By Victoria Nelson (’16)
Walking through the quad, I can’t help but feel a wave of peace wash over me. My last class over and done with, I trek through the frosty grass, leaving ephemeral footprints as reminders of my presence. My breath forms little wispy clouds as it leaves my mouth. The clock tower serenades me with a tune of Christmas cheer, and all the lights on the buildings seem to sing along with a rhythmic twinkling.
I pass the word “Rejoice!” written in colorful lights on the side of the student union building. Rejoice indeed! I can’t help but do so when I stop to consider how blessed I am to attend a university where we can openly talk about God’s gift of his son as the real reason for celebration. A university where professors can still wish me a “merry Christmas” instead of a “happy holidays.”
Reaching my dorm, I enter to the familiar sound of boiling water and spoons against cups. The delectable aroma of chocolate reaches my nose, with just a hint of peppermint mixed in. My three roommates sit sprawled on the floor, laughing and tentatively sipping at their cups. Christmas music plays faintly in the background, providing the perfect cheer-filled environment. With a smile, my roommate and best friend slides a cup toward me, extending the invitation to join them. I gladly accept, wrapping my cold fingers against the cup. I relish the feeling of the heat spreading throughout my hand, chasing away the cold. I take a sip, and I can’t decide if I should focus on how the tendrils of heat slide down my throat and radiate to warm my entire body, or how the taste of peppermint hot chocolate seems to perfectly convey the feeling of Christmas.
Looking around the room at my amazing friends, the delicious treats, the campus lights sparkling outside my window, I can’t help but take a moment to contemplate how extremely blessed I am. This feeling of camaraderie, love, and peace, this is Christmas season at George Fox. And there is nowhere else I would rather be.