Students share favorite holiday traditions

As the holiday season unfolds, many students at the University of Rhode Island partake in fun yearly traditions.

No matter what holiday they celebrate, many students feel that this time of year holds many happy memories and nostalgia.

For Emma Cotter, second-year dietetics major, the Christmas season isn’t just about getting gifts, but giving them to people you love.

“My family makes each other a homemade gift for Christmas,” Cotter said. “We all choose a name out of a hat and then we make something for the person we picked.”

The Cotter family does this every year, and they have fun getting creative with their giftmaking.

“It’s really nice to get something on Christmas that you know was made just for you,” Cotter said.

Lauren Dempsey, another second-year dietetics major, makes gingerbread houses with her family every year on Christmas day. The family then votes on the best one.

“The winner gets to bring home the leftover lasagna, which is always everyone’s favorite dish,” Dempsey said.

Hiding a pickle in the tree is third-year pre-med student Alexa Beaulier’s favorite thing on Christmas.

“Every year, my Mimi hides a pickle in the tree,” Beaulier said. “Whoever finds the pickle first gets money.”

According to an article on USA Today , the origins of this tradition are unclear, but some think it comes from the German tradition of making class Christmas ornaments in the shape of fruits and vegetables. Woolworth stores started to sell the glass ornaments in America in the 1880s.

The green of the Christmas tree makes the pickle hard to find, making it a good choice to hide. The same article also states that there are many different prizes for the winner. Some families let the winner open the first present, while others, like Beaulier’s, give the winner money or a special gift.

Emily St. George, a second-year biotechnology major, gets into the Christmas spirit by looking at light displays.

“My favorite thing to do at Christmas is go to the Fatima Shrine with my mom,” St. George said. “It’s a super pretty light show at a church near our house where they decorate their gardens with Christmas lights.”

The garden of the church is laid out like a rosary, and after walking through the display visitors can light a candle at the vigil.

While this light display is in Holliston, Massachusetts, there are many light displays to enjoy in Rhode Island this holiday season.

Katie Landeck writes in an article for the Providence Journal about 22 of the best lights shows to check out in Rhode Island.

Santa’s Magical Drive-Thru Christmas Display and Musical Light Show in Exeter is about a twenty minute drive from campus and is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The display has over 300 inflatables that light up in sync with music from radio station 106.1 FM. Visitors can also donate to the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Foundation while they are there.

As the semester wraps up, many students will be celebrating the holiday season and enjoying their yearly traditions.