It’s that time of year, where the shopping malls are packed full of people. Shoppers quickly scrambling to get the “hottest” and best ‘bang-for-their-buck” gift. Twinkling lights, decorations, hot cocoa, and usually snow in most parts of the U.S.-except Washington, gets us all ready for the holidays.
When most people cannot sleep the night of the 24th-anticipating what and how many gifts they have under their tree, Keturan Anderson, 19, has a slight different approach on Christmas Day. “What I do for Christmas is usually my family and I will pick a house, whatever house we decide to walk to, and my whole family and I go over and give them a gift which is a little different I think than what most families do. But I enjoy doing it because it has taught me a lot about being compassionate and thoughtful over the years,” said Anderson. While Anderson and her family do stick traditional and bake “really good cinnamon rolls, and lots of them,” Anderson’s family also will stop by a local gas station and give someone who works on Christmas a little gift. “We also will sometimes go to a gas station and give one of the workers there a can of cookies, the holiday ones, or the big tin of popcorn with the different flavors. We like to give them food,” says Anderson.
Staying close to friends and family is something that most Bellevue College students do. Heidi Yota, however, has means of traveling. “This year we are going to Vancouver, Canada for Christmas Eve. We are going to see the city, not sure if we are going to ski, but probably,” Yota said. “I will also eat lots of Indonesian food, which is mainly spicy dishes, puddings,and sometimes Western deserts like pie or cake. It just depends on what we feel like eating. This year we are going to make gingerbread houses, which I am not sure how that will turn out.”
Yota said that she loves traveling and has plans for heading south for winter for New Years Eve.
The ubiquitous phrase, “I’ll be home for Christmas,” is no understatement for Emre Surmeli, a student here at BC. Surmeli was asked what he does for the holidays and he kindly said, “I go back to Turkey to visit my family.” Surmeli usually leaves for about three weeks and while over seas enjoys “relaxing.” “I eat lots of food. I sleep. I talk to my grandparents and love going because here I have to cook meals for myself but over there I get home-cooked meals which is nice.” Surmerli’s favorite foods while in Turkey are “Sarma and Dolma.” (Which means stuffed bell peppers and wrapped grape leaves in Turkish.)
The holiday celebrations here at BC are quite diverse and tradtional in their own ways. This is just an example of how this season brings families from different countries together, to the genuine acts of families giving to those who could use some holiday cheer.