Humans of the Dub: Christmas holiday cheer


Collin Harrington, junior majoring in Communication Studies and minoring in Business, talks about his favorite Christmas memories. Photo courtesy of Collin Harrington

Sunshine Angulo, Humans of the Dub - Head Editor

In the Christian religion, Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. However, the holiday has since gained much popularity marking as one of the most popular cultural holidays in the world. Even for those who do not practice the Christian faith, Christmas as a secular holiday still holds many traditions for families across the world. In the United States, Santa Claus, a giver of gifts, is one of the most identifiable Christmas figures in the holidays. Families around the nation would often write letters to Santa telling him what they want for Christmas and lay out milk and cookies awaiting his arrival on Christmas Day. As part of Humans of the Dubs December Holiday series, we plan on spotlighting various religious and cultural holidays our students take part in.

What holidays do you celebrate at the end of the year?

“I celebrate Christmas and New Year’s.”

What are some of your family’s Christmas traditions?

“What sticks out to me the most is the Christmas morning my family had when I was little, the age when I still believed in Santa. Every single year I would stay up all night waiting for Santa and I would get out of bed at 7:30 in the morning. I would go to my parents’ room and beg them to get up, saying stuff like, “C’mon get up, let’s go go go go! Let’s open presents!” My parent would always ask for fifteen more minutes, and then when they did get up, my dad was the first to go downstairs. He would make coffee for my mom, and my brother and I would go halfway down the stairs to try and check what type of presents I had and how many my parents had bought me. When my mom was done drinking her coffee, I was finally allowed to go downstairs and open presents. I remember my mom would always sit on the ottoman, my dad would stand and my brother would sit on the other couch. Once everyone was settled, we would go around and give everyone their presents. That’s one thing I love doing, getting gifts for my family. It’s the best thing ever. We do that every single year, but since I’ve gotten older that tradition has faded. Now I don’t want to get up at 7:30. If it was up to me, I’d sleep in until 11:00, but my mom usually drags me out of bed. It’s not the same as it used to be but that is the thing, I remember most from my childhood Christmas.”

You mentioned how much you love getting gifts for your parents. What are the top presents you have given them?

“My dad always says he doesn’t want any presents, but he can’t see very well, and his glasses are from the dollar store. I remember going to the dollar store one year and getting Reese’s Pieces because he hates chocolate but loves peanut butter. My dad only gets his reading glasses from Dollar Tree, so I bought him like eight pairs that way he would have enough for the year. It was a gift that was more focused on the little things in life. I think a lot of times around Christmas family members try and outdo one another with expensive gifts which is fine but for me ‘Christmas Joy’ is really the small, sentimental, things and there isn’t a certain price range it fits into. For my mom, one time my mom gave me money so I could shop for her and I bought her so many clothes. Her favorite clothing company is Karen Scott so I got her a bunch of the shirts she likes, coats, and then there are these leggings she absolutely loves so I bought her a lot of those.”

As a lover of giving gifts, can you think of a present you’ve gotten that you loved? One that you hated?

“I’ll never forget, and I don’t know how old I was, maybe 13 or 14, and I wanted an iPhone. My parents told me I was crazy; we couldn’t afford that and there was no way I was getting one. I had also written out this super long Christmas list, that looking back now I realize was absurd, so I came to terms with the fact that I wasn’t going to get an iPhone but still put it on my list just in case. Then, on Christmas morning we were almost finished unwrapping presents and my parents looked at me and said, “Wait, you have one more!” and the present was stuffed way in the back underneath the tree. I went around the tree and grabbed and as soon as I tore off the first piece of paper and saw the white box, I knew it was an iPhone. That was definitely the craziest moment and one of the best gifts. I’ve never hated anything my parents got me, but I remember when I was ten or eleven, I got a bunch of Nerf guns from my aunt and uncle. The next day I went to the store to return them so I could get the money instead. I was never the type of kid who was super into video games, toy cars or things having to do with guns. I wasn’t a ‘toy’ type of kid, I’ve always preferred sentimental gifts or things that will last me a long time.”

Hot chocolate or eggnog?

“Well, considering how much I hate chocolate I would have to go with eggnog, but if we’re being honest, I hate eggnog too. In general, I despise chocolate, but I don’t like eggnog because of the aftertaste. That being said, I would take it any day over hot chocolate.”