Can you smell them? Freshly baked gingerbread cookies are cooling in the kitchen downstairs. With another successful semester wrapped up just in time for Christmas, soon all of PCC’s students will be home to share familiar traditions and favorite treats with their families. Looking back, the semester wasn’t without those memory-making moments.
Over the semester, Blair Lane (Sr., CO) attended several special events on campus, her favorites being the professional writing portfolio readings, Harvest Fest, and watching the virtual Christmas Lights Celebration during the final chapel service. Although many of her friends remained on campus after Thanksgiving and before the Christmas break, they made sure to capture one more festive memory before Thanksgiving. “There is a picture that two of my friends and I took back in freshman year in front of the Commons Christmas tree that became one of our favorites. We decided we had to take advantage of our last chance to recreate the photo before one of us left for Thanksgiving,” she said.
While counting down the days until their return home, Rynn Howard (So., AK) and her roommates have been celebrating the Christmas season most December nights with an essential cup of hot cocoa. When she gets home, however, she’s looking forward to continuing a special family tradition. “We have two bear ornaments that are really small—it’s just stuffing and a little music box inside them. They were my parent’s first ornaments after they were married” thirty years ago, Rynn explained. “Every Christmas, we bring them out and press the box to see if they sing the jingle. We all hold our breath in anticipation and, once we hear the song, it’s a celebration; the bears are still going strong! I’m excited to go home and see if they still sing.”
Finishing that first semester of college is a big deal all on its own, and freshman Ryan Kozak (OH) is glad to take home the exciting experience of joining a group he’s only seen virtually. “A highlight of my time here has been being able to sing in the Rejoice Choir. For two years, I watched the TV program Rejoice in the Lord, wanting to be here in person and to hear the choir myself. Now I am a part of it! I am grateful to God for the many blessings I have received this semester,” he said. “I have enjoyed my time here so far. I have met so many good people who share so much in common.”
While the spring semester brings new opportunities for creating memories, the Christmas and New Year’s holidays will be a welcome time of rest to recuperate from a busy schedule and to reassure each other. “Now more than ever it’s important that we all stay positive and encourage one another,” said Rynn. “I know it’s been a hard year on everyone. There’s hope in the message of Jesus’ birth, and that’s something everyone needs right now.”
From the friends and family here at PCC, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!