The smell of cookies fresh out of the oven, large woolen coats and mittens just waiting for snow, and the smiling faces of friends and family might all be things associated with Christmas. For some families however, there are a few extra things added on that others might not consider “normal.”
For Carter Candrian, business management junior, Christmas is something he always looks forward to, but not in the way one might think. Unlike most people who love Christmas morning, Candrian says he looks forward to the night before most. After he and his family attend Christmas Eve mass, Carter and his sister always get to open one present.
“It is always a new pair of pajamas,” Candrian said. “My sister and I get to put on our new PJs and ride around the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights. It’s a good thing people don’t see us because we probably look ridiculous.”
For James Love, finance and economics senior, Christmas gets much crazier than just a late night pajama cruise. His Christmas starts early with a tradition he and his friends call “reindeer humping.” As soon as electronic light-up deer appear in the yards of helpless people back home, Love and his friends turn the otherwise sweet yard decorations into reindeer sex scenes. This tradition even went so far one year that police were called and all the reindeer had to be put back where they belonged.
Along with this tradition, Love also enjoys receiving the gift that keeps on giving. Every year for Christmas, his aunt gives him and his brother Hooters calendars and Christmas cookies shaped like a woman’s breasts.
“All that stuff is great,” Love said. “But, my favorite part of Christmas is getting together with family. I don’t like the gift part of it. I’d rather have it where it is just the little things like family time and making memories.”
For Jewish student Sarah Cohen, Christmas is like every other day. Since Sarah celebrates Hanukkah she receives presents during those eight days and not on Christmas day. Instead, her Christmas day consists of lunch with her family at a huge Chinese buffet in Austin followed by a long night of playing the board game Mall Madness.
Despite the fact that her family does participate in some aspects of Christmas such as baking cookies and looking at lights, Cohen grew up watching other children get presents on Christmas while she did not.
“As a kid, I was always really bored on Christmas,” Cohen said. “I always had my presents by the time Christmas came around, so on Christmas I had nothing to do. I was also really jealous because everyone did the same things for Christmas except me.”