Google Is Not Everything…

Awaken the Chrismas Spirit

Ghenesis Jhay Balaan | Maui High School

After completing the first semester of school, the long-awaited winter break has finally arrived. Not only will this two-week break be filled with fun but also with the joyful cheers of the Christmas holiday. Everyone’s holiday plans will differ but one thing is sure—lights, caroling, decorated trees, and presents will be prominent. Everyone defines Christmas in their own unique way. Some families will attend evening mass to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ while others will stay home and enjoy the company of each other while playing games. No matter what we do, we know these will be the traditions we’ll be passing to the younger generations of our family. After all, it is the season of giving, love, and joy.

Sarah Fernandez

Sarah Fernandez says that winter break is definitely a reward to us students after a stressful half year at school: “Although I’ve procrastinated at times, I still managed to pull through and now I’m excited to wear comfy Christmas sweaters and drink hot cocoa.” She also loves to work during the break because she wants to earn money so she can buy her friends and family the best presents during the holiday. Sarah said, “We should always find the time to spend with our loved ones and appreciate them; Christmas is the perfect event to do so.” Sarah prefers giving presents rather than receiving because what satisfies her more than buying the actual gift is the smile that comes when the person she is gifting it to sees what she has gotten them. Sarah said, “Knowing that I made someone happy is the best gift anyone could give me this holiday season.”

Bradley Domingo

“It’s not Christmas in my family unless there’s a party with food, drinks and a little karaoke,” says Bradley Domingo. Bradley believes this merry and bright season should always be fun and filled with a lot of laughter. It’s not Christmas if you’re spending it all by yourself. This end of the year celebration is what he has been waiting for after the end of the year. Everyone his family is related to or knows will get together and catch up. He could be meeting new relatives born early in the year for the first time and that is always so exciting to him. “It’s all about bonding with everyone and just having fun, sometimes that’s the actual manifestation of the gift itself and not an object or material,” he added. Bradley said he wouldn’t even ask Santa for a gift, just as long as he could spend the holidays with his loved ones and friends and make the most memorable moments with them.

Shandi Marie Agpoon

Shandi Agpoon loves to spend her holidays watching the Home Alone movie series. She has always been fascinated with the idea of a white, snow-filled, Christmas season and the movies give her the idea of wanting to spend the holidays in the cold. She said, “The whole vibe of the movie is very nostalgic because I always watched this whenever it started to get cold in the ‘ber’ months ever since I was young.”

Besides having her birthday in December, Shandi also celebrates this month in the laud of Jesus Christ. Since the holidays are about the spirit of giving, it almost doesn’t feel right for her to be receiving gifts, even if it is her birth month. Shandi enjoys the idea of giving gifts rather than receiving. She said, “The comfort and loving spirits of my friends and family are all I could truly ask for this holiday season.” If she can make someone’s holidays and give joy to each receiver, then that would make every Christmas the “Most Wonderful time of the year.”

Nicole Rabanal

The holiday season makes Nicole Rabanal miss the Philippines. She says that the country is the most joyful and bright when there is a Manny Pacquiao and when it is Christmas season. Going door to door caroling in her neighborhood and even in another town with her friends is a special memory she will always cherish about the Philippines during this time of the year. Nicole said, “It’s all about love; simply to give back to other people and to show love is the whole message of Christmas.” She enjoys the dinner her family always hosts called Noche Buena. A simple dinner like this allows her to appreciate everyone in her family, she knows how busy everyone is, so having everyone all sitting down enjoying a meal and laughing makes her heart jump. As to her Christmas wish, Nicole would like to ask Santa just one gift—a house for her and her parents.

The birth of Jesus Christ and the reawakening of the spirit of joy and laughter is the definition of the modern-day Christmas season. To teens, the holiday break is a reward for making it through a stressful year at school. Everyone will have different activities and plans for the season but gifts and togetherness will be prominent in every household. Whether it be simple Christmas dinners or a whole party, everyone is for sure guaranteed a joyful time being together with their loved ones and friends. This end of the year celebration of the human company is a great send off and farewell for the 2019 year, and by ending on a high note, we are all able to look at a bright, hopefully, next year, towards a better tomorrow.

Google® Is Not Everything … is a monthly column authored by high school students. The title of the column emphasizes that education is more than just googling a topic. Google® is a registered trademark. This month’s guest columnist is Ghenesis Jhay Balaan, a Senior at Maui High School attending its Culinary and Health CTE Pathway. He is a three-year member of Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) and served as its Council Treasurer in 2017–2018. Ghenesis hopes to become a respiratory therapist in the future. He is the eldest son of Benjamin V. Ballesteros Jr. and Jerameelyn B. Ballesteros.