By BRIDGET ULLOA
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, or so the song goes. But with the pandemic still ongoing, it’s hard for some Amarillo College students and staff to feel the holiday spirit when health officials have discouraged gathering with family and friends during the time of the year that people expect to be together.
“Honestly the holiday season doesn’t seem that exciting to me this year because I won’t be able to spend time with all of my extended family and friends. I do understand that it’s what we need to do for us to be safe so I can’t really complain,” Pedro Hernandez, a biology major, said. “Even though we won’t be able to celebrate Christmas like how we would normally do, I know that this will only bring us closer together in spirit.”
The holiday traditions that both students and staff have treasured may not be the same this year due to the ongoing pandemic and the enforcement of social distancing. Despite the changing holiday plans for this year, individuals say they are trying to make the best out of the situation.
“Every year my wife and I hold a Santa’s brunch where we invite our family, friends, neighbors, and their kids to enjoy brunch and visit from Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus,” Christopher George, a computer science instructor, said. “My wife makes her famous cocoa and I’m on Christmas cocktail duty and there are fun Christmas activities for the kids and they get to tell Santa what they want for Christmas. This year due to COVID we will be doing a neighborhood Christmas parade with Santa and gift baskets”
As AC staff and students debate how to adjust their holiday traditions, many are looking back at memories from the past. “For many years beginning when Robin and I lived in New York, far from family, we gave each other Christmas tree ornaments,” Monty Downs, a theatre instructor, said. “We continued that until the boys were out of high school (maybe longer) enough that a seven-foot tree is completely filled. No place left to hang more.”
Renee Stovall, a business management instructor, said, “I always watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” when wrapping presents.”Celebrating during 2020may look a little different, but students and staff say they are determined to find new ways to mark traditions and connect with family and friends.