Every family has different traditions to bring in the holidays. Some cook specific meals, others sing songs or go to church. Here are some traditions that Sacramento State students enjoy with their families during the holiday season.
“Every Christmas we eat dinner together and read the bible,” said Jessica Lopez, a 23-year-old criminal justice major. “Most families don’t sit down together and talk about the year coming to an end but we do. There’s no phones, just family and food; it’s a sacred place.”
Many students are busy during the year with school, work and other activities. The holidays give students a chance to sit down and reconnect with their families.
“We eat ham, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, deviled eggs, all sorts of good food,” criminal justice major Brianna Collins said. “I eat with my mom and grandma, we have other family too but I always eat with them.”
Sometimes when students have a large family or are married there are different kinds of traditions that happen when families join.
“We always gather at a family members’ house and we switch off year to year,” said Susan Vang, a Sac State student. “I usually also cut the turkey because I’m the first sister-in-law, so that is a special tradition for me as well.”
The winter break allows for students from varying religious backgrounds to practice their celebrations.
The Jewish holiday Hanukkah starts on Dec. 17.
“My family does the typical traditions associated with Hanukkah,” said Michelle Baer, a 23-year-old communication studies major. “We light a candle each night and have gifts but it’s mostly about being with family and appreciating what we have.”
Kwanzaa is another holiday tradition celebrated during winter break.
Kwanzaa is celebrated by many African-Americans and its name comes from a Swahili word which means “first fruits of the harvest.”
Kwanzaa starts on Dec. 26 and lasts until Jan. 1.
The majority of religious holidays celebrated during winter break have themes of gratitude, family closeness and generosity allowing students to enjoy their family traditions over break and start the spring 2015 semester feelings refreshed.