My Big Fat Greek Holiday

I always looked forward to Christmas. I awaited Christmas music to come on the radio, the lights on the bare branches and watching Christmas movies on snowy weekends.  I saw Christmas with wide, bright eyes and let them fill with the child-like wonder that Christmas brought.

I don’t mind just spending the day decorating the house, reminiscing at all the stories behind the decorations. Warm vanilla and sugar trickled from the kitchen from endless holiday baking. I cherished viewing Christmas lights driving home once dusk hit. I dreaded the Christmas pageants—singing and reciting in both Greek and English just to please my parents.


The mysterious St. Nicholas paid our empty shoes a visit, filling them with goodies before Santa Claus would; a tradition adapted and celebrated each year. The countdown to Christmas Eve came with anxiety and excitement, awaiting the arrival of the big man himself. Upon hearing the Gospel reading in church each Christmas Eve, we remember why this over-commercialized holiday is celebrated in the first place. Preparing the various hors d’oeuvres for that evening, coupled with the annual showing of It’s a Wonderful Life is that remains a tradition, even to this day. Full of hot chocolate and Pillsbury sugar cookies, I drifted off to bed, ears on alert for any signs reindeer on the rooftop.

The morning brought beautiful chaos full of stocking stuffers, wrapping paper and unanticipated surprises. I awoke with curiosity as to what Santa left under the tree. Like any other celebrated holiday, it comes and goes, only to wait another year to do it all over again.

A time of the year that is magical and perfect, filled with everlasting traditions and memories. And that’s why I love it.


College Avenue reporter Alexa Phillips can be reached at Get you issue of College Avenue Magazine in your Collegian, today!