Holiday Gift Guide Life + Arts

Cougars share their holiday traditions

Winter brings about visions of presents, lit up trees, bundled layers of clothing and, of course, hot chocolate, but it doesn’t mean that winter is exclusively just about Christmas.

“We’re trying to figure out the best ways to let campus know (about) the different holiday celebrations that exist and that people celebrate on campus,” said Center of Diversity and Inclusion Program Coordinator Michael Crook.

“Part of this passive holiday education (we’re doing) is to have it out there, letting people know and see images and start asking questions about holidays out there that exist that aren’t the popular dominant holidays in our culture.”

Featured here are some ways that students celebrate winter, specifically Christmas.


Julie Nguyen/The Cougar

UScholars freshman Pardis Jesudasen

“I like putting the lights on the trees and the ornaments because they have special childhood ornaments; my mom still has the ones from when I was little. Every Christmas morning, we make gingerbread houses. Me and my sister always use this kit that our mom and dad buy, then we bake it every year.”



Julie Nguyen/The Cougar

Nutritional science and pre-optometry senior Sandy Lin

“For Christmas, usually we’re not in town. Last year, I was in (Los Angeles); the year before, we went to Shanghai. Christmas eve, we’ll go to church and watch the Christmas play. Every year my mom goes with a church group and she’ll go back to Taiwan or somewhere in Asia. Last year, her church group donated a lot of shoes to these kids for Christmas. I don’t get to go with her because of school but it’s something my mom does.”



Julie Nguyen/The Cougar

UScholars freshman Sade Zibili

“My uncle comes down from Seattle and he’s one of our major cooks for Thanksgiving and Christmas because he’s the best cook in the family. Every time he comes down, he teaches me how to make something. Right after we eat Thanksgiving, my mom makes us put up the tree. That’s our thing. She loves the feel of Christmas so I’m like ‘mom, I’m so full’ and she’s like ‘no, no, no get up’ and she’ll pull out the Christmas stuff.’”



Julie Nguyen/The Cougar

Supply chain management junior Jesse Lit

“Over Christmas break, we usually go to my cousin’s house and then we read from the Bible and we sing Christmas carols together. But everybody sings really bad and nobody’s on key. We usually don’t have presents anymore but for the kids, my aunt makes them play games to get the presents so whoever wins the game gets to choose their present first. Sometimes they speak in Chinese to us and we don’t know Chinese that well so they’ll make us translate what they say and whoever translates it the best gets a gift.”

[email protected]


Leave a Comment