Holiday cheer found through family traditions


The family of Ana Hoffman '19 displays this preserved fruitcake in their house every Christmas. Photo courtesy of Ana Hoffman '19.

Alyssa Cole '19, Staff Writer

As Christmas time approaches, families begin to dust off the decorations that have been packed in boxes for months to bring back the holiday spirit to their homes.

Families have different ways of filling their homes with cheer, but the variety of traditions is what makes Christmas special to each family.

According to Austin Detweiler, ‘20, his family decorates their home in a rather traditional way. They decorate a Christmas tree with ornaments, and hang some lights outside.

“Our decorations are simple; they are pretty much the bare minimum. We don’t like to overdo it,” Detweiler said.

Keeping Christmas accessories basic makes the holidays less stressful, according to Detweiler, because they don’t take much time to set up.

While it is common to see a Christmas tree through the windows of many households, some families have other unique decorations that have historical and traditional meanings behind them.

According to Jessica Dodge ‘19, since the 1990’s, her dad has taken the wood from their Christmas tree each year and made carvings out of it.

“We have a whole mantle full of his Christmas carvings; we have a little ice rink with our family on it, we have some shaped like candy canes and ornaments, and lots of others too,” Dodge said.

According to Dodge, when her family gets the chance to sit around the fireplace together at Christmas , they admire the many carved decorations made over the years, and it feels like home.

The Hoffman family has a Christmas tradition that has been around since 1987, according to Ana Hoffman, ‘19.

For almost 30 years now, the family has preserved a fruit cake that they display each year during the holiday season. According to Hoffman, the idea was originally just a joke, that turned into a long-lasting tradition.

“It’s always special for families to have extra things around the house to remind them that Christmas is about having fun. Whether it’s an ornament, or something silly like a fruit cake, it’s still spreading joy,” Hoffman said.