How do you find peace and joy during the holiday season? What do you look forward to during this special time of year?
Your last research paper of the term is finished. Final exams are over. It’s time to take a well-earned holiday-season breather from your online degree program.
While shopping, cooking, decorating and enjoying parties help make the season festive, be sure to take time to focus on what’s most important in your life: family, friends, and gratitude for the blessings of the previous year.
Here’s what some members of the Saint Leo community who support our online students look forward to during the holidays.
“My favorite thing to do during the holidays is watch It’s a Wonderful Life while wrapping presents.”
Hilary Bisaillon, Enrollment Coordinator/School Certifying Official
“My parents are snowbirds, so I don’t get to see them that much. During this holiday, I look forward to making up for that, and spending some good, quality time with them.”
Mark Puskarich, Communications Strategist
“One of the things I look forward to every Christmas morning is playing Monopoly with my family. It is a tradition that we all have breakfast and then gather around for a fun game of Monopoly.”
Bianli Abreu, Enrollment Counselor
“My favorite thing to during the holiday is spending time with my husband. Because of the hours we work, we barely get to spend time together. So the holidays are special for us. We love to dance to the holiday tunes and give each other gifts on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.”
Alayna Amor, Financial Aid Processor
“It was always a tradition growing up on Long Island on Christmas Eve to gather together at the grandparents’ house to celebrate Christmas. Every Christmas Eve my grandfather would have a plate of oplatki (the Polish word for Communion – the oplatki was always purchased at the church and blessed by a priest). The family would gather around my grandfather, take a piece of the oplatki, and listen as he thanked God for all the blessings. He always ended with the prayer that we would all be together the next year. This tradition has continued for 60 years and will be continued for each generation to come.”
Lori Galbreath, Financial Aid Technician
“My favorite thing to do during the holidays is to go to midnight Mass with my family. When we get back home, my son still has a great time opening his stocking. This year it will be fun to put together a stocking for his new wife, too.”
Carol Scarborough, Executive Assistant
“My family has rented a vacation home at Disney, and we plan to spend Christmas time there and simply relax. All six of us are in the education field, so we’re looking forward to much needed rest!”
Dee Austin, Enrollment Coordinator
“Through the holidays, I treasure spending time and relaxing with my family on Christmas Eve and day as I’ve been 1,100 miles away for 10 years.”
Nick Macchio, Associate Director Undergraduate Student Advising
“I love Christmas with its colorful lights and decorations, the carols, the cookies and all the yummy foods. More importantly, I love the spirit of Christmas: celebrating the birth of our Savior; cheerfully providing presents and food items to those less fortunate; and getting together with family and friends.
My fondest Christmas memories are of making cut-out cookies with my mother; and then continuing that tradition with my daughter (and her friends). Oh, the messes we made! One mother wasn’t too happy when I sent her son home on a ‘sugar’ high!”
Marlene Tillman, VA School Certifying Official
“I’m looking forward to training for a marathon over the holidays.”
Kerry Carter, VA School Certifying Official
“I am looking forward to spending the holidays with my parents. My mother has been really sick with cancer and some other things, and she is really excited about spending the holidays in Florida. They live in Tennessee and I do not get to spend as much time with her as I would like to. We have all kinds of fun things planned, but I will mostly just enjoy having them here.”
Kimberly McGiffen, Undergraduate Enrollment Counselor
“I am looking forward to hanging out with my close friends and family and friends over the holidays. They live over four hours away, and it’s not often that I get to see them.”
Walter Miska, Student Advisor
"This is a time to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas with our family and friends. I am looking forward to seeing family I have note seen in many years and them meeting my 3-year-old daughter for the first tie."
Linda Green, Undergraduate Enrollment Counselor
“I am excited about spending my first Christmas with my brand new husband! We plan to watch all the old Claymation movies and have our family over for Christmas dinner.”
Erin Bly, Undergraduate Student Life Specialist
What do you look forward to during the holidays?
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