‘Tis the season to celebrate

‘Happy Holidays’ looks different to all students depending on their background


GBT.org illustration/ SHREYA DODBALLAPUR

Students of different faiths share their holiday traditions.

In modern-day America, there are several varying traditions for the holidays with all of the diversity of nationalities, religions, and races, especially in California.

So what is the “ordinary” holiday?

The epitome of Christmas is normally centered around snow, Santa Claus, and lavish evergreens decked out in ornaments.

The opinions of some differ as to how to celebrate the “typical” Christmas.

Some enjoy completely different  holidays that differ from the norm because of their varying ethnicities.

Depending where your ancestors are from, the holidays people celebrate can change.

“(My) Nationality is Iraqi (and) we do have alternate holidays for Christmas.” freshman Yousef Hashim said.

His heritage has a big culture with lots of different traditions.

“Our traditions don’t involve Christmas trees and our alternate holiday lasts for a few days, not just one, plus a lot of food,” Hashim said.

Our traditions don’t involve Christmas trees and our alternate holiday lasts for a few days, not just one, plus a lot of food.”

— Yousef Hashim

According to Hashim, the Iraqi culture doesn’t celebrate with elaborate, lavishing trees and garlands, but instead with the gift of food.

“My favorite tradition would be the food,” Hashim said. “The one thing I dislike is the majority of our school celebrates Christmas and I’ve never really experienced that.”

Another student, freshman Christina Pena also has a unique way of celebrating the holidays.

“(I am) American,” Pena said. “Yes, there are traditions, but there’s really no name to it.”

For Pena, her family celebrates their own cultural festivals along with the holiday season.

“(My favorite tradition) is when my family gets together at least every year,” Pena said.

Family is a very important part of the holidays for many people, regardless of ethnic or religious differences.

In freshman Mia Wiggen’s case, her family gathers and celebrate some religious aspects of the holiday..

“My grandma does a Tagalog prayer,” Wiggen said.

Wiggen explained the prayer as part of her Filipeno heritage on her father’s side of the family. 

As much as she loves being with her family, there are some aspects of her cultural Christmas that she considers to be downsides.

“I don’t really like the food,” Wiggen said.

There are many ways students on campus celebrate holidays. Some celebrate a traditional Christmas while others celebrate different versions of Christmas. 

Some students don’t celebrate Christmas at all, and celebrate other holidays instead.

Overall, while there are many differences between any and all religions around the world, the main source of celebration seems to come from love of families. That makes any holiday feel special.