It started when I came home from Thanksgiving almost two weeks ago. Driving down Notre Dame Avenue, I saw the giant tree by the bookstore wreathed in twinkling fairy lights. And then I knew.
Christmas time was here at Notre Dame.
There's something special about a Notre Dame Christmas. There's the Nativity scenes in the dining halls and the annual Christmas candelight dinner just for students. Every dorm is bedecked in lights and evergreen. Beautiful Advent wreaths hold place of honor in every dorm chapel and in the Basilica too. And Christmas trees are sprouting up all over.
Badin actually has two Christmas trees, one for each of our social spaces. I love Christmas trees. They give me hope. They give me strength to carry on.
Yesterday I was walking home to Badin from LaFortune and as I passed between Sorin and Walsh, something happened to brighten my day. You know that one room on the corner of Sorin that always blasts music, at all hours of the day and night? Maybe you've noticed it during football weekends. It's pretty wonderful, actually. I wish I knew those guys so I could thank them, because there's been many a time when walking past their room and hearing "Don't Stop Believin'" or "Love Story" has made my day that much better.
And yesterday, they were playing Christmas music. I nodded my head to the lyrics ("Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays") as I crunched through the snow and I thought, "Where else in the world but Notre Dame?"
Last night the Glee Club came to sing at Badin, in keeping with their wonderful tradition of going to sing at every girls' dorm. Of course, also according to tradition, they brought mistletoe and during their concert, they kissed half the girls in my dorm- including my rector, Sister Denise!
You shoulda been there. We laughed 'til we cried.
I watched the Dillon Light Show a few nights ago. It's a newer tradition and I hope it lasts. Their beautiful display of LED lights is choreographed to Christmas songs and it is a sight to behold.
It's snowing up a storm in South Bend this week. Walking down South Quad to class in O'Shaughnessy is no picnic, with blizzardy winds driving straight into your face. But I'm so happy I don't even care. There's nothing in all the world, you know, like Notre Dame at Christmas time.