What are your favorite holiday traditions?

interviews and photos by taylor robinson, staff writer


Marc Pardo | Washtenaw Voice

The snow lightly falling on campus during a November afternoon reminds students that the holidays are right around the corner. The Voice wanted to know what they love most about the holidays and the traditions they share with their families.

“Every Christmas, my family and I go to my grandma’s in the afternoon. Before Christmas, we always pick out a tree at my uncle’s nursery in South Lyon. We get a big tree and decorate it together. We have very general traditions. Later on, we eat a great ham dinner and way too many desserts. I’m vegetarian so I don’t eat the ham, but I do enjoy the mashed potatoes, stuffing, and everything else. We pass out gifts after we eat and just hang out for the rest of the night.”

Becca Brown, 20, Brighton, nutrition

“We figure out who we’re getting Christmas presents for during Thanksgiving. We put everyone’s name in a hat and draw a name, and that’s who you get a gift for.”

Dakota Monarch, 23, Fowlerville, nursing

“My family’s German, and we put a pickle on our tree. If you find the pickle then you get an extra present or open your present first. We have a family dinner and open presents together.”

Andrew Stewart, 20, Fowlerville, 
computer science

“Every year on the day after Thanksgiving, my family and I go to the Fantasy of Lights Parade in downtown Howell. It involves an art show, Christmas Alley with Santa Claus and reindeer. Locals will sell homemade sweets and candles.

“The 5K will have runners dressed in costumes, decorated with lights. There’s always someone dressed like a banana or gorilla, running down Grand River.

“The parade will have different floats and there’s different prizes. There’s one for ‘the most holiday spirit,’ going back to the true meaning of Christmas. There’s another prize for the float with the most lights. Last year’s winner had over 2,000 lights.

“The local elementary schools and high schools are there with bands and choirs. They march and play songs. It really brings the community out, too. The first year we went because my sister won a contest at school and got to ride on one of the floats. Ever since then, despite it being horrendously cold and rainy, we got hooked because we loved it so much.

“We’ve gone every single year for the last 10 years. There was only one year that we missed it because we were sick. We do our Black Friday shopping in the morning and then go to the parade.

“Every Christmas Eve, my family will come to our house. We do a dinner with baked ham and exchange presents. I will always read ‘‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.’ I’ve literally done that since I learned how to read.

“New Year’s Eve, my family will cook prime rib and shrimp. We’ve done it for the last five or six years. That’s one thing I look forward to, New Year’s Eve dinner. We play games like trivia and Pictionary.”

Briana Resinger, 18, Howell, journalism

“In the morning, after everyone wakes up, we open presents. We cook breakfast together, and always have bacon, eggs and biscuits. We hang out for the day and then make dinner together later.”

Amani Flowers, 18, Ypsilanti, early childhood

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