A&L Desk Recs: our favorite holiday traditions

Graphic illustration by Grace Everett | Photo Editor

By Erianne Lewis | Arts and Life Editor

As of Sunday we have entered into daylight saving season, where it’s dark at 6 p.m. and there is a slight breeze in the air, marking the beginning of the holidays. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s or none of the above, this time of year always feels different.

In honor of the season, the A&L staff would like to share some of our favorite holiday traditions. If there are some that pique your interest, don’t hesitate to incorporate them into your holidays!

Erianne Lewis | Arts and Life Editor

My favorite holiday tradition by far is hanging out in the kitchen with my family on Thanksgiving and sneaking a taste of each dish before it’s served. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, even though I’m not much of a chef or baker, but I love being in the kitchen. I think I have arguably the most important job, tasting the food to make sure everything is amazing. It always is, especially my mom’s sweet potato and key lime pies. Just the thought of them has me missing home right now.

Another one of my favorite traditions is the friendly competitions with my family. My family and I are extremely competitive and we love to make everything into a little contest. From card games, to gingerbread houses and baking contests, we do it all. Each year we find a way to make something else into a competition, and I always look forward to winning.

Avery Ballmann | Arts and Life Writer

My favorite holiday tradition is setting up the Christmas tree. With my divorced parents, they set each tree up very differently. My dad immediately sets up the tree right after our Thanksgiving meal, he sits on the couch while he watches my sister and I decorate the tree. At my mom’s house, she meticulously sets out the ornaments by category. So stars, angels, snowmen, you get the gist. I love how I have two Christmas’ that are celebrated differently.

While decorating the tree, my mom always makes Mexican hot chocolate in the same Christmas pitcher every year. We unbox all the Christmas mugs, my favorite is the blue cup with the dancing snowmen on it. The sweet aroma of cinnamon and chocolate fill the house while we decorate the tree. And behind my mom’s back, my siblings and I steal a taste of whipped cream straight from the can.

Emma Weidmann | Arts and Life Writer

My family and I have been watching “A Christmas Story” every morning on the 25th for as long as I can remember. While opening presents by the tree, this movie provides the perfect quotable experience. I love this movie for its vintage charm and its cozy familiarity – like a fireplace and a nice blanket.

One year in high school, I spent almost a full ten hours on my feet in the kitchen making these Alton Brown sugar cookies and stressing over my icing. That might sound like torture, but to me it was an incredible amount of fun. The next day, I gave them out to my friends and watched their faces as they bit into something that had taken so much time and care to make.

Ruhi Thapar | Arts and Life Intern

My favorite holiday tradition is looking at all the Christmas lights in my neighborhood. Nothing gets me in the holiday spirit like driving though my neighborhood at night and seeing which houses have the best lights.

My other favorite holiday tradition is Thanksgiving dinner. Every year for as long as I can remember, my family alternates hosting Thanksgiving with our close family friends. I look forward to it every year, and Thanksgiving is without a doubt one of my favorite holidays.

Clay Thompson | Arts and Life Intern

I always loved reading the Christmas Story from the Bible ever since I learned how to read. It’s touching and helps to remind us of the true reason for the season.

Every year I go to Barnes and Noble to shop for Black Friday. They have awesome deals, and there’s practically no one there because they’re all at other stores for the deals, so I get the best books all to myself.