Article by Bethan Henderson

With the sound of jingling bells in the distance it’s safe to say that Christmas is coming and it is now (un)officially socially acceptable to get hyped! It’s time to don an ugly Christmas sweater and get festive! There are so many things to look forward to in the upcoming weeks, whether it be shopping for gifts, eating great food, or simply the relief from the avalanche of end-of-semester assessments. An exciting thing to look forward to would definitely be spending time with your loved ones. Many people will be spending time with family and friends this holiday, exchanging gifts or simply enjoying each other’s company. More often than not, families and friend groups have traditions or little rituals that they partake in every year to celebrate with one another, which often make extremely heartwarming stories.

Junior Raya C. and her friends have lots of fun during their barkada Christmas party each year. “We just spend a day in our ugly Christmas sweaters hanging out, taking christmas-y photos for that Insta feed, baking, eating lots of food, exchanging gifts, watching Christmas movies, and just having the best time ever!” she says.

They also celebrate over Facebook, where each day leading up to Christmas they will take turns changing their cover photos with captions along the lines of “on the 6th day of Christmas my best friends gave to me…” A charming tradition!

Traditions aren’t restricted to just friends and family; even some of our Bearcat sports teams have their own Christmas rituals. For example, the girls varsity volleyball team hosts their own Secret Santa on the week of IASAS. The players and the coaches participate and anonymously give gifts according to a different theme each day. The presents are kept in a Hannah Montana bag which the youngest player has to carry around until the team gathers to open the gifts. Junior Katie G. says, “It’s a really fun festive activity that helps our team bond during the big tournament!”

Even the simplest things with family can put you in a merry mood. Sophomore Emma F.’s family always has a Mississippi mud pie for dessert.

“It’s like a chocolate cake but it’s better. Like if chocolate cake were a Pokemon, Mississippi would be its final evolution,” says Emma.

While it’s clear that everyone may have a different way of celebrating Christmas, the sense of closeness and valuable time spent together is a commonality we all share this holiday season. Happy holidays, Bearcats!

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