Students plan to reunite with loved ones for the holidays

Taylor Moore
LV Life Editor

With the holidays just around the corner, students are already anticipating their family traditions and get-togethers.

Last year, many families were not able to gather due to the high COVID-19 case count. Now, after the distribution of COVID vaccines and the introduction of boosters, families will be able to resume their celebrations.

“I can’t wait to finally be able to spend (the holidays) with all of my family this year since all of us are vaccinated,” Francheska Juarez, senior kinesiology major, said. “We’re planning to have a big Christmas party.”

According to an informal survey, 10 out of 12 students said that the holidays are their favorite time of the year and that they celebrate both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with family and/or friends.

Naty Castellon, sophomore kinesiology major, said that she is looking forward to going home to see her family and friends. She is planning to get together with her other friends that have gone away to college since all of them are coming home around the same time.

“My family has traditions during Christmas time to make tamales and eat Menudo Christmas day. We do Secret Santa during the day,” Castellon said.

Julie Garcia, sophomore kinesiology major, said that she is looking forward to actually being able to spend quality time with her family since most of them are busy with work and school. The holidays are a time for them to bond over their annual family tradition.

“We play games until midnight. Then, we open Christmas gifts at midnight together,” Garcia said.

According to the informal survey, nine out of 12 students said family traditions are what they look forward to most during this time of year. They also mentioned Christmas music, baking Christmas cookies, Christmas decorations, and Christmas movies as some of their other favorites.

“On the first day of November this year, my friends and I sang Christmas songs the whole time while we were driving to get food, it’s my favorite memory,” Melissa Capacete, sophomore kinesiology major, said. “Every time we go to get food, we still listen to Christmas music.”

When asked about their favorite Christmas movies, songs or treats, these were some of the students’ popular answers: “Elf” (2003), “Home Alone” (1990), “The Polar Express” (2004), “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (2000), “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey, pumpkin pie, Starbucks peppermint mocha frappuccino and Christmas cookies.

“My favorite thing about the holidays is the warm and happy environment. I love the music and decorations,” Marianna Hernandez, sophomore digital media major, said. “Every year, I decorate the house with my family while playing Christmas music in one day.”

Hernandez said she also loves buying Christmas gifts because she looks forward to seeing how happy her family gets while unwrapping the gifts.

Yahaira Pavon, junior criminology major with a minor in forensics, said that she looks forward to making Honduran tamales from scratch with her grandma.

“I have family coming in from Florida this year. We have passes to Disneyland, Universal Studios and Six Flags, so our plan is to go since the amusement parks are decorated right now,” Pavon said. “We always go during this time of year. Grinchmas at Universal (Studios) is my favorite.”

Arturo Herrera-Caballero, senior business administration major, said that his favorite tradition is when his family makes tamales since he looks forward to eating them every year.

Sarah Cohen, sophomore English major, is Jewish but celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas.

“I think I’d say the best thing about being able to celebrate both holidays is that I get both cultural experiences,” Cohen said. “Christmas is always special because I get to go up to Canada and be with my family in the snow.”

She said on Nov. 30 that her family had planned to keep Hanukkah casual this year by lighting the candles each night and giving a few gifts to each other from Nov. 28 to the evening of Dec. 6.

Cohen said that her mom makes latkes and brisket for a Hanukkah dinner.

Taylor Moore can be reached at

Taylor Moore, Social Media Editor

Taylor Moore is a senior broadcast journalism major and Campus Times editor-in-chief for Spring 2024. In her sixth semester on Campus Times, she has served as the LV Life editor and social media editor twice, as well as a staff writer. She’s also worked on the University’s television news broadcast Foothill Community News as an anchor and reporter, and was a on-air personality for the University’s radio station 107.9 LeoFM.

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