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Walla Walla, WA
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Friday, December 8, 2023

What’s Important About Christmas

December 1, 2022
Austin Price

Students’ Perspectives on Remembering Service and God During Christmas

Austin Price

When people think of Christmas, they often worry about the Christmas gifts they must buy for their friends and family, indicating that Christmas has become an extremely consumerist holiday. Therefore, it’s important to understand what Christmas truly means to individuals beyond the consumerism of Christmas. Students gave their responses on how they remember the important things during Christmas, as well as their remembrance of Christ during Christmastime.  

Brooklyn Gerber, freshman piano performance major, said, “I think [Christmas] focuses on history and tradition a lot more than it does on the birth of Jesus. As in getting a Christmas tree and buying gifts and singing carols. I love all those things, but I’m not thinking about Jesus being born when I do those things.” [1] 

Gerber continued on how she specifically remembers what’s important: “We read the Christmas story. And I think we try and serve others, which Jesus did.” [2] 

Kathryn Gaines, junior business accounting major, responded that she is reminded of Christ through “Christmas programs at my church and family dinners and … decoration[s] like nativity scenes.” [3] 

Nativity Scene. A nativity scene that portrays the classical elements with main focuses on mother Marry, Joseph, and baby Jesus. Photo by Dan Kiefer (2017)

The next two responses specifically emphasize the giving element during Christmas. 

Caleb Snarr, sophomore mechanical engineering major, said, “I think the spirit of giving is underestimated because even that is not just about you. It’s about others, but it also gives back to you.” [4] 

Nalei Alexander, junior math major, said, “In times of Christmas I think of basically giving and receiving. More of the giving than receiving part.” She went on to mention that she herself strives to be a person who gives without thinking of getting something in return. [5] 

Nalei concluded, “So that’s how I think of God, [who] gives us hope, love, and everything great and he never expects anything back, and that’s great of him. I find that a great character to be, but it’s so hard to be like that sometimes.” [6] 

Continue to search for the answers to these questions: What is important to you when Christmas is present, and what is something that reminds you of the spirit of giving during Christmas?

References 

  1. Interview with Brooklyn Gerber, 11/17/22.
  2. Ibid. 
  3. Interview with Kathryn Gaines, 11/17/22.  
  4. Interview with Caleb Snarr, 11/17/22. 
  5. Interview with Nalei Alexander 11/18/22.  
  6. Ibid. 

 

Photos  

  1. Christmas Themed. A candle mixed in between medley of different scented Christmas items such as pinecones. Photo by Joanna Kosinska (2017). https://unsplash.com/photos/FxNjEkDJSxQ  
  2. Nativity Scene. A nativity scene that portrays the classical elements with main focuses on mother Marry, Joseph, and baby Jesus. Photo by Dan Kiefer (2017). https://unsplash.com/photos/uPl8fJ5Ce2M  
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