BY Gabriella Ruvo
“Happy Holidays!” Is that a phrase you are tired of hearing or does it make you excited for the holiday season? The controversy over celebrating the holiday season too early is in the air.
For senior Meghan Sullivan, celebrating the holiday season early is on her yearly agenda and she believes it is never too soon to hop into the holiday season.
“I get into the holiday spirit as soon as Thanksgiving is over. It is a tradition in my family that we always get our Christmas tree on Black Friday and decorate our house,” said Sullivan. “I personally like celebrating after Thanksgiving, but it is never too early to get into the Holiday/Christmas spirit.”
On the other hand, for junior Anthony Smith, cherishing holidays as they come is something he wholeheartedly supports.
“I respect people that are able to get in the holiday spirit before Thanksgiving, but I am certainly not one of those people. I need to experience each holiday without worrying about the next,” said Smith. “While I do start celebrating the day after Thanksgiving, I do not fully celebrate until I walk into my house in New Jersey after final exams are done.”
Along with the holiday season and spirit comes holiday traditions. Traditions could be a belief, action, or event that is passed down from generation to generation.
“Every year we host Christmas Eve at our house. My dad cooks ‘Feste dei sette pesci,’ or the Feast of the Seven Fishes, which is an Italian tradition. There are tons of food, games, singing, and gift giving,” said sophomore Sophie Barbagallo.
However, for junior Shanice Edward, her family celebrates the Christmas holiday with their own unique tradition.
“My mom wraps the gifts and puts them under the tree at midnight and my sister and I usually open our gifts around then. On Christmas morning, we usually have a Christmas brunch at our house with our family and exchange gifts with them,” said Edward.
With traditions, there may be gift-giving with friends and family for the holiday season. For some students, giving gifts can sometimes be a struggle.
“I can never decide what to get my dad. He’s a simple guy. Gift cards aren’t meaningful enough, and lotto tickets are for birthdays. So new razor blades or a pair of socks is basically what it comes down to,” said junior Carly Doorhy.
Nonetheless, for freshman Lauren Szczepanowski, finding gifts for family and friends is an easy task because she knows exactly what she’s looking for.
“I don’t struggle buying gifts because I’m usually buying gifts for people I know very well. Plus, quality over quantity is what matters most,” said Szczepanowski.
On the note of quality and quantity, is it the thought that counts or the amount you receive? Smith believes people are becoming forgetful of the meaning of the holiday season.
“Honestly, over the past few years, the holiday season has become more and more commercialized,” said Smith. “People focus more on finding the ‘perfect’ gifts and shopping at stores with the ‘best’ sales rather than the true meaning and purpose of the holiday season.”
For Sullivan, the quality of the gift means so much more than having so many presents under the Christmas tree.
“The best gift I ever received was a painting from Dingle, Ireland, which is where I studied abroad two years ago and is my favorite place in the world,” said Sullivan. “This painting was so unexpected but captured my favorite beach in my favorite place and it was so thoughtful and meant so much to me.”
The holiday season can mean something different to each member of the Sacred Heart University community.
“The holiday season makes me feel at one with everyone else,” said Doorhy. “There are so many differences in the world around us tearing us apart, but the holidays are a good way to forget about the negatives.”