Christmastime traditions


Senior business major Heidi Chamberlain decorates a Christmas tree in her University Village apartment. Photo credit: Allison Thompson

December is here. Students string lights in their dorm rooms, trees appear in on-campus apartments and an endless number of Christmas songs begin playing. Upon impending celebrations of the birth of Jesus Christ this month, students begin reflecting upon yearly holiday traditions within their families.

While such festivities may not remain the same for all families, trends appear among the yearly traditions.

“Somehow after all the traditional activities such as church, looking at lights and baking, my family inevitably ends up having a James Bond marathon on Christmas Day,” said senior psychology major Suzanne Earle.

Gathering around the television seems to be a recurring custom of families, but with one detail taking first priority: food.

My family is very big on food, so Christmas Eve we prepare most of the food and at the same time we usually watch Dr. Seuss’ ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas,’” senior philosophy major Kierstan Hall said. “On Christmas Day, after eating, we watch ‘Family Man.’ Even though it has Nicholas Cage in it, it’s still an excellent movie.”

Senior nursing major Kelsey Kim explains her family’s sports and competition-infused holiday.

“We all get to my grandpa’s house early to watch Christmas basketball,” Kim said. “We make bets on the teams because we are all into sports and competitive.”

Competition takes a different form in the home of senior applied exercise science major Taylor Washburn.

“Ever since we were little, our family has had a classic magnet board with cute little Christmas symbols that we compete to put up each day,” Washburn said. “We are all extremely competitive, so let’s just stay there have been some vicious arguments about who has put up the most by the end of the month, as well as some early morning fights to the death to put up Dec. 24.”

The traditions of students and their families often reach beyond conventional activities like baking and decorating a tree. However, one custom that will never change is the gathering of families to enjoy each other and celebrate the birth of the Savior.

Until students leave campus to head home or elsewhere for winter break, they can begin their own traditions within their homes away from home. The decorations and lights will undoubtedly continue to be hung until the day they return to their families and commence their annual rituals.