There’s no place like home for holidays

It’s the holiday season, the time of the year when parents prepare for the arrival of extended family. Grocery stores are flooded with frantic shoppers racing to get the last of the apple pie and eggnog. Although many students have families in other countries, it can be difficult to contact loved ones with time differences. 

When it comes to holidays such as Christmas, Hanukkah, Eid al-Fitr (3īd), Kwanzaa and New Years which are celebrated internationally, the element of family can be missing for many. While family may not be at the center of the celebrations, it is still essential to making the holidays as important and magical as they are. 

“I have some family in Canada, some in Israel, a lot in Latvia and in France,” sophomore Nikolette Delpierre said. 

A typical Christmas for Delpierre usually consists of spending Christmas Eve with her mother opening presents and spending Christmas day with her dad.

“Usually on Christmas Eve, my mom and I go see the Christmas lights and after, we open our gifts,” Delpierre said.

As a solution, Delpierre’s family hosted a Zoom meeting to celebrate the holidays. After many years of celebrating virtually this year, Delpierre’s extended family will be coming in from Latvia to see her new-born baby brother. 

“This year, my Latvian grandma and aunt are coming to town because I had a baby brother recently,” Delpierre said.

Junior Ava Heydarian celebrates Yaldā Night with her family on Dec. 21 which is an Iranian holiday that celebrates the winter solstice. 

“l usually get pulled out of school if it’s a school day and we all just hang out, have dinner, eat sweets. We always facetime the family back in Iran which always takes a lot of time in the day which is nice to get to talk to them,” Heydarian said. 

Typically, winter fruits such as pomegranate and symbolic fruits such as watermelon are placed on a traditional cloth on the table. 

Around each holiday celebration, no matter what culture, it is important to celebrate with family. Even when exchanging gifts with loved ones during Hannakauh, Christmas and Eid, voice messages will always be sent over Whatsapp to extended family members and friends all over the world.