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A taste of tradition

Rushing down the stairs on Christmas morning, eating roasted turkey legs on Christmas Eve, secret Santa exchanges between family members: annual winter holiday traditions are what make the end of a laborious first semester worth it for many students. While some string lights on a Christmas tree they chopped down themselves, others light up faces by singing “Deck the Halls” door to door; every family has their own traditions.

Plates piled high with a fishy feast, Dylan DeMarco ’24 said he always looks forward to his family’s feast of the seven fishes. Although his family and he are traveling this year, DeMarco said they hope to take the Christmas Eve tradition with them.

Millie Gates ’24

“For Christmas, (my family) makes seven different seafood dishes,” DeMarco said. “This year, I don’t know what we are doing yet since we will be in Aruba, so it will probably be postponed until New Year’s Eve when we are visiting family in Buffalo.”

DeMarco said the traditional Italian custom is his favorite Christmas tradition because he has the opportunity to enjoy his favorite protein: octopus.

“(Octopus) is delicious,” DeMarco said. “I like grilled octopus because it’s the healthiest protein on earth. It’s just the best food ever; I try to make it every year for this (tradition).”





A quick grab-and-go, Christmas dinner looks a little different at Vivian Rizer’s ’24 household. Since her dad is a priest, Rizer’s Christmas revolves around church services, with food coming second.

Millie Gates ’24

“We don’t really get to have a big Christmas Eve dinner, like a lot of other families have,” Rizer said. “Our Christmas Eve is pretty condensed into you eat quick and you go to church or you eat quickly after church and go to sleep.”

A favorite in a Rizer family Christmas is stockings, but not the type stuffed with presents.

“My favorite Christmas memory takes place when I was in middle school,” Rizer said. “As a gift for one of my brothers, I bought him mismatched socks. To this day, he has mismatched socks every Christmas.”




On Christmas day, Nadeem Harauni ’27’s favorite tradition similarly involves stockings and presents. After a long dinner at his grandparent’s house the previous evening, Harauni said he appreciates nothing more than the effort put into the gifts he opens in the morning.

Millie Gates ’24

“There’s a lot of commitment involved in wrapping all those presents from my parents and siblings, so opening the gifts from (them) is a really nice feeling,” Harauni said.

Roughing the frigid winter weather, Harauni said his family also loves going outside to toss around the pigskin for Christmas.

“Me, my dad, my brother, my uncles and cousins run around and play football, which is very fun,” Harauni said.

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Paul Kaminski '24
Paul Kaminski '24, Supervising Copy Editor
In a busy and action-packed life with swimming, cross country, track, quiz bowl and DECA, Supervising Copy Editor Paul Kaminski ’24 still finds time to enjoy the little things in life.“I’m a big fan of salsa music, I feel like it includes a lot of rhythmic variation,” Kaminski said. “I think it’s a very nice genre—especially when you can understand Spanish—and I feel it really helped me to get a good score on the AP Spanish test.”Listening to salsa music isn’t something new for Kaminski.“The first time I heard it I was sitting in a little gray and black speckled computer chair,” Kaminski said. “ My dad put on the music video for a song by a singer called Celia Cruz, and I really enjoyed it. I was spinning around in my chair like a maniac.”For Kaminski, the Tower is a great way for him to express his ideas that he wouldn’t normally be able to.“You can experiment with photography, opinion writing, graphic design, and film criticism all in the same class,” Kaminski said.

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