Street sweep

Staff writer, Isabella Asplund-Wain, speaks to GU junior, Jaxin Miller, about going home and celebrating holiday traditions.

As Gonzaga University prepares to send its campus home for the holiday season, students look forward to the traditional festivities they enjoy every year from Dec. 17 until Jan. 9. From board games to family dinners,  GU students do it all during the holiday season.

Ally Schmidt, a GU senior, said that her family always watches the movie "White Christmas," staring Bing Crosby, which reminds her of her home away from home. She felt like the holidays are just a special time to get the family together and that she can always count on doing it together.

“I mean, particularly being in college now, it’s sweet to have those tradition to come back to because I know a lot of families don’t," Schmidt said. "As my siblings get older, and we all move to different places, it’s nice to be able to count on being able to come back together." 

Emmet Balseiro, a GU senior, felt similar about the holiday season. Balseiro and his family always plays card or board games on Christmas Eve. He said he felt extremely fortunate to have his family together all in one place and that the sense of togetherness is his favorite part of Christmas.

Meanwhile, Sam Knapp, a GU first-year student, celebrates Christmas Eve by opening gifts containing family pajamas and stuffed animals. Despite her brother being 30 years old, she said the family tradition continues to thrive and that it is how her family shares the love they have for one another.

“I feel like it’s the only time of the year that my family is able to get together just because my brother doesn’t live with us anymore," Knapp said. "So, it’s kind of just a good way for all of us to celebrate."

Similarly, Lainey Klein, a GU sophomore, said that her mom hides matching Christmas pajamas around the house that her and her siblings have to find. Her mom also gives them a book every Christmas Eve that they are supposed to read before the next Christmas.

On Christmas Day, Klein said that her younger brothers usually wake her up around 4 a.m. Her family always eats bacon, eggs and potatoes in the morning and she also attends "The Nutcracker" play with her mom.

“When I was younger, [Christmas] meant food and school," Klein said. "But now that I’m older, I feel like it means more about family because I don’t get to see my family often. So getting to go home is really important to me and I can’t wait to go see them this year."

Some Zags don’t share as many hard-set traditions, but still find the holidays as a good time to reconnect with family. Jaxon Miller, a GU junior, said that although he doesn’t have many customs, he felt like the holidays were a good time to get food with family and catch up.

“Especially now you don’t usually get to see everyone — and especially not together — and so it’s pretty special that everyone is together,” Miller said.

Isabella Asplund-Wain is a staff writer.