Eastern students preparing for holidays

Chrissy Miller, Campus Reporter


With winter break right around the corner, students are getting in the holiday spirit and anticipating a few weeks away from schoolwork.

Laura Renken, a freshman elementary education major, said creating her own glowing Christmas sweater made the holidays feel closer. Renken said her sweater decorations were inspired by her favorite Christmas mug, which has the words “Santa’s back!” with a picture of the back of Santa on it.

“Over Christmas break, I’m planning to eat as many Christmas cookies as I possibly can and spending time with friends and family,” Renken said. “I’m really looking forward to Christmas Eve at my grandma’s house. We all live right in a row, so my grandparents are able to spend Christmas day with us.”

Renken said her favorite part of the holiday is a tie between food and family.

“I feel like I’m more excited this year and more focused on the family aspect of Christmas,” she said. “In the past, it was more about what I was going to get and now it’s more about (how) I get to go home and be with the people I love.”

Renken said snow would really make her holiday season complete.

“I live south of here so we don’t get a lot of snow,” Renken said. “I’m not asking for a blizzard; I’m just asking for it to snow because it looks prettier.”

Alexius Spence, a freshman biological sciences major, said giving back is her favorite part of the holiday season. This year she cannot wait to spend time with her family and continue their “Secret Santa” Christmas tradition.

“We always pull a name and then we surprise whoever we got with a gift,” Spence said. “We have a big family so we never know who got who.”

Spence did not wait to get back home to start celebrating for the holidays, though.

Recently, she helped create Christmas ornaments at a nursing home and volunteered at “Breakfast with Santa,” running the activities for visiting children McAfee Gym.

Still, she said she cannot wait to go home and eat.

“Here, you can’t eat how you want to. Back at home, there are all those home-cooked meals. I love to eat those and I’m really looking forward to it,” Spence said.

Natalie Fadden, a freshman communication disorders and sciences major, said seeing her friends and baking cookies will be the highlights of her break.

“Me and my family always dedicate one day to cookie baking,” Fadden said. “We all go to my grandma’s and bake like six different types of cookies. Oatmeal chocolate chip is definitely the best. It changes your life.”

Fadden said she misses her tradition of watching the “25 days of Christmas,” a television program with 25 days of holiday-themed movies and shows and volunteering at the animal shelter near her house with her sister.

“I didn’t get to help put up the Christmas tree and I missed my puppy’s first snowfall,” Fadden said. “There is always Snapchat and pictures, and it’s nice getting to spend the holidays with new people. So, there are positives and negatives.”

Ean Watson, a sophomore civil engineering and physics major, said quality time with family and relaxing will be his main focus for break.

“Whenever we have a prolonged time together, we usually go and travel to a different part of the state to see what is rustling and bustling around town,” Watson said.

Watson said he is looking forward to going to festivals with his parents this year.

“Each year I learn to appreciate them more and more for who they are,” he said. “Before college, the holidays weren’t that big of a thing. Now spending this time with them and getting that month is something I look forward to.”

Chrissy Miller can be reached 581-2812 or [email protected].