As Gonzaga University prepares to send its campus home for the holiday season, students look forward to the traditional festivities they enjoy each year from December 17th to January 9th. From board games to family dinners, GU students do it all during the holiday season.
Ally Schmidt, a GU senior, said her family always watches the movie “White Christmas” with Bing Crosby, which reminds her of her home away from home. She felt that the holiday is just a special time to gather the family and that she can always count on doing it together.
“I mean, especially being in college now, it’s sweet to have those traditions to return to because I know a lot of families don’t,” Schmidt said. “When my siblings get older and we all move to different places, it’s nice to be able to count on being able to get back together.”
Emmet Balseiro, a GU senior, had the same thing with the holiday season. Balseiro and his family always play cards or board games on Christmas Eve. He said he felt extremely lucky to have his family gathered in one place and that the sense of togetherness is his favorite part of Christmas.
Meanwhile, Sam Knapp, a first-year GU student, celebrates Christmas Eve by opening gifts containing family pajamas and stuffed animals. Despite the fact that her brother is 30 years old, she said that the family tradition continues to thrive and that this is how her family shares the love they have for each other.
“I feel like this is the only time of year when my family is able to meet just because my brother no longer lives with us,” Knapp said. “So it’s just a great way for all of us to celebrate.”
Similarly, Lainey Klein, another GU, said her mother stores matching Christmas pajamas around the house that she and her siblings must find. Her mother also gives them a book every Christmas Eve, which they must read before next Christmas.
On Christmas Day, Klein said her younger brothers tend to wake her up around 6 p.m. 4. Her family always eats bacon, eggs and potatoes in the morning, and she also participates in “The Nutcracker” with her mother.
“When I was younger, [Christmas] meant food and school, “Klein said.” But now that I’m getting older, I feel like it means more to the family because I do not see my family often. So it’s really important for me to come home and I can not wait to see them this year. “
Some Zags do not share as many established traditions, but still find the holiday a good time to reconnect with the family. Jaxon Miller, a GU junior, said that although he does not have many customs, he felt the holiday was a good time to have food with the family and catch up.
“Especially now you usually don’t get to see everyone – and especially not together – and so it’s pretty special that everyone is together,” Miller said.
Isabella Asplund-Wain is a staff writer.