With final exams fast approaching for the NDNU campus, the holiday season and all its festivities come to mind. Once the semester ends and grades are in, students, faculty and staff are free to travel back home and spend the merry holidays with their families. By having such a diverse student body from countries all over the world, many cultures, traditions and experiences are celebrated during this joyous time of year.
According to Angelica Perales, a NDNU junior, her family celebrates a Latino tradition called Nacimiento, in which “[her mother] builds a miniature diorama [of the Three Kings in religious history and the family] starts a prayer on the night of Christmas Eve at eleven-thirty P.M.” and opens their presents at midnight, making it Christmas Day when the family opens their presents.
In addition to decorations, the family also prepares holiday dishes such as “tamales [of both savory and sweet variety], pan dulce [Latino sweet bread], posole [a traditional Mexican stew] and abuelita chocolate [Mexican hot chocolate].
While many of the younger members of her family want the latest video game systems, Perales and her family will be shopping for clothes, especially since several of her cousins “are having [kids].” Perales prefers “buying something [for someone] from the heart [rather] than buying something because it is expensive.”
While Justin “Link” Eddy, a NDNU junior, cannot travel easily due to his limited mobility, he enjoys his time immensely with his friends and family during the holiday seasons. Some of his favorite family traditions are to “decorate the Christmas tree and bake chocolate-chip and M&M cookies, but nothing with nuts or oatmeal.”
In honor of his Greek heritage, Eddy’s family prepares traditional Grecian dishes such as baklava [a rich pastry with layers of nuts and honey] and tiropita [a layered pastry pie with feta cheese filling].”
For holiday gifts, Eddy intends to shop for “everyone,” including his friends, family, and himself. He recommends to holiday shoppers to shop online rather than in stores, as “there are some things that [people] can only find online and not in retail stores.”
The holiday season this year is looking to be an spectacular one for NDNU students, faculty and staff, as many members of the community are returning home to their families for the three week or so holiday break. However, even with all the Christmas spirit being carried throughout the world, there are many students who cannot return home due to personal matters.
Fortunately, University Housing is offering residents who cannot return home at this time of the year temporary housing during the winter break for a moderate fee compared to Bay Area housing. If students would like to learn more about this, please contact Annabelle Bautista, Associate Director for Student Life, in the Housing and Residence Life Office on the first floor of St. Joe’s.
For those traveling or returning home to their families, Perales and Eddy had these final words to say to the Argonaut’s readers respectively: “Enjoy your holidays and the time with your family,” and “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!”