Family Christmas traditions: Students making memories that last forever  

Photo Credit: Michael Cleverley

By Anna Harman

The Christmas season is a time to relax and enjoy time with family and friends. With Christmas approaching, many students look forward to being a part of their family’s holiday traditions. Some may set out cookies for Santa the night before, some may search for the pickle ornament on their tree, or open gifts on Christmas Eve. A few Cedarville students want to share the traditions they’re looking forward to most.

Jordan Hayes, a junior criminal justice major, has a particular order of doing things with her family for Christmas. On Christmas Eve they eat Christmas dinner, attend the candlelight service at her church, and then have dessert afterward. They also unwrap all of their presents on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day, they open stockings. 

“When I was little I would open the presents from Santa on Christmas Day as well,” Hayes said.

Then they have Christmas Day breakfast which consists of her mom’s monkey bread, a baked dessert made with dough and cinnamon. If someone in her family gets a movie for Christmas, they eat breakfast and watch whatever movie was gifted. 

Leonela Padilla is a freshman nursing major from Honduras. Her family celebrates Christmas on the 24th instead of the 25th, which is a tradition in Latin America and some European countries. At 6 pm, her family goes to church. Around 7 pm, they gather to dance and share stories. Then at midnight, they set off fireworks and don’t finish until about 1 am. They open their gifts after the fireworks are over, and at 2 am they eat Christmas dinner.

“After dinner, we continue dancing and just having fun with the family,” Padilla said. They don’t go to bed until 5-6 am. 

Junior civil engineering major, Brianna Pacecca said, “I’ve never actually spent a Christmas at my house. My family and I always travel up to visit my grandparents for Christmas.”

On Christmas Eve they wrap presents together in the basement. 

“It’s a lot of fun because it gets tricky when you are trying to wrap someone’s present right in front of them,” Pacecca said. 

On Christmas morning they always wake up early and sit together around the tree surrounded by presents. Before they begin opening stuff, they hang a nail on the tree that resembles the ones used to crucify Jesus. They read the writing on the nail that tells the story of Jesus’ death on the cross. Finally, Pacecca and her family all pray before opening gifts, “We thank the Lord for blessing us way beyond what we deserve.”

Anna Harman is a junior Biblical Studies major and also a reporter for Cedars. She appreciates writing, peppermint tea, flowers, and going to concerts.

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