Tough times impact holiday routines

Karlie Bettencourt
Staff Writer

The holiday season rings in tradition, food and presents, all of which cost money.

With the condition of the economy and scarcity of jobs, many students are finding they need to scale back on the holiday hoopla.

In an informal survey, 11 out of 15 University of La Verne students said their holiday traditions have changed due to financial woes.

“I used to be able to give gifts to all of my friends and now I can barely afford to get a gift for my boyfriend,” sophomore liberal studies major Nicole Godinez said.

Students and their families are finding ways to keep the holiday traditions alive without breaking the bank.

“I’m looking on the bright side,” sophomore psychology major C.J. Krickl said. “Making something and being creative is much better. I’m making a calendar with pictures of my girlfriend and me to give to her for Christmas.”

“I used to buy gifts for all of my friends, but now I can’t,” senior theater arts major Kevin Greene said. “I’m going to get them all cards now though.”

“Usually me and my brother got clothes and toys but now a lot of money goes to my younger brother to keep him believing in Santa and basically we get nothing,” sophomore biology major Natzhely Chavez said.

Though presents are often seen as the things that change the most when people have less money, more aspects of the holidays have changed as well.

“I have less budget for decorations,” sophomore English major Emily Martin said. “We invested in buying a plastic tree instead of a real tree.”

Food choice also seemed to be a common theme of change.

“We used to buy tamales but now we are making tamales from scratch because it is cheaper,” graduate student of education Rosalilia Gradilla said.

“When we get together, it used to be the host family who would pay, not is it pot luck style,” Chavez said.

Though most students are going through holiday changes, there are some students whose holiday routines have not changed at all.

“I think for holidays families try as hard as they can to keep it the same,” freshman criminology major Michelle Gonzalez said. “They want it to be as traditional as it can be regardless of the financial costs.”

“I have yet to change,” senior liberal studies major Kelly Eder said. “If the news never told me there was a recession, I would never know. I still get laptops, I still get whatever.”

“No traditions changed,” sophomore theater arts major Marc Okimura said. “It’s more like combining holidays because it is convenient. When I wanted my surf board I asked my mom to combine two Christmases.”

Though some students’ holiday celebrations traditions have changed and some have not, there still seems to be a sense of positive nature about the situation.

“I’m okay with it,” Gradilla said. “It has my family be more thoughtful when thinking about gifts. They are not so materialistic.”

“I get to spend more time with family and concentrate less on the gift giving aspect,” said sophomore history major Shelby Griffin.

Karlie Bettencourt can be reached at

Latest Stories

Related articles

Being a morning person or night owl may be hard wired

A recent informal survey found that 12 out of 20 students at the University of La Verne prefer morning classes to night classes.

Work and play fill students’ winter break

Students at the University of La Verne spent their winter break traveling, working and spending time with their loved ones. ULV’s winter break started on Dec. 17, 2023 with the start of the Spring semester just six weeks later on Jan. 29.

Santa Claus leads Claremont Village in holiday tree lighting

The city of Claremont and the Claremont Village Marketing Group collaborated to host the annual Holiday Promenade and Tree Lighting Ceremony on Dec. 1.

Holiday foods carry on family traditions

The holidays are a time of tradition and coming together to celebrate. One of the most universal holiday traditions involves the foods families share for their Hanukkah or Christmas celebrations.