The holidays are here!

(Photo: Kheira Morellon)

(Photo: Kheira Morellon)

As the weather gets colder and the holiday season approaches, everyone has something they start looking forward to. Whether it’s going home for the holidays, spending time with family or the traditions we share with others, the holidays are always fun. One can’t help but feel a warm buzz of excitement.

To get my mind off the stress of exams, I decided to find out what the holidays mean to some of my friends at King’s.

Emily Outhit tells me that in her family it’s tradition to “open our pyjamas the night before Christmas, and wear them Christmas morning while we open presents.” Similarly, Drew Stanley says her family wears matching pjs on Christmas.

My Swedish friend Robert Lilja says that eating pickled herring on Christmas is a tradition for him. Apparently in Sweden, eating multiple different types of pickled herring during Christmas is normal. When I asked him if he liked it, he said that it’s “pretty good.” I’ll take his word for it.

Another friend, Peter Lee, says that his family always eats Christmas pudding. Upon further questioning of what exactly Christmas pudding consists of, he admitted that he had no idea, but that “I know that it’s an acquired taste. I don’t really like it, but I’ll eat it.” I did some research and discovered that Christmas pudding, sometimes called plum pudding, is a cake which originated in England and is typically eaten around Christmas time. Despite its name, it doesn’t have any plums in it. It consists mainly of raisins, dried fruit, egg and suet. Traditionally the cake is left to age for a month or more before being eaten. No offense to the British, but I think I’ll stick to gingerbread for now.

The holidays remind me of warm apple cider and making snow forts when the roads get too slippery and school gets cancelled. It also means one of my favourite Jewish Holidays, Hanukkah!

Until this year, Hanukkah was always celebrated with my family, making latkes and giving out little presents each night. But as both my roommate and I were in Halifax away from our families, we decided to improvise. Celebrating Hanukkah in our dorm room was a new experience for us both.

“It’s really nice when you’re away from home to have the comfort of a family tradition, even if it’s not perfectly recreated. Lighting the menorah always makes me feel cozy and warm,” says Sabina Willmott, my roommate. Looking up how to say the prayers properly on Youtube probably wouldn’t impress my grandparents, who know all the prayers by heart. But with the candles burning brightly, we brought light and a new tradition to our little dorm room at King’s.