12 Holiday Traditions from Ashford Students

graphic of someone making a snow angle

If the crisp breeze in the air has you feeling excited for the holiday season, you’re not alone. From chilly changes in weather to time spent with family, the diverse stories and unique backgrounds of Ashford students make for beautiful traditions. Here are 12 traditions some of our students look forward to most this time of year. 

Family Time

ashford student playing in snow1. Chrissie L. Cope Manlove: “We enjoy with the 1st snow of the season…making snow angels. Here is my inspiration, Michael, my oldest child, making his angel last winter.”

2. Michaela Davis: “We're living in Louisiana, but since I am from Germany (I miss the snow!!!) we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, just as we did as I grew up. It was always very exciting as a child to wait until you could go into the room with the Christmas tree. It was really nerve-wracking, at least so we thought. My children are older now but we still have Christmas on Christmas Eve, with the story of Luke from the Bible, Silent Night Holy Night...I still sing it in German. Then we open the gifts, but never forgetting the greatest gift of all, the birth of our savior Jesus Christ.”

tia wing and daughter3. Tia Wing: “My family tradition is like a lot in some ways. We celebrate with family either before or after I get home from work at the hospital. We go to our local food shelter each year to feed the homeless and have visited nursing homes to spend time and give little gifts to residents without families. We are so very blessed this year. My daughter was born with some life-threatening circumstances. This is a picture of us after she survived what was a pretty rough season 2 years ago when we fought to keep her out of the hospital for Christmas. She has so much love and joy in her heart. She is an inspiration for the season.”

4. Jennie Jo Mayn-Ower: “I celebrate with my kids. We always read The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve. I'm continuing the tradition of making them each a hat for Christmas.”

5. April Yeager: “As a youth, my mother used to drive me around to look at Christmas lights while blasting holiday music. This is one tradition I would love to start with my daughter when I am able.”

Food, Fun, & Decking the Halls

6. Nicole Smith: “As a chef, I work the major holidays. However that doesn't deter us from celebration. Generally the youngest will bring me a glass of eggnog and a book to read, usually a children's version of A Christmas Carol, followed by the Muppets Christmas Carol movie. We celebrate our gift giving on my next days off. We cook and bake a lot of food together throughout the season. Spending time with my kids doing what I love makes the memories even more special. Of course, seeing their faces when they see that Santa made an extra trip just for them makes the busiest time of year for me all worthwhile.”

7. Angela Lukehart: “I do a Christmas theme every year just to keep it interesting. In past years, we’ve had themes such as Star Wars Christmas, Christmas at Hogwarts, Cajun Christmas, and Hawaiian Luau. This year, the theme is ‘A Charles Dickens Christmas.’ Before you wonder about my dramatic flair, I’ll admit that I’m an English major.”

8. Benjamin Dutill: “Christmas Eve we open one present each. In our family it's not toys, it's mostly educational items (books, movies, etc) and also clothes. The unique thing that has been brought down through generations is the Romanian cranberry bread that my grandmother would always bake, and it's still being made to this day, 60 years later. We teach that it's about giving and the thought that counts, not what the items are.”

9. Randi Banning: “From December 1st-December 27th we have all holiday all the time. All the decor, music, entertainment, books, everything is fun as festive. Then, December 28th is Grinch day. We read and watch the Grinch Who Stole Christmas and enjoy Grinch floats while we put the house back to normal for the New Year. Anything that we miss has to stay out all year as a joke. One year we forgot the mistletoe above the kitchen sink. My husband has never been so helpful in the kitchen!”

jennifer slater and daughter in christmas outfits10. Jennifer Slater: “It's just my daughter and I. We cook a lot, open presents then eat and eat and eat some more. Oh, and sleep plenty since there's NO class. YAYYYYY.”

11. Desirae Crist: “Every Christmas of my entire life I have had the privilege of waking up to a big family breakfast. Since my grandparents’ passing, we still have continued to carry on the tradition.”

12. Sarah Greenberg: “Me and my kids stay home all day. I cook a big turkey dinner and play with the kids’ toys.”

Ashford University celebrates the diversity and richness of its students every day. To view more comments and participate in the Ashford community, we encourage you to visit our social communities on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest.

Written by Kelsey Bober, Content Manager for Bridgepoint Education.

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