From the Editor’s Desk: Finding Christmas Spirit Despite a Terrible 2016

Originally published in Issue 7, Fifty-First Year of The Minstrel (December 8, 2016). Click here to view the entire issue. 

I didn’t know what to write this letter about so I asked my mom. Since it’s the last issue before winter break she said, “Isn’t it suppose to be about Christmas?”

I mumbled some sarcastic comments back to her, but I love Christmas and have no ideas. So, here goes nothing Mom.

Stereotype me as a “basic white girl,” but Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. I love that I get to spend time with my family and hey, presents never hurt anyone. I also love the decorations: putting up the Christmas tree and our train and village that reside underneath it. Green, red and sparkly decorations throughout the house and glittering lights outside courtesy of my “Bah-humbug” saying Dad. (We know you secretly love Christmas, Dad)

Christmas transforms everyday places like your living room, DeSales’ campus and most importantly, people. In my opinion, everyone’s a little more cheerful with Christmas music, decorations and holiday spirit. (Christmas music is great and if you disagree, try not to smile while my sister Katie and I duet “Dominick the Donkey” for the hundredth time.)

During the Christmas season, I can almost forget how terrible of a year 2016 was. Shootings in Orlando, the bombing in Brussels, Hurricane Matthew, outbreak of Zika, the presidential election and other events have made 2016 so terrible that basically everyone can agree on the fact that this year sucked. On a personal level, I had a pretty great year, but with everything happening in the world around me, I am hoping 2017 has better global outcomes.

So while I am fearful for the future of America and the rest of the world, I can pretend that we live in a happy, joyful place during the month of December and also regain hope that America will thrive and become a place filled with equality.

I hope this letter has given everyone a little bit of hope and willingness to embrace Christmas and the New Year ahead of us. There is no greater feeling than knowing that my writing has reached people and that I have impacted their lives. If I have made someone laugh at my letters or considered new points of views in my editorials, I did my job. If I can be a voice for LGBT students or sexual assault victims, I did my job.

I write because I love writing, but most importantly, it is because of all of you. I don’t want to get too mushy because I’m saving all that for the end of the spring semester, but thank you to everyone who has supported me and everyone who let me tell their stories.

This issue, The Minstrel leaves you with many stories to take with you for winter break. Some of these stories deal with terrible circumstances like the stabbing on campus but most of them, like the feature on Dr. Focht and No Shave November, are filled with hope and silver linings. Be sure to find your hope and joy over the holiday season.

“The day will be what you make it, so rise, like the sun, and burn.”—William C. Hannan.

Peace, love & DeSales,

Kellie Dietrich


DIY Crafty Christmas Gifts

Get out the hot-glue gun and ribbon; Christmas season is here and it’s time to get crafty. Check out these low budget Christmas gifts people will actually want to get. (Or keep them for yourself.)

Christmas in a Jar

This jar not only smells like Christmas with oranges, rosemary, cranberries and mulling spices, but it also looks adorable! For full directions, click here.

Peppermint Candy Cane Sugar Scrub

Sugar scrubs are a gift for the people in your life who need some relaxation. It is also a great way to moisturize and soften up dry winter skin. For full directions, click here.

Wood Slice Ornaments

These quick and easy ornaments add a rustic touch to any Christmas tree. For full directions, click here.


Who can resist a hot cup of cocoa? Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Hot Chocolate Kits

Who can resist a hot cup of cocoa? Fill plastic tubes with hot cocoa mix, crushed candy canes, marshmallows, wafers and anything else that goes great in hot chocolate. Add a finishing touch by tying the tubes together with a ribbon. For full directions, click here.



Snowy Wreath

Liven up an old floral wreath with pinecones, hydrangeas, faux snow, glitter and more to make a welcoming winter wreath. For full directions, click here.

Illuminated Snow Scene in a Jar

What’s better than a snow globe? A snow globe that lights up. Repurpose a mason jar to make a magical snowy scene. They also make great nightlights for the little ones. For full directions, click here.