What Does Christmas Mean to You?

By Ashleigh LaBar (she/her)

Christmas is just around the corner, a wonderful time for community, kindness, and joyous traditions with loved ones. The fantastic feeling this season brings is something most can identify with, but we all get it from different places. Some find the Christmas spirit in the white lights and garlands that dazzle the city, and others seek the cosiness of the holiday by bundling up with a quiet downfall of snow.

The meaning of this holiday stems from something different for everyone, and because of this, I have asked fellow Strathclyde students to share what Christmas means to them, along with what fun traditions they have to make their seasonal memories special!

Callum Gordon from Dunfermline says that, “Christmas is my favourite time of year. Every Christmas eve, I meet with the Danish side of the family as we sing Danish Christmas carols and have a meal together. For our starter, we have rice pudding where one person is given an almond in their meal. The person with the almond wins a prize, it gets very competitive for who gets the almond.”

From south of the Scottish border, Harvey Kay who lives in Brighton says that Christmas is a “wonderful excuse to see some old mates, brush off a box of lager and watch Love Actually with the boys”.

“Christmas is obviously more than just the day” he continues, “frankly, it begins for me in November, my first film is always The Nightmare Before Christmas. It then develops into films set at Christmas; some would see that as a step back, but Tim Burton continues with Batman Returns. Then the real films start: The Grinch, Home Alone (one and two), Bad Santa and more. Finally, on Christmas Eve the final film to watch is It’s a Wonderful Life”.

After a month-long period of preparation and build up, Christmas day finally arrives, “and goes largely without incident” says Harvey. “We’ll sit down, have dinner, and put on something or other over a bottle of fizz; last year it was The Truman Show. But while the 25th is good, the 26th is better” he says.

“Why? Boxing day football. In the last 7 years, I’ve been to Chelsea, Spurs, Brentford, Southampton and a few teams at home. The rules are your team plays someone local but not your rival. The same tropes happen around a packed festive season. And yes, every year the 1963 boxing day results are published”.

Harvey shares that Christmas for him means, “films, football, and a laugh in the pub.”

Molly Spear from Cumbernauld says that, “Christmas is quite a special time for me as I get to spend time with family members who I don’t always see on a day-to-day basis”.

Like Harvey, Molly appreciates the anticipation of the month before Christmas: “I love the lead-up to Christmas, decorating the house and the music, and I love when everyone shares stories with each other.”

The meaning of Christmas differs from person to person, and is a culmination of our most cherished memories and traditions. We all have those uniquely extraordinary times during the holidays that make them unforgettable, whether it’s simply staying inside and enjoying hot chocolate and a film with those you love, or dashing out to join your friends in your annual snowboarding races, the feeling we get from them is irreplaceable.

So, whatever your holiday plans are, we hope they add to the special memories and comfort of Christmastime!