or even just tell your family you love them.

The power of compassion and kindness can make all the difference this season.

Jillian’s Journey is a column written by junior Jillian McGuire reflecting on her high school lessons. It appears bimonthly on The Mustang Moon.