The Quad’s Favorite Holiday Memories

“When I was about seven, my family spent Christmas at our grandparents’ house in Washington. My brothers and I woke up in to find that the living room had been turned into a giant Playmobile for all the grandchildren, complete with a jungle, a castle and a ship. It was beautiful and magical.” – Ashley Hansberry, Head Photographer

“I remember one year we got two things in particular: a handheld video camera and an industrial-sized box of Nerds Ropes. This led to some excellent sugared-out frivolity, including acting out scenes from Austin Powers movies and  my older brother making out with the ravaged leg of lamb my mother had made after dinner was over. We were all passed out within twenty minutes, but the footage holds true.” – Sharon Weissburg, Staff Writer

“The year I was six, I received a coveted My Twin doll. My “twin” was a porcelain version of myself, right down to the two freckles on my left cheek painted on at a true-to-life distance apart. I shopped for clothing for my twin in the children’s department of Target and used her as a decoy when hiding out from my parents. It was a fun year until I got creeped out and moved onto coveting the Life-Sized Barbie.” – Ingrid Adamow, Editor-in-Chief

“Every couple years, my parents and I take a road trip to San Francisco. We spend Christmas at Fisherman’s Wharf, shopping and visiting the sea lions.” – Hailey Markman, Copyeditor

“My favorite holiday memory is my cousin, Dan, returning from his tour in Japan with the Marines the week before Christmas. It was so great to see him after such a long time. Everyone in my family agreed that him coming back was the best Christmas gift we could ask for.” – Steve Sisto, Staff Writer

“When I was in high school, my brother and I were mortal enemies. He was going through a rough time, and he stole my camera and broke it. On it were the pictures from a very important summer. I cried a lot, and pretty much stopped talking to him. Come Christmas, he handed me a thick present to unwrap first. It was a photo album. He had contacted all of my friends from that summer and asked them to send him the pictures that they had and then put them all together so I could have my memories. It was one of the best Christmas presents I’ve ever received.” – Amalie Steidley, Campus Editor

“This one year, a few days before Christmas, I was checking out what gifts were already under the tree. On one the tag read, “To: Allan; From: Santa.” I took the present to my parents, demanding an explanation. They gave a half-hearted response and that was the year I figured out Santa wasn’t real.” – Allan Lasser, Publisher

“Whenever I would spend Christmas at my grandparents’ house when I was younger, we would always leave cookies out for Santa. However, my grandmother always made a point of reminding us that Santa preferred Diet Coke instead of milk with his Oreos. I used to think that she was letting me in on a special secret that no other child knew about, and my brother and I would be deemed Santa’s favorite children for this considerate change-up. Only years later did I realize that my grandfather claims the same soda as his favorite beverage. Still, the magic of Santa and Christmas is not lost on me because of this revelation. Rather, it makes me appreciate the holiday even more because it reminds me that my family’s love for one another makes for true Christmas spirit.” – Yasmin Gentry, Staff Writer

“I can’t think of anything specific, but every year my family goes to the Oregon coast. My dog loves it. Every year there’s something weird washed up on the beach. A few years ago it was an unusually enormous pile of seaweed, then it was light bulbs, and one year it was dead cows. I’m hoping for a pack of (alive) wild corgis this year.” – Lauren Michael, Head Copy Editor

“People who have read my stuff probably know that I love the Smashing Pumpkins. What they probably don’t know is that, for reasons beyond my understanding, I have an undying appreciation for Tim Tebow. He’s a terrible football player, but I love rooting for him. Last year, my brothers gave me two things for Christmas: Billy Corgan’s terrible poetry book Blinking With Fists, and a bust of Tim Tebow’s head. Both incredibly useless, but both so absolutely hilarious and well thought-out that opening them stands as one of my favorite holiday memories ever. The poetry book sits in my room, unread, while the Tebow bust is taken out only at times of great importance, to help guide my or my brother’s teams to victory. It works: Chelsea won the Champions League last year under Timothy’s watchful eye.” – Burk Smyth, Staff Writer

“My wily parents once graciously gave me a Chia pet cat in place of a kitten for Christmas. (Bullet dodged because I hate cats.) A few years later, playing their same old tricks, they handed me a golden retriever stuffed animal. Almost immediately, however, a lively puppy pawed her way in the living room, the gag gift replaced, my parents redeemed. While the Chia pet never had a chance at survival, Shelby has been apart of the family for 11 years now.” – Kelly Felsberg, Copyeditor

“The feeling of being unabashedly excited about receiving presents has faded, but watching the looks of pure elation on my little cousins’ faces last year as they opened their gifts reminded me of how much joy the holidays bring so many people every year.” – Jon Giardiello, Staff Writer

“My best memories are watching A Christmas Story on Christmas Eve, listening to the Elvis Christmas album, making double chocolate hot chocolate, and waking up at 6 a.m. on Christmas morning to jump on my sister’s bed. Another one of my favorite things to do is visit the Rhode Island beaches when it’s snowing during Christmas time.” – Emily Payne, Staff Writer

“A specific memory from my childhood doesn’t come to mind, but every year my best friends and I get together for our annual Holiday Party. We spend the day baking complex Christmas desserts and then watch our favorite holiday movie (or just favorite movie) Love Actually. This tradition has become especially meaningful now that we’ve all gone off to college and our lives have become busy. It’s comforting to know that come Christmas time we all be back together again, taking ridiculous pictures of ourselves in ugly sweaters and trying to find the perfect recipe for peppermint bark.” – Kara Korab, Photographer

“My favorite Christmas tradition is returning to my home country of Iceland and walking in the annual Friðargangan, which in English means “Peace Walk.” The nation gathers on Laugavegur, which is the main shopping street in Reykjavik, and walks together downtown holding candles to signify the hope that the world’s problems can be solved with negotiations and not weapons. But, to me, it is more of a calming gathering in a somewhat stressful season.” – Asta Thrastardottir, Staff Writer

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