Jordan Miller ’23, Managing Editor

Source: Behance

I love the end of the year because there are so many wonderful holidays and traditions to look forward to. Specifically, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. I know not everyone celebrates these holidays, you and your family may celebrate a different holiday. Regardless, the end of the year is usually filled with lots of family time. Last year, unfortunately, a lot of us did not get to see our family over the holidays due to the pandemic. This year, thanks to the vaccine, I am looking forward to (hopefully) spending time with my extended family. Here are some holiday traditions in my family that always put a smile on my face.

Black Friday Shopping
Every year, my mom and I wake up bright and early to do Black Friday shopping. We usually wake up around 5 A.M, eat some Thanksgiving leftovers to give us some energy, and then we head out the door! Spending this time with my mom is so special to me. It also is a great way to kick off the Christmas season! We love shopping together, and we usually take this opportunity to buy some Christmas gifts for my brother and dad.

Getting the Christmas Tree
We always wait until after Thanksgiving to buy our Christmas tree. Usually the weekend after Thanksgiving we head to a local farm to cut our tree. We like to go early in the day before it gets too crowded. My mom is very particular about what our tree looks like. It needs to be the perfect shape and a decent height. The process of browsing all the trees usually takes about 20 minutes. Then, my brother and Dad will cut it down with a saw. Usually, after we pick out our tree we stop to pick up some breakfast. The rest of the day, my mom and I put on Christmas music and decorate the tree. It is a great family tradition.

Shopping Locally
In recent years, my hometown has been hosting a “luminary shopping night.” In early December, they choose a night in which all the stores put luminaries outside their storefront. In the dark, it looks so beautiful. The town is literally lit up! There are Christmas lights and décor everywhere around town. My family usually gets dinner together and then my Mom and I will do some shopping and support the local businesses. I love my hometown, especially during the holidays.

Cookie Baking
One of my absolute favorite traditions during the Christmas season is my family’s annual cookie bake. It includes my mom’s entire side of the family. It starts in the morning and goes until after dinner! It is an entire day dedicated to baking holiday treats, most of them being cookies. We have a lunch break around noon which usually consists of pizza or a hoagie tray. Everyone brings a couple of recipes along with all the ingredients needed to make them. After the batch is complete, the treats are distributed among everyone. My personal favorite is a classic iced sugar cookie. I love decorating them and adding sprinkles. If I had to guess, I would say throughout the day we bake anywhere from 10-15 different cookies. It is certainly a tasty tradition.

I am glad I was able to share some of my favorite holiday traditions with you. We would love to hear some of your favorite traditions!