UF students celebrate the holidays with many different traditions

By Lauren Rex


Traditions are a big part in many households during the holiday seasons. Experts say special traditions during the holidays help build relationships with family and community. And it can create a bond to family history according to Alyssa Sybertz in verywellfamily.com in her November 2021 article, How Holiday Traditions Like Elf on the Shelf Fuel Child Development.

Sybertz says it can strengthen family ties, build imagination, and promote critical thinking as “reinforced when the developing mind takes to account both elements of fantasy and reality and makes sense of the information in a way that is socially acceptable within the familiar context of the child’s world experience,” according to Mayra Mendez, PhD, LMFT, a licensed psychotherapist.

University of Findlay students, have a variety of favorite holiday traditions starting with the Christmas tree.

“My favorite holiday tradition is picking out a Christmas tree,” Lexi Gorant, a sophomore equestrian major from Michigan, said.

Elyse Pflieger, a freshmore equestrian major also from Michigan, said her favorite tradition is, going to a tree farm and cutting down a live tree.

Cutting down a Christmas tree is also freshman business administration major Jess Friedly’s favorite holiday tradition.

Sophomore business administration major Ty Norman, is from West Virginia.

“My family and I always go to a Christmas tree farm every year and cut down a tree to go in our house,” Norman said.

Other traditions have to do with watching movies as a family.

Addison Cosker, a sophomore equestrian major, is from Massachusetts.

“Opening a gift on Christmas Eve and watching the Polar Express with my family,” Cosker said.

JJ Stratmann, is a freshman equine business major from Maine, and has an eclectic list of Christmas movies.

“My family watches the Sound of Music and Stepbrothers every Christmas, and they never get old,” Stratman said.

Many people just love being with their families, especially during their winter break from school like junior equestrian major Jordan Lovitz.

“My favorite tradition is going over to my sisters for Christmas dinner,” Lovitz said.

“Spending time with family is my favorite holiday tradition,” Olivia Birdsall, sophomore equestrian major from Dayton, said.

Junior equestrian major Ryan Bradley said her favorite tradition is putting the lights on the Christmas tree with her family.

Students love being home for the holidays, especially for all the food.

“Eating,” said both Kendall Westgate of Michigan, and Zoe Wallace of Texas.

“Christmas morning breakfast,” freshman equestrian studies major Bailey Pepin, from Connecticut, said for her favorite holiday tradition.

Sophomore equestrian studies major Kara Pruett, from Ohio, says her Christmas Eve meal is a little less traditional.

“I love eating Chinese food with my family on Christmas Eve,” Pruett said.

“My family does a huge buffet for Christmas Eve,” Liz McKenzie, senior equestrian studies major from New York, said.

Baking and cooking are many holiday favorites, too.

“My family makes Potica, which is a traditional Slovenian nut roll every year for Christmas. We’ll make about 75 rolls as a family and give them to our neighbors and friends around the holidays,” senior nursing student Ayden Adams said.

Sophomore equestrian studies major Greta Moats from Pennsylvania loves making holiday themed cookies during Christmastime as does Dillen Curnutte, sophomore animal science major from Orient, Ohio

“Baking my grandmas sour cream cookies,” Curnutte said. “They’re actually a banger I promise.”

Many students have their own favorite holiday traditions, and they’re all special in many ways.

Riley Torkelson, sophomore business administration major has a tradition for Christmas Eve.

“My family will all usually open one present, watch a Christmas movie, then wake up super early Christmas day to open presents,” Torkelson said.

Freshman business administration major Marcus McCraney, from Hamilton, Ohio, is a big fan of mistletoe during the holiday season.

“I like to drive around and look at Christmas lights during the holiday season,” junior equine studies major Samantha Mayer said.