Opinion | The story behind Christmas fills me with hope for the holidays

Holidays are significant because of the stories and messages behind them


Ally Pronina, Opinions Columnist

The holidays are more than just about presents and food for some. For people of a faith, they are about the messages and stories behind them.

As a Christian, Christmas to me is about Jesus’ birthday. Christmas is a reminder to be thankful for the sacrifices Jesus has made and all the people He has put in my life to be grateful for, both in my hometown of Pella, Iowa, and Iowa City.

It is a day to remember I believe we have a savior who sacrificed Himself so we can be forgiven for our sins. It is a reminder that I believe Jesus’s love will follow me wherever I go.

I’m graduating in less than three weeks and so far, your guess as to what is coming in the future is as good as mine. Yet, being reminded of the story of Christmas and Jesus gives me hope the Savior is with me during this uncertain time.

This gives me hope no matter what His plans are for me, I will eventually see them and they are better than anything I could have come up with by myself. Jesus’s story has given me hope this holiday season when I needed it most.

Jesus’s story also reminds me to be thankful during this holiday season full of uncertainty by reminding me four years ago, I was going through the same thing, graduating high school and moving to Iowa City.

Yet, Jesus has been kind enough to make my college experience better than I could have ever imagined and bless me with a support system in Iowa City which is just as great as the one in Pella. Christmas is a reminder I need to trust He will do the same with whatever happens after I walk across the stage.

Christians are not the only ones who celebrate a holiday with a story behind it.

Cally Tucker, a University of Iowa junior majoring in biochemistry and vice president of Jewish Holidays for Iowa Hillel, is celebrating Hanukkah during this week. This is an eight-day celebration in which a new candle is lit every night on the menorah, a candelabrum symbolic of the holiday.

“The reason we light the menorah is because there was a temple that was torn down by the Greeks and we only had enough oil to light it for one day but instead it lasted for eight days” Tucker said. “For a lot of Jews, it means that we’re still here and kind of resilient.”

Robert Weiland, a UI junior majoring in enterprise leadership and vice president of Iowa Hillel, said Hanukkah is a joyous holiday, just like Christmas.

“[Hanukkah] is a rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem after it was taken,” Weiland said.

Just like the story of the Temple is important to Hanukkah, the story of Jesus is important to Christmas.

The meaning of holidays is found in the stories behind why we celebrate. To me, Jesus’s birth is a reminder of how lucky we are to have a savior who loves us so much. As one of my favorite Christmas songs put it, “Hark the Herald Angels sing, glory onto the newborn King.”

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.