Holiday traditions: A little piece of who you are

The Holidays are here! Independently of how you celebrate it, I’m sure this time of the year brings many memories to your mind. 

Traditions are often around long enough to make us stop noticing them, but they are more important than we know. Human development comes from relationships and all these moments that are remarkable enough to shape us. 

You might not realize it, but there’s a chance who you are has been lightly influenced by all the family traditions you lived through. So, throughout this holiday season, stop, breathe and think about all the moments that make the season whatever it means to you.

To start, the Posties shared their favorite family holiday traditions below. Have fun discovering a bit more about each of us!

Autumn Okuszka, Features Reporter

My family has a lot of Christmas traditions. My mom bakes an assortment of cookies every year, but the staple always seems to be cornflake wreaths, which my mom grew up on herself.

I personally make an effort to watch as many Christmas classics as possible, from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” to “Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh.”

My family and I have driven around since I was little, listening to Christmas music and looking at Christmas lights. It is truly the happiest time of the year, and it’s all thanks to the many traditions my family has created for us. 

Brock Heilig, Sports Reporter

I have two traditions that I can think of. However, we haven’t done one of them in quite some time.

Every year, my family puts the Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving. We do this without fail, every single year. I hate Christmas decorating, so I try my best to be out of the house that day and just let my mom take care of it, but as you all know, the Friday after Thanksgiving is Black Friday, so that poses quite the dilemma for me.

The second tradition is one we haven’t done in a while, but as a family, we would go to a Christmas store and pick out a Christmas ornament each. Then, we would all vote on which ornament was the best, and then we would take that one home and add it to the collection.

I have no idea where either of these traditions came from or how they got started, but it’s fun to have the memories.

Christian Udeozor-Nweke, Graphic Designer 

Every time Christmas rolls around, my family and I usually get together and call our extended family overseas in Nigeria to talk about who got what on Christmas and how things have been this year. This usually happens after we open all the gifts and rest for a bit, but it is a fun tradition we have.

Also, if the snow is not too bad the next day, we go over to our grandmother’s house with our aunties and cousins and eat, watch a movie and chill for the rest of the day. 

D’Juanna Lester, Arts Reporter

My favorite Christmas tradition is going to my aunt’s house. I always ask her to make sweet potato pie because I love her recipe.

We exchange gifts, and I get to see my younger cousins. Sometimes we’ll watch a movie, and usually, we’re fighting about what to watch. While some of us want to watch Christmas movies, my uncle fights for “Star Wars.”

Emily Iatrou, Graphic Designer

My family celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas, so we double the yearly celebrations. My favorite tradition (especially during years like this one where Hanukkah runs through Christmas) is having our yearly Hanukkah party with my extended family and doing a White Elephant gift exchange, and then having fun Christmas morning soon after with my family.

Gabrielle Abdelmessih, Editor-in-Chief

Every year, my little sister hides a pickle ornament in our Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. It is a German tradition that the first child to find it on Christmas morning gets a special treat or an extra present.

We’re not German, so I’m not really sure why it became a thing in the Abdelmessih household in the first place. Anyways, it’s a running joke that since my sister hid the ornament, she knows the location, so she gets to open the first present every year — a typical youngest sibling for you. My brother and I are always happy to go along with her silly antics.

Happy holidays to you and your loved ones! 

Joe Zerilli, Campus Editor

Possibly my favorite Christmas tradition is our Christmas breakfast — which is essentially a breakfast casserole, but we literally only have it on Christmas. If we had it more, I’m sure I wouldn’t like it quite as much, and it’s been like this for as long as I can remember.

Besides seeing family, the only other tradition my family does is the TV is on TBS so that we can watch “A Christmas Story” all day.

Leticia Santos, Marketing Director

I don’t think our traditions started with the intention of being traditions, but we have done them repeatedly enough for me to call them that.

We always try to put our tree up between Halloween and Thanksgiving. I know — we are EARLY, but we love the feeling when we only leave the tree lights on at night, so we want to put it up as early as possible to enjoy it as much as possible. You can also expect to see our tree in the living room until mid-January.

Besides that, we all cook together for our Christmas Eve dinner. Then, after exchanging gifts in the morning, we put on music, and my parents and I spend the day in the kitchen talking and cooking or around the house decorating tables.

Since our extended family is in Brazil, we usually spend holidays with other Brazilian families that are close friends. Therefore, the 24th is very festive — we play white elephant. The 25th is the leftover day with a lot of time to rest. 

As we moved from Brazil to the U.S. years ago, it became clear that family is always where your heart is, and traditions can follow you wherever you go.

Happy Holidays! 

Lindsey Sobkowski, Photographer

One of my favorite traditions is the routine of Christmas morning. Once I coerce my parents to finally get up, we sit on the floor all around the tree before we even eat breakfast. My mom then plays her old Christmas record from, I believe, the 1960s (which she always makes sure to take note of), and we open our gifts.

Of course, we always have something wrapped for our dog, which sounds a bit redundant, but he actually loves tearing open the wrapping paper of a dog toy that he oh-so-needed. 

Payton Bucki, Campus Reporter

My favorite holiday tradition is wigilia, a Polish Christmas tradition that is celebrated on Christmas Eve. Each Christmas Eve, my family hosts a huge dinner of 12 dishes and desserts. Following the dinner, we exchange gifts with one another.

Wigilia is my favorite holiday tradition, as it brings my family together for a special night as we celebrate our heritage. 

Tori Coker, Content Editor

My mom’s birthday is actually on Christmas Eve — an overlap which I know can cause a lot of Dec. 24-ers to roll their eyes at the holiday, but in my mom’s case, it only makes her and the rest of us love it more. We always celebrate by heading out to breakfast as a family — and this is typically the only time we do so all together year round, so it remains super special.

My sister and I also like to exchange our gifts with each other on Christmas Eve before spending the rest of the day recovering from breakfast food comas and binging Christmas films (our annual “Home Alone” watch is always part of the lineup).

On Christmas Morning, we kick things off bright and early at 8 a.m. with Tim Allen’s “The Santa Clause” playing in the background as we open our gifts.

Just talking about each of these little things now is giving me the same butterflies each tradition has given me since I was a little girl — they sound so simple yet still hold so much magic for my family.


Happy Holidays to our readers — we’ll see you back next month.