June 12, 2021

Humans of Gordon: Students’ Christmas Traditions

Photo by Sabri Tuzcu

By Joy Tang (’20)

What are some things you’re excited for Christmas this year?

One thing that’s really important to me is time with family. I’m just so excited to see my immediate family and also my extended family all come together, since I don’t get to see them very much. I really look forward to that, but I also look forward to how every time Christmas rolls around, it always gives me more of an attitude of gratitude, and it helps remind me of that because sometimes I forget about that throughout the busy weeks. Something about Christmas time always brings back the joy and gratitude that I should always be having – and thankfulness. I really look forward to bettering myself. I feel like (Christmas) is a good time to reflect and be thankful. I also look forward to the food.

Some of the biggest things are reflection, thankfulness, family time, and I just look forward to growing in them and really enjoying the moment.

Do you have a favorite Christmas memory?

There was this one Christmas where it was strangely warm, but it still started to snow. It was actually at midnight, when my cousin and I when we were younger who I’m very close with, everyone was inside by the fire listening to music. We wanted to go outside real quick, so we went outside and we started climbing trees in the middle of the night. The moon was shining so bright you didn’t need lights outside. I could just see all the Christmas decorations while we were climbing the trees, and the snow was starting to fall. It was just the most beautiful – I always think about that. It was so beautiful because of the snow, and it was really late at night and the moon was so bright.

What’s been on your mind this Christmas season at Gordon?

Trying to be an all-around healthier and better person. I feel like being reminded with all the festivities and meeting new people and trying new things and adventuring, I feel like I grow deeper so I strive to be a better person. It’s a nice reminder of who I am right now in the moment, and who I’m trying to become. It’s a good time to also rest and rest with others.

– Erica Basham ’21

What’s one of the Christmas memories you often think of?

My dad is a big Italian cook, and he likes cooking the seven fishes, and so he cooks haddock, he cooks squid, and there’s shrimp. It’s just a good time to feast and enjoy the memories over laughter and good times with family. We play cards – my family is a big card player.

What’s coming to mind this holiday season?

I enjoy how Gordon preps us for the holiday season. With the hustle and bustle, you kind of forget what is going on outside of Gordon. It’s humbling to know that the community can come together and celebrate a time for celebration and joy over Jesus and God. It’s so humbling to be around believers all the time. It’s even more cool that we can be role models and that Gordon can say, “Merry Christmas” where a lot of other schools say, “happy holidays.” There’s nothing wrong with saying happy holidays, but it’s just special that here we can be open about our faith.

Christmas is such a fun time to think back and think how people have entered into your life and influenced you. We can share that with God and have an open relationship with him. A big thing with Christmas is reflection. There’s time to reflect and there’s time to be appreciative of all the good that God has given us and the life and freedom he has given us.
I think it’s cool how we come back from Thanksgiving, being thankful, then we have time to do our busywork and help develop our lives at Gordon, and still have the thankfulness and gratitude continue throughout the months of November and December.

– Sophia Scola ’21

What is one of your favorite Christmas memories?

When I was younger, my parents getting me gifts. Waking up with gifts under the tree was really cool.

Did your family have any traditions for Christmas?

We did for a little bit. For a couple years, they would put carrots that were “bitten” out in the yard to look like Santa was there. I actually think our neighbors did that. We had the normal stuff; stockings, presents.

We always made these cookies I really like. We call them snowball cookies, they had powder on them. We would give them to Santa and later there would be a bite out of them. I would always want them since they were really good.

What are some Christmas things you’re looking forward to this year?

Just having my family around. All my siblings are older so we’re all out of the house and we don’t see each other that much. Just to be together with my dog.

I’m trying to let go of the past – to be a better person this year than last year. It’s cliché but it’s true. Always try to be better tomorrow than you are today, or be better today than you were yesterday is probably a better way to look at it. I’m not a huge New Year’s resolution person.

– Cole Farnham ’19

Christmas at Gordon is actually one of the reasons why I stayed at Gordon. I was going to transfer my freshman year to a different school. I very distinctly remember walking around Christmas at Gordon and seeing my accounting professor, Andy Moore with his grandchildren. Something really struck home about the community here. It was in pair with tradition, which is important to me. The environment of people here was something I knew I couldn’t give up, even though everything was pulling me away from the school my freshman year. It’s a very special place in my heart.

My whole family will actually squeeze into my grandmother’s rather tiny house for Christmas, even though we’re a larger family that have other houses. There’s something special about being in a really close environment with the same decorations that we’ve always had and keeping the air of tradition about everything is just something that’s important to my family and me as well.

One memory I have is there were a couple years where my cousin was actually in the army, so I wasn’t able to see him for a few years. When he came back, I was fairly young at the time but he knew that I collected coins and currency from around the world, and he actually brought me a little bit from each of the places he had gone to.

Every year, me and my dad go on our father-son Disney trip, and for the past probably six to eight of those trips have been at the Christmas time to go down. Even this year, I’m going down on the 20th and doing a four day trip with my dad. That’s always really cool because it’s something that we have that we do every year. It’s that consistent memory that we get to go. The decorations are all so beautiful down there. Even though it’s warm, they have snow machines with fake snow.

Christmas in my recollection is about who and how you’re sharing it with people, and making the most out of the relationships that we have.

– Ed Lindem ’19

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