Readin’ with Rachel: A change in holiday tradition

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Rachel Scully, Campus Editor

I grew up in a large family. My grandparents had 16 children with five sets of twins (yes, seriously). Needless to say, the Scully family is still well-known for their quantity of kids and grandkids. I have always loved this aspect about my family. I felt like I never grew up alone. After all, I have numerous cousins who live around the world. 

Obviously, things get a little rowdy around the holidays, especially Christmas. Nearly half the family packs into one house to celebrate, eat and have a holly jolly time. It’s always been my favorite time of the year. 

However, COVID-19 has changed the plans for this year. My family and I want to make sure we keep each other safe, so we will not be having the annual Christmas party this year. I accepted this reality around October when I realized that the pandemic was not going away anytime soon. Still, it broke my heart.

As a college student, it is especially important to see my family after a hard semester. I know I’m not the first student to go through this either. While some people may celebrate with their immediate families, others, like mine, invite their extended family over to enjoy the holiday. So, this year will be very different for us. 

As much as I want to have a huge party after all we’ve been through, it would not only be unfair to my family but to everyone else in the community. The last thing we need in the world is another COVID-19 case. 

I always try to end my stories with positivity, but this time was a little harder for me. Since I have been living in Cleveland alone for the semester, I have felt rather lonely. I was looking forward to catching up with my family. What we thought would be a two-week extended spring break turned into a global pandemic lasting almost a year. We have been basically alone for months. No fun parties (hopefully), no huge family dinners and few college activities. We, as social beings, are deprived. 

Nevertheless, we must stay positive and hopeful to take care of ourselves. So I will leave you with this; next holiday season will be the most rowdy and fun Christmas we have ever had! When we manage to get through this pandemic, we will have these special social elements in our lives again. 

Whenever I start to feel lonely, especially during the holidays, I think about how great next year will be. As a popular adage goes, distance makes the heart grow fonder. After some forced alone time, we will appreciate our time together even more. Whatever holiday you celebrate, now or in the future, remember we will get through this. Once we do, it will make the next social gathering so much sweeter.