Holidays with family: the perfect catalyst for happy memories

As fall turns to winter and the days get colder, an excitement that is almost palpable fills the air. Laughter is louder, smiles are wider, and sometimes it feels as though the sun is shining a little bit brighter. FOR many, this is a time for extravagant meals and parties. For Mercy students, however, the holiday season is filled with studying for finals, hanging out with friends, after-school activities, and finding a cute A-ball date. With all this excitement, we often forget that at its core, the holiday season is a time to spend with family.

For my family, the holiday season begins with All Souls’ Day and continues well after New Year’s. During this time, we put in extra effort to spend time together through frequent family dinners.

When I was younger, these dinners were filled with the sound of my Nonna singing “Tu scendi dalle stelle,” (a traditional Italian Christmas song) as she, my Mom, and my Aunt prepared dinner. They were filled with the sounds of my Nonno’s hearty laughs as he and my Dad told stories about their home countries. The aroma of freshly baked bread and dinner, cooking in the oven, wafted from the kitchen as my cousin and I hid from my brother in a game of hide-and-seek.

As I have gotten older and the sounds of my Nonna’s singing and Nonno’s laughs vanished from my home, leaving only childhood memories, the importance of spending this season with people who love you most has become more and more evident.

This time, filled with joy and happiness, is the perfect catalyst for the creation of happy memories. Without holidays spent with the people you love most, these happy memories would never have been formed.

When loved ones pass from this life, not everything about them is gone. What remains are the memories of their love.

When the daily stresses of Mercy life become too much to handle, I find comfort in the memories of my Nonno’s laugh and my Nonna singing “O bambino mio divino, Io ti vedo qui a tremar, o dio beato ahi, quanto ti costò l’avermi amato!” (Oh divine child, I see you tremble from the cold, it cost you so much to have loved me.) It’s these memories of their love that has instilled in me the same love that I hope to impart to those around me.